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Somalia calls on UN to end arms embargo

Somalia
The Somali Flag [Flickr/AMISOM Public Information]

Somalia is seeking to end an old arms embargo dating back to the 1992 civil war, Anadolu Agency reported today.

“Our appeals for the lifting of the arms embargo are well justified due to the fact that Somalis are no longer fighting a clan-based civil war, which had lent a reason for the US and UN to impose the embargo,” Ali Nur Hagi, Somalia’s ambassador to Ethiopia said.

“So long as there is a national government that is committed to the country and to the international protocols and agreements, I think there is no reason Somalia [should be] kept under the embargo.”

Hagi mentioned that on occasion the armed group Al-Shabaab have had stronger weaponry capability in comparison to the Somali national army.

The Al-Shabaab group seek to take over the government and implement a strict version of Islamic law.

Read More: UK to pay $29m in humanitarian assistance to Somalia

The call to the UN coincides with Turkey’s revelation last week that it will deploy 60,000 soldiers in bases across the world by 2022, including in Somalia.

Turkey already has 3,000 troops deployed near the Red Sea in Somalia. Up to 200 Turkish soldiers have been training Somali forces since October last year.

“Since the Turkish government opened its base in Mogadishu, we get the impression that we have a real friend from somewhere in the world,” Hagi said. “And that has enhanced the capacity of the security apparatus of the Somali people and the Somali government.”

The African Union Mission (AMISOM) to Somalia is gradually rescinding its footprint, forcing the Somali government to find ways to ensure it is equipped militarily to counter domestic terrorism threats.

Last year a suicide bomb killed some 512 people in the capital Mogadishu. Although AMISOM have greatly assisted in clearing regions from the armed group Al-Shabaab, it remains at high risk of improvised explosive attacks in densely populated areas.

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