• The UN Security Council on Wednesday voted to lift the two-decade long arms embargo on Somalia for 12 months and allow the country to buy light weapons.
The Somali government has welcomed the lifting of arms embargo by the UN Security Council saying the move was “a victory for the people and government” of the Horn of Africa nation.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday voted to lift the two-decade long arms embargo on Somalia for 12 months and allow the country to buy light weapons.
“The Somali government will take responsibility to meet the conditions attached to the decision of the Security Council transparently and in accordance with the law,” Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.
The move to partially lift the arms ban was also welcomed by an influential local think tank, Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS), the first of its kind to be established in Somalia.
“Now that the arms embargo is lifted, Somalia government has responsibility to create effective, inclusive security apparatuses and to protect civilians,” said the think-tank on its Twitter handle.
Enhanced security in Somalia has been attracting potential investors ahead of two businesses conferences in May and June in London and Nairobi.
The potential of oil, minerals and a long coastline have made Somalia attractive to investors.
Already, countries are lining up to open embassies and consulates in Somalia. President Mohamud stated that more than 20 countries have sent ambassadors to restart direct diplomatic relations with Somalia in the past five months.
“This is the direct result of the stability achieved by our security forces in partnership with Amisom,” said the president.
HIPS, which called for the lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia in its policy briefing last month added that it believed that the government of Somalia, like all other governments of the world, has to “monopolise the use of legitimate force”.
The arms embargo was imposed by the UNSC on Somalia in 1992, a year after the ousting of former Somalia president Mohamed Siad Barre.
Meanwhile, Kismayu residents are in the process of forming a local governing unit. Under the supervision of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) stabilisation programme, the locals want to take charge of their governance after Kismayu was liberated last year by the Kenyan forces.
The interim federal charter or the constitution provides for a federal system but the new government is pushing for a unitary system.