Violence, fear and confusion: welcome to the Horn of Africa | World news | The Observer

Picture of Peter Beaumont* News * World news * SomaliaViolence, fear and confusion: welcome to the Horn of AfricaIn Yemen, Somalia and beyond, the lawless, strife-torn region has provided disturbing evidence that its myriad problems cannot be ignored – and that the west must see the connections between them all * Buzz up! * Digg it * Peter Beaumont * o Peter Beaumont o The Observer, Sunday 10 January 2010 o Article historyIt looked like many of the dhows that sail the Gulf of Aden, a nameless boat identifiable only by its registration number – 11S2. This dhow, however, was not carrying fish, or even engaged in the lethal people smuggling trade conducted across these waters.Tracked by Yemeni intelligence officials, it was laden with a quite different cargo that had been loaded at Hes Bes on Somalia’s arid coastline.When it was boarded late last year by Yemeni coastguards, the ship’s captain and his crew of 12 were discovered to be ferrying arms into a country already awash with weapons. About 60 million handguns, at the last count, arm a population of 21 million people in Yemen. The arms traffic is hardly one-way. Indeed, Yemeni ships are more often smuggling arms in the opposite direction, to fuel the terrible conflict in Mogadishu and south central Somalia.

Violence, fear and confusion: welcome to the Horn of Africa | World news | The Observer

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