Arms embargo restricting Somalia’s security

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R-3), President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud (L), Minister of Family and Social Policies Sema Ramazanoglu (R-4) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) attend 'High Level Partnership Forum focusing on progress in Somalia' at Conrad hotel in Istanbul, Turkey

AnadoluAgency

An arms embargo on Somalia is preventing the government from establishing security in the face of al-Shabaab’s ongoing war, the country’s president said Tuesday.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told a forum in Istanbul that the restrictions first imposed in 1992 and later relaxed were still handicapping Somalia’s armed forces.

“Due to the current arms embargo our soldiers cannot have access to the necessary tools to ensure security,” he said.

The UN Security Council imposed the embargo on Somalia to cut the flow of weapons to feuding warlords who ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre a year earlier and plunged the country into civil war.

In 2013, the council agreed to partially lift the embargo to allow the government to buy light weapons to combat al-Shabaab, which has emerged as a major security threat in the region.

Mohamud said the government would continue to protect the best interests of a “united Somalia”.

Speaking at the Turkey-Somalia Business Forum, he added: “I would like to extend my people’s message to our international partners – sovereign Somalia and secure Somalia committed to achieve peace both in itself and the world.”

The president, a former peace activist and educational campaigner who was elected in 2012, said his country was closed to finalizing a federal constitution to bring the splintered nation together.

Somalian Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke thanked Turkey for supporting his country, which is to hold a general election this year.

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