Somalia leader wants arms embargo lifted to fight al-Shabab
Somalia leader wants arms embargo lifted to fight al-Shabab.
LONDON (AP) — Somalia’s president on Thursday called for an end to the arms embargo on his long-chaotic country, saying that if the military doesn’t have more sophisticated equipment in the fight against the al-Shabab extremist group, "definitely this war will continue for another 10 years."
He spoke to reporters at the end of a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation’s deepening humanitarian and security crisis.
Mohamed, who was elected in February and holds U.S. citizenship, suggested that the international community develop a road map to achieve lifting the arms embargo within several months or "maybe next year."
British Prime Minster Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for more support to counter Somalia’s deadly drought, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year.
"Somalia now hangs in the balance between peril and potential," Guterres said.
"Here in London we can tip the scales from danger to safety."
Some 439,000 people are at risk of famine and more than 6 million people, or half the country’s population, are "severely food insecure," Guterres said.
Somalia is also facing new military interest from the United States, as President Donald Trump has approved expanded operations, including airstrikes, against al-Shabab.
Pressure is growing on Somalia’s military to assume full responsibility for the country’s security as the 22,000-strong African Union multinational force, AMISOM, that has been supporting the fragile central government plans to leave by the end of 2020.