Somalia protests 'outdated' UN arms embargo

Extension restricts country’s ability ‘to acquire weapons necessary to defeat terrorists,’ says national security adviser

Magdalene Mukami, Mohammed Dhaysane   | 18.11.2019
Somalia protests 'outdated' UN arms embargo

MOGADISHU, Somalia  

Somalia said Sunday it is opposed to the UN Security Council’s decision to extend an arms embargo on the country.

In a statement, National Security Adviser Abdisaid Mohamed Ali said the arms sanctions were "restricting Somalia's ability to acquire weapons necessary to defeat terrorists."

Ali said Somali is planning to revamp its armed forces to better fight Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab militants, so the sanctions need to be lifted.

He added that some of Somalia’s “friends” were not interested in supporting the people of Somalia and equipping the country’s troops but creating further sanctions.

The UN on Friday 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.

Russia, China and Equatorial Guinea are against the extension of the arms embargo.

Somalia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Abukar Osman has also criticized the arms embargo, telling local media that it is outdated and “falls short of taking into account Somalia’s positive new reality on the ground.”

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