Ethiopia continues to struggle with circulation of illegal and smuggled firearms. It is regularly making headlines in state media for over two years now. The direction of circulation had been, usually, from all direction to central Ethiopia. Sometimes regional states had been destinations of smuggled firearms. At times fire arms are smuggled from overseas.
Tigray region, the part of Ethiopia that turned out to be a conflict zone following attack by TPLF on army bases of the northern Command of Ethiopian Defense Force, is the latest story in firearms smuggling.
What was said to be Bahir Dar bound AK rifles, machine guns and over 5,500 ammunition was captured at the custom checkpoint in Woldia.
According to a report by state media, it originated from Adi Gudom, Tigray region.
An ISUZU pickup truck with a plate number Code 3-17255 was smuggling the fire arms disguising them along cereals. It is very rare to transport cereals from Tigray to the rest of Ethiopia – perhaps that in itself was alarming for the custom officers.
Three individuals, including the driver, are in custody, and police are said to be investigating the case. However, the individuals for whom the firearms delivery was arranged are not yet in custody.
With the ever-increasing circulation in firearms, it remains a question if the security situation in the country will not worsen.
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