Security Council extends partial arms embargo on Somalia through October

Members of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), destroying munitions captured from al-Shabaab militants, at a safe location outside Mogadishu. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

5 March 2014 – The United Nations Security Council today unanimously agreed to extend a partial weapons ban on Somalia for eight months amid reports that Al-Shabaab and other armed groups are able to divert arms and ammunition intended for Government forces.

“All Member States are required to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of weapons and military equipment to designated individuals and entities, which includes Al-Shabaab,” the Council wrote in the resolution.

The text, which extends the ban through 25 October, cites reports by the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) that arms have been diverted and expresses “serious concern” that the requirements for a suspension of the embargo “have not been fully met.”

The text also cites the 15 Members “condemning flows of weapons and ammunition supplies to and through Somalia in violation of the arms embargo on Somalia, as well as the destabilizing accumulation and misuse of such weapons, as a serious threat to peace and stability in the region.”

In March 2013, the partially lifted the weapons ban for one year to boost the Government’s capacity to protect areas recovered from the militant group Al-Shabaab and defend against fresh attempts by such groups to destabilize the country.

It decided that the arms embargo, originally imposed in 1992, would not apply to arms or equipment sold or supplied solely for the development of the Government’s security forces, but it kept its restrictions in place on heavy weapons, such as surface-to-air missiles.

It also required the Government to notify the Council’s sanctions committee at least five days in advance of any such deliveries and provide details of the transactions. Alternately, Member States delivering assistance may make the notification after informing the Government of its intentions in that regard.

Under requirements set forth in today’s text, all transactions are required to include details of the manufacturer and supplier of the arms and ammunition, a description of the arms and ammunition including the type, calibre and quantity, proposed date and place of delivery, and all relevant information concerning their storage.

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