Thursday, January 18, 2007

Somalia: Mogadishu residents refuse to give up guns to Ethiopians: "The sight of burning tyres, roadblocks, motorists escaping violent youths hurling stones -- none of this is new to Mogadishu residents. But in recent days, protesters have been shouting Allahu-Akbar (God is great), the slogan of the Union of the Islamic Courts (UIC).The demonstrations were in reaction to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) order to members of the public to surrender their arms, especially in the Somali capital whereby TFG forces and Ethiopian troops have established collection centres. "We are not going to surrender our weapons to Ethiopians -- our arch enemy," shouted a protester. "We want the Ethiopian forces out of our country first." .... Business people generally react to such riots by coming out of their premises with guns. "We often fire into the air to scare away troublemakers," said a trader who requested anonymity. "We know they are orchestrated by hatemongers."

Illegal guns in Australia: "From the waistband of his blue jeans, the Sydney underworld figure pulls out a black handgun and dumps it on the kitchen table in front of me. With his other hand he produces a thick wad of bank notes from his jacket pocket. The $5000 he places next to the 9mm Glock pistol, he assures me, is enough to buy another one. "I can get you a handgun in five days. If you want an automatic weapon like a AK47 (Kalashnikov assault rifle) it will take a little longer and cost twice as much. How many do you want?" He is unequivocal about the ease with which firearms can be purchased. Get the cash and it's a just a matter of days while the underworld connections receive the guns from their suppliers. "It is a matter of ordering what you want and then waiting," Faisal says. Police statistics appear to bear this out. Last year, there were 3500 illegal guns seized across NSW. Everything is on offer from pistols and the highly prized Glocks, which are easy to conceal and can unload 17 rounds in a matter of seconds, to Uzi machine guns and hand grenades. The anti-tank missiles stolen from the Australian army were bought for about $15,000 each. A Sydney underworld gang member who has "rolled" told police they continuously bought and sold pistols and machine guns. His statement reveals how gang members bought pistols, including 9mm Glocks and SKS semi-automatic rifles, and kept them in a number of safe houses around the city. When they wanted to dispose of a hot weapon they would either melt it down or sell it interstate".

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