MOGADISHU, Somali president Mohamed Farmajo has called for the lifting of UN arms embargo that was imposed on the Horn of Africa nation.
Farmajo said the arms embargo may have been necessary for the past when Somalia was in turmoil but are not applicable to the current situation when Mogadishu is fighting against terrorism.
"The UN arms embargo on Somalia is restricting our ability to acquire weapons necessary to defeat terrorists who are manufacturing homemade explosives for opportunistic attacks on innocent civilians and private businesses," he said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Monday evening.
The UN first imposed an arms embargo in 1992 through Resolution 733 and updated through various resolutions. It barred Somalia from purchasing or importing certain military weapons and equipment, collectively known as materiel. They include surface-air-missiles and certain guns.
Until 2013, Somalia had also been barred from receiving military training or equipment from outside entities unless the UN Committee on Sanctions on Somalia expressly permitted. Currently, the UN allows exemptions if the supply or advice is to support the Somalia National Army's capabilities.
Farmajo said Somalia is committed to taking full responsibility for its security from AMISOM under the Transition Plan which requires a better-equipped national army able to respond to threats.
"Peace and Security Commission has submitted an outstanding report and I want to emphasize that Somalia is a great example of why we need to silence the guns because with total stability Somalia can be an economic powerhouse playing a key role in the development of the continent given its vast resources, strategic location and entrepreneurial people," he said.
"However, Somalia has been fighting international terrorism with one arm tides behind its back," he said in a speech that was delivered at the African Union summit in Ethiopia.
He said Transitional Plan requires reduction and drawdown of AMISOM forces but noted there is a need to have a clear action plan to rebuild Somali National Army to take AMISOM responsibility.
"We are always grateful for the AMISOM sacrifices made and their sacrifices will not go in vain," said Farmajo.