AU Presses for More Weapons for Somali ‘Government’

Calls for UN Security Council to Legalize Arms Imports

The African Union is pressing to the UN Security Council to remove a long-standing arms embargo on Somalia as a way to import massive amounts of additional weapons for the self-proclaimed Somali government’s military.

AU leaders are arguing that the “government” is under control of more and more of the nation and that the threat of militancy is decreasing, and that eventually the government’s military will be able to take over security.

The reality, of course, is that the government’s control is nowhere near absolute even in Mogadishu, that even with the AU’s backing they control only a fraction of the nation’s territory.

Moreover, the “embargo” has been widely flouted, with the United Arab Emirates arming an entire mercenary army in northern Somalia then just abandoning them in the desert. The Somali military also was a recipient of an embargo-ignoring import, with the US sending them 40 tons of arms in 2009, though many of those weapons were eventually sold on the black market.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of