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Illegal arms originating from Yemen seized in Afar region

Ethiopia continues to struggle with controlling illegal arms circulation in the country that is entering the country from Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and South Sudan

illegal arms
illegal arms and ammunition seized in Elidar, Afar region of Ethiopia. Photo credit: FBC

September 25, 2019

Circulation off illegal arms in Ethiopia has reached to the point of alarming rate.

In less than a week, Afar regional police say it has seized illegal arms for the second time.

This time 20 AK 47 assault rifles, a handgun, and over 53 thousand ammunition. Machine gun ammo is seized as well.

According to the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), the illegal firearms were seized on Monday in Elidar district Dichiotto district.

The region’s police commission crime prevention department deputy commissioner Ahmed Humed said community members tipped police to capture illegal arms which are believed to have originated from Yemen and entered Ethiopia from Djibouti.

The smugglers’ intention was, as far as the destination of the smuggled arms is concerned, central Ethiopia which is said to be a lucrative market place for the smugglers.

They used several 20 liters holding capacity jerricans, meant for cooking oil, to hide the ammunition.


Last weekend, Siraj Abdela, a young policeman, captured 29 illegal AK 47. He was approached by the smugglers who offered him 40,000 Ethiopian birr as a bribe but Siraj refused and arrested them with illegal arms. Afar regional state awarded Constable Siraj 50,000 Ethiopian Birr. Constable Siraj also met with PM Abiy Ahmed who encouraged him to keep on working hard for Ethiopia.

In an unrelated story, over 7 million birr worth of gold and illegal foreign currency is seized Togochale checkpoint in Jijiga area of Ethiopia.


It was on Tuesday, September 29 around 3:00 a.m. in the morning that custom officers captured the illegal cash and gold.

Some political pundits in the country tend to see the inflow of illegal arms from the neighboring countries as something that needs should not be seen as a mere illicit trade. They rather speculate possible involvement of entities hostile to Ethiopia, and they warn that government should not see this matter lightly.

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