UN arms embargo removal: Somalia and South Sudan are two of the most troubled countries in East Africa. Somalia has been struggling to defeat Al-Shabaab in the south of the country, while South Sudan has been dealing with the threat of various armed groups.
As a result, the UN Security Council has imposed parallel regimes of sanctions on these two countries. In fact, due to frequent clashes between splintered armed groups in South Sudan, an extension of an arms embargo was imposed last year.
Somalia and South Sudan demand UN arms embargo removal
There are apprehensions regarding the relevance of the UN sanctions on these two countries. As per a recent report, South Sudan and Somalia have been lobbying for the lifting of the UN arms embargo. This issue is significant as it highlights the ongoing challenges facing these countries as they seek to address security threats and overcome the legacy of conflict and instability.
South Sudan has been in a state of conflict for almost a decade now, and the embargo on South Sudan will be up for review again next month. Juba, like Mogadishu, hopes to have the ban lifted. However, Juba is choosing to lobby behind the scenes to members of the UN Security Council, while Somalia is publicly calling for the lifting of the embargo.
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The African Union Peace and Security Council, which deals with Africa’s security threats, recently said that Somalia’s embargo should be lifted “to ensure that the country is sufficiently equipped to effectively address the threats posed by Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups active in Somalia.” Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud reiterated this past week that the ban is outdated and that the rationale for the original arms embargo in 1992 no longer serves its purpose today.
Similarly, African members of the UN Security Council have questioned the effectiveness of the arms embargo, travel bans, and financial measures on South Sudan. To have the sanctions lifted, the Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has sought support from the Horn countries and has won over most of them. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the AU Peace and Security Council have also been sympathetic to South Sudan regarding the lifting of the embargo.
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Therefore, it remains to be seen if South Sudan and Somalia’s efforts will bring positive results in having the sanctions lifted, or if the two troubled countries will have to do more.
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