U.S. urges lifting of U.N. arms embargo on Somalia: envoys

By Louis Charbonneau

securityUNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States is urging fellow members of the U.N. Security Council to agree to demands by the government in Mogadishu to lift the arms embargo on Somalia, which has been in place for the past 21 years, U.N. diplomats said on Tuesday.

The U.S. push comes after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week that the 15-nation council should consider lifting the arms embargo to help rebuild Somalia’s security forces and consolidate military gains against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants.

The Security Council imposed the embargo in 1992 to cut the flow of arms to feuding warlords, who a year earlier ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and plunged Somalia into civil war.

“I think we’ll come down in terms of having probably a political lift of the arms embargo but retaining some controls,” said a senior Western diplomat on condition of anonymity.

“What the Somali government partly wants is a political signal that they are now a sovereign government and we’re supporting them, rather than a trusteeship,” the diplomat said. “They say the bad guys are getting weapons and the good guys are not.”

The U.S. mission to the United Nations had no immediate comment.

It was not clear what a “political lift” of the embargo would entail, though diplomats said it may involve easing arms import restrictions on Somalia while ensuring that a strict monitoring mechanism remains in place.

Diplomats said Britain and France have been reluctant to support ending the arms embargo. The Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, which monitors compliance with the sanctions regime, has also opposed the idea of lifting it, U.N. envoys said.

Those who oppose getting rid of the arms embargo say Somalia’s security sector still includes elements close to warlords and militants, an allegation the Somali government rejects.

“There are no Somali warlords that threaten peace and stability in Somalia,” the deputy U.N. ambassador for Somalia, Idd Beddel Mohamed, told Reuters. “They are normal citizens now, members of parliament. The embargo must be lifted.”

AMENDED REPORT?

Somalia wants help strengthening its poorly equipped and ill-disciplined military that is more of a loosely affiliated umbrella group of rival militias than a cohesive fighting force loyal to a single president.

There are 17,600 U.N.-mandated African Union peacekeepers helping battle the Islamist rebels in Somalia. The AU mission’s mandate is up for renewal in March, which is when the changes under discussion, if approved, would take effect.

“There’s no guarantee there will be a lifting of the arms embargo but it’s something the U.S. wants,” an envoy said.

Several diplomats noted that Ban’s recommendation to end the embargo was so weakly worded it was barely a recommendation at all. The wording was: “the Security Council may wish to consider the repeated request by the (Somali) government for lifting the arms embargo.”

A diplomatic source said the recommendation did not appear in earlier drafts of Ban’s report but was in the final version. It has happened before that secretary-general’s reports on various issues have been amended before publication in response to complaints from U.N. member states.

AU troops from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Ethiopia are battling al Shabaab militants on several fronts in Somalia and have forced them to abandon significant territory in southern and central areas of the Horn of Africa country.

The militants, who merged with al Qaeda in February last year, launched their campaign against the government in early 2007, seeking to impose sharia, or strict Islamic law, on the entire country.

The U.N. Security Council is also considering a call to permit the export of stocks of charcoal from Somalia. It banned the sale abroad of Somali charcoal last February in an attempt to cut off al Shabaab’s funding. Diplomats said the charcoal export ban would likely remain in place.

The Security Council’s Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, an independent panel that reports on compliance with U.N. sanctions, said charcoal exports from southern Somalia in 2011 generated over $25 million for al Shabaab.

Source: Reuters


Shabakada Daafeet.com Kala Soco Wararkii Ugu Danbeeyay

Nagala Xiriir E-mail comments@daafeet.com

Fikradaha Akhristayaasha (0)




Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Wararkii U Danbeeyay

xasaa DIGNIIN…Shariif Sakiin oo duulaan kusoo ah Jaaliyadaha Digil iyo Mirifle
- Nov 26, 2014
  Warar lagu kalsoon yahay oo ay Daafeet.com ka soo kala xigatay xubno ka tirsan ...
Cabdi Weli Sheekh Daawo:- Warsaxaafadeedkii uu Shaley Gelinkii Dambe Soo Saarey Raysulwasaare Cabdi Wali
- Nov 25, 2014
Kolkii shaley uu kulankii barlamaanka kusoo idlaadey qeylo iyo buuq ayaa Raysulwasaare Cabdi Weli ...
yanyuruow Daawo: Afhayeenka Dowlad Goboleedka Konfur Galbeed C/kariin Yaanyuurow oo Ku Tuntey Mid Ka Mid Ah Taageerayaasha Shariif sakiin
- Nov 24, 2014
Dood aad u wanaagsan oo ay qabatey ayaa waxaa ay dhex martey Afhayeenka Maamulka ...
barlaman Daawo:- Wixii Saaka Ka Dhacay Xarunta Barlamaanka
- Nov 24, 2014
Daawo wixii saaka ka dhacay xarunta barlamaanka iyo fowdada ay wadaan xildhibaanada barlamaanka. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asSvvCz6KxM#t=263 Daafeet.Com
jawari Aqriso:- Go’aan Kasoo Baxay Xafiiska Gudoomiyaha Barlamaanka Prof Maxamed Osman Jawari
- Nov 24, 2014
Guddoonka baarlamaanka dowlada federalka somaliya ayaa maanta waxaa uu soo saarey go'aan ku aadan ...