Somalia: March 8, 2002


Mogadishu HornAfrik Online (Somalia's largest independent TV and radio station) reported on 6 March that the prices of small arms and other weaponry offered in Mogadishu's markets were going up, due to the increased tensions in some parts of southern Somalia. 

There was also an increase in the number of various types of weapons, many of which arrive in Somalia from Ethiopia. Various types of heavy weapons were being sold at Cirtogte arms market in Mogadishu. Arms dealer Nur Husayn Muhammad claims the commodity is in high demand these days, with a 'light weapon' commanding between three million to five million Somali shillings (or $239.52 to $399.20). 

Small arms prices are determined by popularity of the weapon and the availability of specific ammunition. Ahmed Farah Nur, who specialized in weapons from Argentina, noted that "most of the boys (gunmen) are very young and thin and can't carry the heavier guns."

In July 2001, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Russian and North Korean-made Kalashnikov assault rifles went for $200. Rifles from Libya, Egypt and Yugoslavia command only $150 while the cheapest assault rifles (American M16s, German G3s and Belgian FNs) go for about $100 each. Talk about "K-Mart Specials..." - Adam Geibel


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