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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

UN Prepares to Vote on Lifting Arms Embargo on Somalia


Fri 01 Dec 2023 | 10:59 AM
Israa Farhan

Diplomats have announced that the United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Friday to lift the remaining restrictions on arms supplies to Somalia, marking the first time in over 30 years since the arms embargo was imposed on the country.

The Council imposed the arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 to halt the flow of weapons to warring warlords who had overthrown dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and plunged the East African nation into civil war.

Diplomats have stated that the 15-member Council is expected to adopt two resolutions on Friday, one drafted by Britain to lift the complete arms embargo on Somalia and another to re-impose an arms embargo on fighters of the "Al-Shabaab" movement linked to Al-Qaeda.

One of the draft resolutions specifies that there will be no arms embargo on the Somali government.

The resolutions are also expected to express concerns about the number of safe ammunition storage facilities in Somalia and encourage the construction, refurbishment, and use of secure ammunition depots throughout the country, as well as urging other countries to assist in this effort.

The "Al-Shabaab" movement has been waging a bloody insurgency against the Somali government since 2006.

The Somali government has long called for the lifting of the arms embargo to bolster its forces against the militants.

The Security Council began partially lifting the restrictions on Somali security forces in 2013.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated last week that Somalia has one year to oust the "Al-Shabaab" movement as the deadline for the remaining African Union peacekeepers' departure approaches in December.