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Somali president says his govt bought weapons from abroad

Hiiraan Online
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin
Sunday, January 26, 2014

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud has for the first time disclosed that his government bought weapons from some unspecified countries after the United Nations Security Council partially lifted the arms embargo on Somalia last year.

In an interview with VOA Somali service, president Mahmoud said that the lifting of the UN arms embargo on the country was necessary to defeat al Qaeda-linked Islamists.

“This move has helped us to equip our forces with the kind of arms they needed and we are now planning to buy other weapons in a bid to get complete military equipment for the Somali forces” President Hassan Sheik noted during a prolonged interview with VOA Somali service on Saturday.

On the 6th of March 2013, the United Nations Security council partially lifted the arms embargo imposed on Somalia on 23 January 1992 under the UN Security Council resolution 733, a move that was intended to help quell the escalation of civil wars in the country by the time.

During the interview, the president spoke about the fate of former Al Shabaab member, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys who has been in the government custody since mid last year.

“Sheik Hassan is being held in a safer place, he hasn’t yet changed his tune---the government will announce its decision about the case of Sheik Hassan after security services have completed their process of questioning him” the president said.

Sheik Aweys, a former Somali army colonel surrendered to the government in June 2013 amid worsening misunderstanding amongst the top leaders of Al Shabaab group that finally resulted in the killing of some key figures.

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