President Farmajo calls on UN to lift arm embargo on Somalia


While speaking on Thursday last week at the 2017 London Summit on Somalia, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has called on the United Nations Security Council to lift arm embargo placed on Somalia so as to strengthen its military forces most especially in the fight against the insurgent group called Al-Shabaab.

“Our security forces and terrorist groups have been fighting using the same type of light weapons – mostly AK47s. For far too long, our security forces and terrorist groups have been fighting using the same type of light weapons – mostly AK47s. The longstanding arms embargo on Somalia severely restricts our ability to procure heavy weapons. Time has come for Somalia to be able to get access to qualitatively better equipment and weapons than the terrorists,” Farmajo said.

The longest arm embargo in the world, though a little bit eased in 2013 with permission to buy only AK47s, has been on since 1992, a few months after the outbreak of civil war that saw the forceful departure of the then overstayed President Siad Barre.

However, several human rights groups have called on the UN to not lift the arm embargo placed on Somalia as it is believed that the country is still very volatile – the government is too weak to protect the Somali civilians.

Like President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Farmajo’s first promise to the nation during his February 2017 swearing in ceremony  was to crush al-Shabab and their insurgencies totally – this was made very clear particularly the this insurgent group carried out deadly attacks in the Somali capital, Mogadishu after the ceremony.

According to the findings of our correspondent in the region, reports show that al-Shabab operates mainly in the country’s capital city and the southern region with the main aim of overthrowing the country’s over 30,000 African Union Soldiers backed forces.

Apart from this longstanding insurgency, President Farmajo, with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in attendance, further talked about the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa country – most importantly necessitated by a prolonged drought.

Speaking at the conference, Guterres renewed calls for extra funds to help tackle the drought’s effects on Somalia’s population.

“This morning we presented the revised humanitarian plan seeking an additional $900 million to the end of the year,” the UN chief said.

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