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Ethiopia joins call to lift UN arms embargo on Somalia

Friday September 30, 2022



Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia and Ethiopia have called on the UN to lift the three-decade-long arms embargo on Somalia.

The statement was part of a ten-point joint communique issued on Friday following Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's two-day state visit to Addis Ababa.

"The leaders call upon the UNSC to consider the request of the Federal Government of Somalia for the lifting of the arms embargo imposed on the country for more than 30 years to ensure that Somalia is sufficiently equipped to effectively address the security threat posed by the Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups."

Both Mohamud and Ahmed promised to strengthen bilateral cooperation against terrorism and militant extremism.

Somalia has been campaigning heavily in recent years to have the sanctions removed. The Somali government believes lifting the embargo will help its poorly equipped military gain the upper hand on Al Shabaab.

In August, President Mohamud travelled to Uganda to lobby support from Ugandan strongman Yoweri Museveni, who agreed that the UN should lift the arms embargo.

In order to stop the flow of weapons to rival warlords who had overthrown dictator Mohamed Siad Barre the previous year and thrown the nation into civil war, the Security Council imposed a strict weapons embargo on Somalia in 1992.

Since then, the embargo has been amended several times after review by the Security Council. The UN partially lifted it in March 2013 to allow the federal government to import light weapons and other military equipment while strengthening conditions on heavy and specialized military equipment, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-tank guided weapons, large-calibre guns, howitzers, cannons (greater than 12.7 mm), mortars (greater than 82 mm), weapons sights with a night vision capability, and mines.

The resolution strictly forbids Somalia from transferring any weapons to individuals or groups, not in the service of the security forces.

It also requires Somalia's government to notify the Security Council five days before weapons or military equipment deliveries.

The embargo has been extended annually and is in force until November 15 2022. 






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