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Arms embargo outdated and must be lifted, Somali president urges

Storyline:National News, World

By Goobjoog News International Correspondent

Istanbul, Turkey: Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has Tuesday called for the lifting of arms embargo for the Horn of Africa country to enable the Somalia National Army and other state security structures access arms needed to fight terror and enhance homeland security.

Speaking here during the High Level Partnership Forum which brings together representatives from over 50 countries, President Mohamud termed the embargo obsolete and detrimental to the country’s efforts to fight terror.

“We must do more so that the outdated arms embargo that limits our ability to provide our troops with the tools they need to bring security to Somalia is completely lifted,” said Mohamud.

National Security Infrastructure

The president said his government was working hard to ensure a concrete national security infrastructure is put in place which will among others ensure a transparent, effective and result oriented security force. He added that the government had started the process of troops head count and improved salary payment system and procurement.

“We promised this in order to exercise a responsive duty of care to men and women who are serving in our security sector,” noted president Mohamud.

The UN Security Council placed an arms embargo on Somalia through resolution 733 in January 1992 in reaction to the ongoing conflict and deteriorating humanitarian situation and has since only partially lifted it for light weapons.

The EU last week lamented Somalia’s slow efforts in developing a national security architecture essential for sustainable security warning this had clawed back efforts by Amisom and Somali National Army towards restoration of stability in newly recovered areas.

New Deal

The President however sounded upbeat today his government had made remarkable steps since the adoption of the Somali Compact in Brussels 2013. The arrangement, dubbed the New Deal was an ambitious post conflict development and reconstruction plan mooted by Somali government and international development partners.

The Deal proposed among others the setting up of an inclusive political framework to pave way for universal polls in 2016, economic recovery, state building and federalization process. Somalia however declared last year it was not ready for a one person one vote and has since opted for the clan based electoral system. The system proposes the Lower House of Parliament be elected through the 4.5 clan model while the Upper House be constituted based on Federal Member States method.

President Mohamud today however noted the adoption of the model was just one step while a complete implementation remained a big challenge.

“The greatest political challenge for 2016 will be to ensure compliance with and timely implementation of the electoral model, in parallel with the adoption of and early implementation of a road map for 2016-2020 and beyond,” observed Mohamud.

Fiscal management

The president also praised his government’s efforts in establishing a sound fiscal management system through the deployment of the Somali Financial Information Management System. This, the president said had promoted efficiency and transparency in the management of public finances.

The two day conference will further deliberate on the post New Deal arrangement for Somalia and the 2016-2020 political process in readiness for the one man one vote polls.

Turkish president Reccep Tayyip Erdogan is co-chairing the Forum with President Mohamud.