UN lifts arms embargo on Somalia, ends political mission in Sudan

The United Nations Security Council unanimously has voted to remove the final restrictions on weapons deliveries to Somalia's government and its security forces, while also ending its political mission in war-torn Sudan.

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 resolution lifting the arms embargo spells out "for the avoidance of doubt, that there is no arms embargo on the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia."

It also expresses concern about the number of safe ammunition storage facilities in Somalia, and encourages the construction, refurbishment and use of safe ammunition depots across Somalia. It urges other countries to help.

"The lifting of the arms embargo enables us to confront security threats," said Somalia's UN 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."

Al Shabaab has been waging a brutal insurgency against the Somali government since 2006.

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.

Ending political mission in Sudan

In other developments, the UN Security Council on Friday ended the world body's political mission in the African country ravaged by more than seven months of fighting between two rival generals at the request of Sudanese authorities.

Following a letter from Khartoum demanding an immediate end to the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan [UNITAMS], the Security Council adopted a resolution terminating its mandate as of Sunday.

Starting Monday, a three-month transition period would begin to allow for the departure of UNITAMS personnel and the transfer of its tasks to other UN agencies "where appropriate and to the extent feasible."

"Let me be clear. The United Kingdom would not have chosen to close UNITAMS at this moment," said Britain's deputy UN envoy, James Kariuki, whose country drafted the text.

Added US envoy Robert Wood: "We are gravely concerned that a reduced international presence in Sudan will only serve to embolden the perpetrators of atrocities with dire consequences for civilians."

In the text, the council expressed "alarm at the continued violence and humanitarian situation, in particular violations of international humanitarian law and grave human rights violations and abuses" in Sudan.

UNITAMS was put in place in 2020 to help support a democratic transition in Sudan following the fall the previous year of veteran Omar al Bashir, who faced pressure from both the military and mass protests.

But in October 2021, the difficult path to civilian government was cut short, when army chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan assumed full powers in a coup.

On April 15, before a deal on resuming the transition to democracy could be signed, fighting erupted between the Sudanese army led by Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces [RSF], led by General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.


Source: TRT