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HISTORIC VOTE: UN ends 32 year-long arms embargo on Somalia

Storyline:National News, Security

GOOBJOOG NEWS|NEW YORK: The arms restrictions imposed on Somalia in January 1992 barely seven months after the collapse of the Siad Barre administration and Somalia’s dissent into anarchy ended Friday night in a historic unanimous vote at the UN Security Council.

The 15-member Security Council cast 14 votes in favour of the UK-fronted resolution, while one-France voted against it. The Resolution spells out “for the avoidance of doubt, that there is no arms embargo on the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia.”

The Council also adopted the second part of the resolution which reimposed an arms embargo on the militant group Al-Shabaab.

The lifting of the arms embargo comes 32 years since it was first imposed and a year before the African Union forces which first deployed in Somalia in 2007 are set to leave the country.

Somalia’s Permanent Representative at the UN Abukar Osman welcomed the resolution. “The lifting of the arms embargo enables us to confront security threats,” said Osman. “It also allows us to bolster the capacity of the Somali security forces by accessing lethal arms and equipment to adequately safeguard our citizens and our nation.”

The Security Council made changes to the  733 (1992) in 2014 allowing Somali government to allow a certain calibre of weapons.

Although Resolution 2714 (2023) ended the arms embargo on Friday, it still demanded that Somalia continue to notify the Security Council of the weapons it acquires. China’s representative at the UN Dai Bing termed the requirement as restrictive. “The resolution still  requires the Federal Government to submit to the Council a list of imported weapons, a measure that is restrictive and will unnecessarily pose obstacles to efforts to enhance security capacity-building,” the diplomat said.