ADDIS ABABA (terrorfreesomalia)—The AU has revived its push for the lifting of the UN arms embargo on Somalia, to facilitate the proper arming of its forces and also urged the world body to authorise the deployment of additional military capacity.
This is contained in a communique issued after its 337th meeting in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital on Thursday.
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the AU said the lifting of the arms embargo and the deployments of additional military capacity were critical.
The council is responsible for the current progress on the military front in Somalia, since it initiated the process of getting the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) changed to allow the troops some fighting chance on the ground.
PSC, which comprises 15 African countries each representing a specific regional bloc, said apart from lifting the arms embargo, additional steps were required, including the review of the current mandate of the AMISOM to make it effective.
“While tremendous progress has been recorded, the task ahead, will be more demanding and will task the determination of the Somali governments. These tasks will be more demanding and complex,’’ the communique said.
According to the cautiously worded statement, the PSC called for the lifting of the arms ban against the Somali National Army, but maintained that such an arms embargo should remain against all non-state actors to avoid the deterioration of the situation.
Somalia’s National Army has been praised by the Kenyan Defence Forces (KDF) which is part of AMISOM for its strong contribution to the war against extremist groups, including the Al Shabaab, which has been ousted from key locations.
The AU organ also called on the UN to authorise a maritime unit along with a civilian component to serve in Somalia.
In a military set up, a civilian component within the mission would ensure steady progress towards stability through political and social initiatives.
AU diplomats also called for the deployment of all efforts to help in reconstructing Somalia through the effort of the UN peace-building Commission.
In addition to calling for a three-month review of Somalia’s security needs, the PSC stressed the need for the full implementation of the UN support package in Somalia.