UN Security Council to lift arms embargo on Somalia next month: President

Arms embargo has been imposed since 1992 after Somalia descend into chaos

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud announced Saturday that the UN Security Council arms embargo on Somalia will be lifted next month.

Mahamud told parliamentarians that his government was committed to achieving five national targets.

“We had five national targets this year including liberating the country from al-Shabaab, removal of the arms embargo, admission to the East Africa Community (EAC) and debt relief and the arms embargo will be lifted earlier next month,” Mahamud told lawmakers.

Experts said the removal of the arms embargo and its effect will likely be more reputational than anything.

Omar Mahmood, International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Eastern Africa, told Anadolu that the president’s remarks regarding the arms embargo signal international confidence in Somalia.

“It signals international confidence in the Somali government’s progress on weapons and ammunition management at a technical level, but at the same time the war against Al-Shabaab has flagged for a number of reasons unrelated to weaponry,” he said.

The Security Council extended the embargo to Nov. 15, 2023, citing the continued threat of the al-Shabaab terror group to the region’s peace and stability.

The embargo has been in effect since 1992 to cut off the flow of weapons to the country after it was dragged into a civil war.

“The lifted UN arms embargo on Somalia brings significant benefits, including improved stability, heightened counterterrorism capabilities, and a more stable, peaceful Somalia which will be a favorable environment for rebuilding and humanitarian efforts in the country,” Mohamed Husein Gaas, director of the Raad Peace Research Institute in Mogadishu, told Anadolu.

He said it would be a vital step in Somalia reclaiming its sovereignty and “fostering better and more robust diplomatic relations.”

“Additionally, a secure Somalia will become an attractive destination for foreign investment, driving economic development and infrastructure rebuilding. The government’s strengthened security measures not only enhance legitimacy but also contribute to improved governance and the rule of law,” he added.


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