Somalia wants UN arms embargo lifted By | Saturday, November 24   2012 at  14:21

Somalia government soldiers inspecting their ammunition before a street patrol in Mogadishu. Photo | FILE 

Somali Defence minister Abdihakim Haji Mohamoud Fiqi said Friday that the UN arms embargo was hindering progress in the fight against Al-Shabaab.

Mr Fiqi underlined that his government had no sufficient power to fight the radical Islamist group. “We have no sufficient power to fight Al-Qaeda. It is a fact known by the International community,” said the minister.

Al-Shabaab announced in February to have merged with Al-Qaeda.

Somalis, the minister said, were not facing a home-made problem. “We are tackling mayhem imported by international terrorists who want to establish bases in this country.”

He pointed at the need to empower and modernise the national army.

The former Transitional Federal Government had been pleading to the UN to lift the arms embargo imposed on Somalia in 1992, to no avail.

This is the first attempt by the new Somali government lead by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud to have the 20-year-old embargo lifted.