The United Nations Security Council unanimously voted on Friday to remove the final restrictions on weapons deliveries to Somalia’s government and its security forces, more than 30 years after an arms embargo was first imposed on the country.
The 15-member body adopted two British-drafted resolutions: one to remove the full arms embargo on Somalia and another to reimpose an arms embargo on al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants.
“The lifting of the arms embargo enables us to confront security threats,” said Somalia’s U.N. Ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman. “It also allows us to bolster the capacity of the Somali security forces by accessing lethal arms and equipment to adequately safeguard our citizens and our nation.”
Somalia’s government had long asked for the arms embargo to be removed so it could beef up its forces to take on the militants. The Security Council began to partially start lifting measures Somalia’s security forces in 2013.