The Somali government has repeated its plea for world leaders to lift an international arms embargo, as the Horn of Africa nation continues to struggle with security threats from Al-Shabab and ISIS groups.
Delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, Ahmed Isse Awad, Somali minister for Foreign Affairs said his country needs a longstanding weapons embargo fully lifted so the national army can obtain heavy weapons to defeat Al-Shabab.
“To consolidate our collective gains in security and to further support Somali security institutions to enable us to take over from AMISOM. I call on the UN to lift the arms embargo on Somalia,” Minister Awad said, “This embargo has been longstanding. It is what is levelling the field in our battle with the terrorist groups. When our force has the same fighting arsenal as the enemy the odds are split. Stronger fighting capacity will enable us to have the upper hand..it will entirely dismantle the terrorists and possibly within a short time.”
The minister said that African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM) had led to the expulsion of Al-Shabaab from many major towns in South and central Somalia.
Mr. Awad praised the country’s political and security development with the help of the soldiers from AMISOM.
“I unequivocally say we are grateful to the brave men and women to serve and continue serving in African Union Mission for Somalia. They have made huge sacrifices to make our people safe and that shall never be forgotten, we remain to indebt to them,” he commended.
The UN imposed the ban on weapons trade with Somalia in 1992 following the intensification of the country’s civil war and the resulting anarchy following the collapse of the central government in 1991.