Posts tagged with UN

New Report Assesses Efforts to Combat the Terrorist Threat from Shoulder-fired Missiles

In a report released this week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), FAS analyst Matt Schroeder provides an unprecedented look at global efforts to counter the terrorist threat from Man-portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). The report, which appears as an appendix in this year’s edition of the SIPRI Yearbook, goes beyond mainstream media coverage of counter-MANPADS efforts (i.e. the myopic focus on anti-missile systems) by providing detailed summaries of oft-ignored but critically important programs to secure MANPADS inventories, destroy surplus missiles, collect missiles from the black market, and strengthen export controls. Also assessed are the strengths and limitations of the various anti-missile systems that are currently being considered for installation on commercial airliners and at airports. The appendix concludes with a list of recommendations for expanding and strengthening international counter-MANPADS efforts.
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Update: Shoulder-fired Missiles in Somalia

In a recent article on the resurgence of Islamic rebels in Somalia, Associated Press reporter Chris Tomlinson provides new information on the shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles allegedly supplied to Somali Islamists last year. Tomlinson claims that the Shabab – the military wing of the Council of Islamic Courts – received 200 shoulder-fired missiles from Eritrea, one of three countries that allegedly shipped missiles to Somalia last year in violation of a long-standing UN arms embargo.
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Fresh Perspectives on Pressing Small Arms Issues

In the latest issue of the Federation of American Scientists’ Public Interest Report, analysts from three continents provide new insights into arms trafficking in Africa, Venezuela’s small arms build-up, and the UN Small Arms Review Conference. Links to these articles, along with an issue overview by FAS analyst Matt Schroeder and a summary of the new book, The Small Arms Trade, are included below.

“Where Have All the Antonovs Gone? The Illicit Small Arms Trade in Africa” by James Bevan, Researcher, Small Arms Survey (Geneva)

“A Recurrent Latin American Nightmare: Venezuela and the Challenge of Controlling State Ammunition Stockpiles” by Pablo Dreyfus, Research Coordinator, Small Arms Control Project, Viva Rio (Rio de Janeiro).

“United Nations Action on Small Arms: Moving Forward from Failure” by Rachel Stohl, Senior Analyst, Center for Defense Information (Washington DC)

“Global Approach Needed to Stem the Trade of Illicit Small Arms,” by Matt Schroeder, Manager of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project, Federation of American Scientists.

“Book Summary: The Small Arms Trade”

Somalia: Don’t Forget about the Missiles….

With the war against Islamist fighters drawing to a close, Somalia’s transitional government and its foreign allies now face several Herculean tasks: bringing to heel the warlords and militias that have terrorized the country for fifteen years, winning over the various clans and sub-clans that dominate Somali politics, rebuilding the nation’s devastated infrastructure, etc, etc, etc.

In the interest of international security, I would add one more: recovering the dozens of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles reportedly distributed to the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), and sanctioning the suppliers.
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Arms to Somalia: Déjà vu

The latest report from the UN group that monitors the arms embargo on Somalia has caused quite a stir, generating extensive news coverage and eliciting vehement denials from governments accused of violating the embargo. But, as underscored by declassified US intelligence documents from the 1990s, such disregard for the embargo is nothing new.

The documents, which were obtained by the FAS under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal a disheartening similarity between sanctions-busting in the mid-1990’s and sanctions-busting now. From the countries involved to the weapons shipped, little appears to have changed over the last decade.
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Update: Shoulder-fired Missile Proliferation

There have been several recent reports of the acquisition and (attempted) use of shoulder-fired missiles by terrorists and insurgents. Below is a quick summary of these reports:

El Salvador: Foiled Assassination Attempt
The most dramatic of these reports is that of a foiled assassination attempt against Salvadoran President Tony Saca. During a 6 October interview with the Salvadoran daily El Diario de Hoy, Saca revealed details of the alleged plot, which involved two SA-7 surface-to-air missiles and a Cuban national with alleged ties to the now defunct Medellin drug cartel in Colombia. The suspect, George Nayes, was arrested on September 13th and was subsequently extradited to the United States, where he has reportedly been charged with “drug trafficking and terrorism.”
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