Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – The Federal Republic of Somalia is ramping up its efforts to convince the international community to lift the longstanding arms embargo on the nation as the war on Al-Shabab militants intensifies.
The Somali government believes that obtaining weapons will give it a stronger position in the fight against the ongoing insurgency led by the Al-Shabab group, which has recently made significant gains.
The push to lift the arms embargo is being spearheaded by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who on Wednesday met with ambassadors from various countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy, as well as representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union at Villa Somalia to discuss the issue.
During the meeting, President Mohamud emphasized the unity of the Somali people and government in their efforts to liberate the country and implored the international representatives to support their struggle, particularly in the push to lift the arms embargo on Somalia, which is seen as crucial to the fight against terrorism.
The President also highlighted the efforts of the Somali Armed Forces, working alongside the local population, in liberating various areas in the Middle Shabelle, Hiiraan, and Galgudud regions, demonstrating the government’s determination to rid the country of the terrorism that has hindered its development and progress.
In addition to President Mohamud’s efforts, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre also held a meeting on the security situation in the country and the arms embargo on Somalia.
The Prime Minister emphasized the government’s commitment to lifting the embargo and proposed the establishment of a two-tier committee consisting of an implementation committee and a technical committee. The committees will work on the planned objectives of the Somali government to ensure the complete lifting of the arms embargo on the country, with a goal of implementation within a year.
The Prime Minister stated that the government is committed to eliminating Al-Shabab and that time is running out for the militants as the offensive is preparing to open more fronts.
The arms embargo on Somalia has been in place for nearly three decades, first imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 1992.
It was initially put in place in response to the civil war and the collapse of the government in Somalia, which led to widespread violence and humanitarian crises.
The UNSC has renewed the arms embargo on Somalia several times since its initial implementation, most recently in November 2022.
The arms embargo on Somalia is intended to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms and related material in the country and reduce the risk of violence and conflict. It prohibits the sale, transfer, or supply of arms and military equipment to Somalia, except in certain circumstances where the UNSC has authorized such transfers.
In recent years, there have been calls to lift or modify the arms embargo on Somalia, particularly from the Somali government and its allies, who argue that the blockade hinders their efforts to combat terrorism and provide security for the country.
However, opponents of lifting the embargo argue that the country’s fragile security situation and the risk of arms falling into the hands of terrorist groups make lifting the embargo a risky proposition.
Nevertheless, the Somali government and its allies continue to push for its lifting. They argue that the embargo hinders their efforts to combat terrorism and provide security for the country and that obtaining weapons would give them a stronger position in the fight against the Al-Shabab insurgency.
The international community, however, remains divided on the issue. Some countries and organizations, such as the United States and the European Union, have supported lifting the embargo. In contrast, others, such as the United Kingdom and the African Union, have voiced concerns about the potential risks and consequences.