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Somalia reiterates call to lift arm embargo

United Nations (UN) should lift arms embargo on Somalia in order to fight against al-Shabaab terror group, Somali president said.

Addressing the heads of states and governments during the 33rd Ordinary Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said lifting arms embargo will help Somalia get stability.

“The United Nations arms embargo on Somalia limits our ability to acquire the weapons necessary to defeat terrorists who carry out home-based bombings against innocent citizens and private businesses,” Farmaajo said.

Farmajo said ‘Somalia is committed to full responsibility of its security forces’, adding the country need to better equip its military.

Last November, the UN passed a resolution extending a more than decade-long arms embargo on Somalia by one year, saying the move was aimed at preventing al-Shabaab from acquiring arms, chemicals and bomb-making components.

A panel of experts from the UN said recent investigations had shown that al-Shabaab was manufacturing explosives locally, unlike in the past, where they relied on expertise and materials from outside Somalia.

The move was opposed by Somali government saying the arms sanctions were “restricting Somalia’s ability to acquire weapons necessary to defeat terrorists.”

The embargo was first imposed in 1992 through Resolution 733, and updated through various resolutions. It barred Somalia from purchasing or importing certain military weapons and equipment, collectively known as materiel.

They include surface-air-missiles and certain guns. Until 2013, Somalia had also been barred from receiving military training or equipment from outside entities unless the Committee on Sanctions on Somalia expressly permitted.

Currently, the UN allows exemptions if the supply or advice is to support the Somalia National Army’s capabilities.

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