CAIRO: Egypt s Foreign Ministry on Friday denied allegations made in a UN report claiming it was one of several countries providing guns, money, training and other supplies to Somalia s government and a rival Islamic movement in violation of an international arms embargo.
The UN panel, charged with monitoring the arms embargo on Somalia, said in a report obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday that Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Uganda had all supported armed groups inside Somalia.
Egypt expresses great surprise and anguish that such totally incorrect and untrue allegations have been included in UN reports prepared by Western experts whose political affiliations are not known, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The four-member panel, which includes a Belgian, an American, a Kenyan and a Colombian, based their report on their own investigations, interviews and material supplied by embassies in Nairobi, Kenya.
The statement said the Foreign Ministry heard of these inauthentic and fabricated allegations several months ago and sent an official protest to the United Nations denying the reports and confirming Egypt s neutral policy on Somalia.
On Thursday, Somalia s Council of Islamic Courts called the report a fabrication and denied have any links or receiving any weapons from the countries or groups mentioned in the UN report.
The UN report also alleged that 720 Somali mercenaries fought alongside Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas against Israel this summer.
On Wednesday, Hezbollah s senior political officer in south Lebanon rejected the report as baseless.