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News24.com: Somalian president welcomes end of UN arms embargo

Posted by: Berhane Habtemariam

Date: Tuesday, 05 December 2023

 
 
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
 
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  • Somalia's president welcomed Friday's decision by the UN Security Council to fully lift an arms embargo on the Somalian government.
  • Friday's UN decision maintained the embargo on supplying weapons to the Islamist Al-Shabaab and other rebel groups.
  • The United Nations in 1992 imposed an embargo on all arms deliveries to Somalia, though more recent sales to government has seen eased restrictions.

Somalia's president welcomed Friday's decision by the UN Security Council to fully lift an arms embargo on the Somalian government, while maintaining a ban on sales to the country's Islamists militants.

The United Nations in 1992 imposed an embargo on all arms deliveries to Somalia, though in recent years the Security Council has eased restrictions on sales to the central government.

"From now on, our country is free to purchase any sort of weapon we want from the world," Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a declaration late Friday.

"Weapons in government hands will not pose threat to our people and to the world."

Friday's UN decision maintained the embargo on supplying weapons to the Islamist Al-Shabaab and other rebel groups.

"This decision comes at a very crucial time as a nation and people since we are in a war to eliminate Kharijites (Al-Shabaab) from the country," the National Intelligence and Security Agency said in a statement.

"It comes at a time when efforts are ongoing to form an army capable of taking on the general security responsibility of the country."

After making initial gains, a government offensive launched in August 2022 against Al-Shabaab has stalled, leading to doubts about the government's ability to quash the 16-year-old insurrection by the al-Qaeda-linked group.

The army operations, in alliance with clan militias, has been supported the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in recapturing vast areas of the territory.

ATMIS was due to withdraw by the end of 2024, but the Somalian government has asked for a "technical pause" in the pullout. As a result, the mission is due to shrink from 17 626 soldiers now to 14 626 by the end of the year.


Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion at the XXIX International Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin on January

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