GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has reiterated his government’s commitment to honouring the terms of the arms embargo termination noting adequate measures have been put in place to ensure arms do not fall into the wrong hands.
Speaking during a ceremony to mark the lifting of the embargo on December 1, President Mohamud said the government will take full responsibility for any arms coming into the country.
“Today, the information regarding the weapons is registered and digitalised. There will always be mistakes and shortcomings here and there but there are dedicated boys and girls in our security forces and our government who follow day after day to rectify any shortcomings that may come,” the president said.
He assured the region and the global community that there would be no regrets in lifting the embargo, which had been in force since January 1992, when the UN Security Council passed Resolution 792 to impose arms restrictions on the Horn of Africa nation.
“I would like to assure you our great partners and friends, that we will take full responsibility and commit that the arms embargo that has been lifted now, you will not regret,” the president added.
He noted that Somalia will ‘prove to be as any other member in the global world in terms of arms embargo.’
The head of state further noted that the lifting of the embargo did not only indicate material support to Somalia but also granted the government a ‘moral legitimacy, dignity and pride for the Somali people.’ He noted that by re-imposing the arms embargo on Al-Shabaab, the world and the UN Security Council in particular removed a stigma associated with Somalia. “Thanks for dissociating us from Al-Shabaab,” the President said noting the militant group would remain under arms restrictions.
The President also paid tribute to the ‘valiant’ Somali soldiers who stood in defence of the country and paid the ultimate price despite working under limiting conditions. He also saluted the African Union for deploying troops in Somalia, adding that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) which first came in Somalia in 2007, helped the then Transitional Federal Government set up the first armoury.
Today, the President said, Somalia has several armouries at federal and state levels and that government institutions which will be responsible for securing and monitoring these weapons ‘are emerging.’
The President also saluted the United Kingdom for its role as the penholder on Somalia at the UN Security Council for championing and drafting the resolution which ended the embargo last week.