Somalia's neigbours back bid to lift of arms embargo

Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud hosted Heads of State from Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. [PCS]

Leaders from the three countries neighbouring Somalia, including Kenya, have endorsed the quest to end a 30-year arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council in 1992.

During a meeting in Mogadishu today, Heads of State from Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti said they backed Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's government as it rebuilds stability.

The UNSC imposed the arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 to cut the flow of weapons during the country's civil war. Somalia is eager to have the embargo lifted this year.

A communique said the Summit commended the advancement made on developing capabilities in managing weapons and ammunitions regime and endorses Somalia’s quest to completely lift the arms embargo by the end of 2023.

The meeting was receptive to the Somali Government's request to obtain both lethal and non-lethal support to equip its military units and to enhance the military's firepower capabilities.

President William Ruto was among the leaders who were in Mogadishu, Somalia for the meeting of the Frontline States Summit to discuss counter-terrorism measures.

The summit was also attended by Djibouti President Ismail Omer Guelleh and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.

In an update of the meeting given on his official social media pages, President Ruto stated that common endeavour would empower Somalia and its neighbours to secure the people’s well-being and fulfill their aspirations while diminishing terrorism threats.

"We must disrupt the financial infrastructures, and weapons supply chains and sanction the enablers of terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Our collective effort in anti-terrorism proves that peace is within reach," Ruto said.

Somalia President said Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya have been integral to his country’s counterterrorism efforts and the summit reaffirmed the resolve to rid the region of terrorism permanently.

The Heads of State met as Somalia intensifies attacks on terror groups in the Horn of Africa country.

The meeting discussed the importance of coordinated and timely technical, logistical, intelligence and operational support to the ongoing anti-terror operations along with the Somali National Army, a press release of the meeting's discussions stated.

The leaders agreed on the need for the final push for joint operations in the areas that remain under the terrorists to completely liberate the whole of Somalia from Al-Shabaab.

This joint effort would also facilitate the draw-down of ATMIS troops and the gradual handover of security responsibilities to the Somali security forces.

The leaders agreed to jointly plan and organize an operational campaign to search and destroy Al-Shabaab on multiple frontlines aiming at the strategic Al-Shabaab strongholds across south and central Somalia.

"The time-sensitive campaign will prevent any future infiltrating elements into the wider region," the communique stated.

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