The arms embargo imposed on Somalia close to three decades ago must be updated to reflect the changes that have taken place in the Horn of Africa nation over the time, the UN Somalia Sanctions Committee has said.
The Sanctions Committee chair Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve told the UN Security Council Friday that whereas the arms embargo imposed on Somalia in 1992 had deterred flow of weapons to unauthorised groups, the sanctions may no longer be in tandem with the current situation in Somalia.
“The embargo — first imposed in 1992 — must be streamlined, simplified and updated to better reflect the current realities of the counter-insurgency in Somalia, he emphasized,” Marc said.
The chair of the committee established in 1992 pursuant to resolution 751 said Somalia was now facing a different security threat which called for the revision of the terms of the sanctions to address the new challenges.
He called for enhanced oversight of certain components and chemical precursors — including chemical explosives — that Al-Shabaab might use to construct improvised explosive devices.
The Council imposed an open-ended arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 but has since revised to allow Somalia to import certain caliber of weapons. The Council made significant amends in 2014 allowing for deliveries of weapons, military equipment, assistance or training intended solely for the development of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, and to provide security for the Somali people’.
Addressing the Council earlier, the Panel of Experts on Somalia coordinator said Al-Shabaab had now acquired technologies to produce bombs locally. Al-Shabaab, the coordinator said was ‘manufacturing home-made explosives, expanding its revenue base, and was once again responsible for the highest number of attacks against civilians in the region’.