WORLD NEWS TOMORROW -WASHINGTON DC – The Daily Mail Report : A report released by Conflict Arms Research named “THE DISTRIBUTION OF IRANIAN AMMUNITION IN AFRICA” is once more and endorsement of the problematic future to come in Africa with it ongoing never ending wars and hunger for ” Human Blood “.
The report states that “The first clues appeared in Kenya, Uganda and what is now South Sudan. A British arms researcher surveying ammunition used by government forces and civilian militias in 2006 found Kalashnikov rifle cartridges he had not seen before. The ammunition bore no factory code, suggesting that its manufacturer hoped to avoid detection.”
Identical cartridge samples were discovered over a two year period, circulating through the ethnic violence in Darfur. During 2009 similar ammunition were found in a stadium in Conakry, Guinea, where soldiers had fired on anti-government protesters, killing more than 150 indicating that governments might have bought some of these ammunition and more importantly used it on firing on public protesters.
An independent group of arms-trafficking researchers worked to pin down the source of the mystery cartridges during a period that stretched over six years. Exchanging information from four continents, they concluded that potential government officials had been quietly funneling rifle and machine-gun ammunition into regions of protracted conflict, and had managed to elude exposure for years. Their only goal was to solve the mystery, not implicate any specific nation.
It became apparent with the investigation that this ammunition were not manufactured in Africa but made in Iran. When Discussing these finding with Ricardo Baretzky a Global threat analyst who predicted during 2012 that a global shift in the war on terror would lead towards that of Africa in the future, he commented that this arms trade was already indicated in the intelligence reports from the CIA and more importantly that this public exposure would be an endorsement of a possible war in Iran that would lead to the war on terror moving closer to what he called ” The Home of Terror ” .
According to the EU Intelligence research department, Iran has a well-developed military manufacturing sector and Intelligence indicates that it has secretively exported its weapons in quantities rivaling those of the heavyweights in the global arms trade, including the United States, Russia, China and several European countries in Africa.
It is a known fact that small-arms ammunition attracts less attention than strategic weapons or arms that have drawn international condemnation, like land mines and cluster bombs, it is a basic ingredient of organized violence, and is involved each year and at each war in uncountable deaths and crimes.
At present Iran is facing strain over its its nuclear program and for supporting proxies across the Middle East, its state-manufactured ammunition was distributed through secretive networks to a long list of combatants, including in regions under United Nations arms embargoes. This of course leave some question to be answered by the UN and will possibly lead to a broader investigation Baretzky said.
Baretzky said that while most is focusing on the evidence, few is focusing on the payments and its money laundering methods used and how this is accomplished. He said that the Diamond territories in several African countries plays a huge role in this and the flow of the Arms and ammunition is far more complex that the report indicated but its a step in the right direction for some. He indicated that the diamond trade for arms is the key to this issue and cannot be done without the support of Diamond selling countries and the real proof is in the complete picture and not only the one leg of the illegal arms trade. He further said that Africa has always been a hot spot for terrorist trading in Diamonds for arms and we should look closer to the implications of such issues rather than just its complications it have.
The trail of evidence uncovered by the investigation included Iranian cartridges in the possession of rebels in Ivory Coast, government troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Taliban in Afghanistan and groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Niger. The ammunition was linked to spectacular examples of state-sponsored violence and armed groups connected to terrorism all without drawing wide attention or leading back to its manufacturer. Democratic Republic of Congo and African terrorist organizations is known to trade in payments in the form of diamonds Baretzky indicated. When he indicated that this threat is more than just diamonds for arm and that the arms trade has deeply infiltrated the very production of the Diamond Industry, his comments were strongly dismissed by the some South African officials and the diamond industry during 2010. It seems after it was dismissal in fear of a collapse of the African Diamond markets being exposed for corruption in the trade of diamonds for arms to the routs of some African governments.
The ammunition, matched to the world’s most abundant firearms, has principally been tracked and documented in Africa, where the researchers of the report concluded that high volumes and quantities had been supplied to governments in Guinea, Kenya, Ivory Coast and, the evidence suggests, Sudan. The report also indicates that the arms from Therese traveled to many of the continent’s most volatile locales, becoming an instrument of violence in some of Africa’s ugliest wars and for brutal regimes such as the one Charles Taylor had a stake in. And while the wide redistribution of arms within Africa may be the work of African governments, the same ammunition has also been found elsewhere, including in an insurgent arms cache in Iraq and on a ship intercepted as it headed for the Gaza Strip. During 1997 The Bin Laden corporation acquired some diamond mines in Africa and South Africa that was never brought into the spot light.
Iran’s role in providing arms to allies and to those who fight its enemies has long been broadly understood. Some of these practices were most recently reported in the transfer of Fajr-5 ground-to-ground rockets to Gaza. Its expanding footprint of small-arms ammunition exports has pushed questions about its roles in a shadowy ammunition trade high onto the list of research priorities for trafficking investigators.
James Bevan, a former United Nations investigator and the director of Conflict Armament Research commented “If you had asked me not too long ago what Iran’s role in small-arms ammunition trafficking to Africa had been, I would have said, ‘Not much,’ “Our understanding of that is changing.” The independent investigation also demonstrated the relative ease with which weapons and munitions flow about the world, a characteristic of the arms trade that might partly explain how Iran sidestepped scrutiny of governments and international organizations, including the United Nations, that have tried to restrict its banking transactions and arms sales.The United Nations, in a series of resolutions, has similarly tried to block arms transfers into Ivory Coast, Congo and Sudan, all places where researchers found Iranian ammunition.
Ammunition from other sources, including China, Russia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and other former Soviet bloc nations remain in circulation in Africa, along with production by African countries. Why Iran has entered the market is not clear, but ammunition would still be available even if it had not. Profit motives as well as an effort by Iran to gain influence in Africa might explain the exports, Mr. Bevan said. But much remains unknown.
The researchers involved in the investigation iincluding several former experts for the United Nations and one from Amnesty International documented the expanding circulation of Iranian ammunition, not the means or the entities that have actually exported the stocks. They are not sure if the ammunition had been directly sold by the Iranian government or its security services, by a government- or military-controlled firm, or by front companies abroad. But the long mysterious source of the ammunition appears beyond dispute. The cartridges were made, the researchers say, by the Ammunition and Metallurgy Industries Group, a subsidiary of the Defense Industries Organization.
Matching the cartridges to the producer took time, in part because the ammunition had been packaged and marked in ways to dissuade tracing.Much of the world’s ammunition bears numeric or logo markings, known as headstamps, that together declare the location and year of a cartridge’s manufacture. Over the years, governments and private researchers have assembled encyclopedic headstamp keys, which can make matching particular markings to particular factories a straightforward pursuit.
The ammunition in these cases included rounds for Kalashnikov assault rifles, for medium machine guns and sniper rifles and for heavy machine guns. In each case, the cartridges carried headstamps not listed on the publicly available records. The stamps were simple caliber markings and, typically, two digits indicating the year of manufacture.
Similarly, neither the ammunition’s wooden crates nor its packaging in green plastic carry bags or plain cardboard boxes, when these items were found with the ammunition, disclosed the place of manufacture. All of the ammunition shared a unique combination of traits, including the caliber headstamp in a certain font, the alloy of the bullet jackets, and three indentations where primers had been attached to cartridge cases. Those traits suggested a common manufacturer. Over the years, the researchers bided time and gathered data. They collected samples of used and unused ammunition at conflicts and recorded their characteristics. They collaborated with other specialists, exchanging their finds. Some sources were confidential, others were not. Mike Lewis, a former member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Sudan, documented the presence of the ammunition at the Conakry stadium crackdown while investigating for Amnesty International.
One sample from Afghanistan it was found by The New York Times, which was surveying ammunition used by the Taliban and provided an image of a then-unidentifiable cartridge’s headstamp to Mr. Bevan in 2010.Once the data was assembled, the breakthrough came in what a soon-to-be-released report by the researchers called “cross-case analysis” and by looking away from the ammunition to other sources.In late 2011 Mr. Bevan obtained the bill of lading for 13 shipping containers seized by the authorities in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2010. The document showed that the containers originated in Iran and declared the contents to be “building materials.”
But, as the researchers noted in their report, “concealed behind stone slabs and insulation materials” was a shipment of arms, including the same ammunition that they had been finding in the field. The shipping company was based in Tehran, Iran’s capital.Declassified documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by Matthew Schroeder, an arms-trafficking analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, later showed that the American military had identified ammunition packaged in the same materials as Iranian ammunition. Mr. Schroeder shared his documents with Mr. Bevan. This provided another link.
Ultimately, Mr. Bevan noticed that Iran had published limited technical details of its cartridges, including bullet weights. Some of these weights are atypical. Late in 2012 he had samples weighed on a jeweler’s scale, confirming the match. Mr. Bevan made clear in repeated interviews that he and his fellow researchers are not advocates for military action against Iran. When they began tracing the ammunition, they did not know or expect that the evidence would point to Tehran.
He also noted that while the ammunition is Iranian-made, it may not have been sent directly by Iran to some of the combatants. “In terms of prescription, if it was clear that there were repeated violations by Iran, I think we could come down more strongly about it,” he said. “But a good portion of this, and in perhaps the majority of these cases, the ammunition was transferred around Africa by African states.”He added that while the original source of the ammunition’s was now clear, many questions remained unanswered, including who organized the delivery to regions under embargo or enmeshed in ethnic conflicts.
Mr. Bevan and his fellow researchers said their findings pointed to a need for further research, to gather facts upon which policy decisions can be based.
In conclusion Baretzky warned and said that should in future any Nuclear traces be linked to Iranian and African countries that this would put the final stamp on a permanent home for the war on terror in Africa and could have devastating effects for the southern point of African countries such as South Africa and possibly the Brick nations as a whole.
The report can be read at http://www.conflictarm.com/publications/investigationreports.html
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