Djibouti(Mogadishu24)-The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, commended the vital role played by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Saturday in advocating for Somalia’s admission to the East African Community and the lifting of the Arms Embargo by the United Nations Security Council.

In his address at the 41st General Assembly of IGAD Leaders, the President highlighted the shared challenges faced by the countries in the region, including terrorism, the impacts of climate change, and conflicts.

“I extend my appreciation to the members of the IGAD Regional Organization for their support in lifting the arms embargo on Somalia and our successful bid for inclusion in the East African Community. These measures underscore our collective efforts to ensure a stable and progressive Somalia.” he said.

During the summit, IGAD leaders received a report from the President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, who appreciated them for facilitating mediation and seeking a peaceful resolution to end the conflict in Sudan.

President Mohamud reiterated Somalia’s commitment to actively take part in the promotion of peace and security in Sudan and seek resolution to this conflict.

He highlighted the challenges of conflicts, which have been continuous lessons for the Somali people since the collapse of the functional government.

On December 1st, the United Nations Security Council lifted the arms embargo on Somalia after 31 years since its imposition in 1992.

The decision was reached after Somalia successfully improved its security institutions and fulfilled the requirements for weapons and ammunition management.

The federal government of Somalia held a historic event on Wednesday to celebrate these milestone achievements, attended by Somali leaders, including the president, prime minister, ministers, members of parliament, and representatives from Somalia’s international partners.

Speaking at the event, President Mohamud stated that the arms embargo had limited Somalia’s military ability to combat terrorism within its borders.

He expressed appreciation to international partners and friends for their support throughout the negotiation process and in supporting Somalia in implementing national weapons and ammunition management priorities.

Somalia’s international partners pledged to support the government’s efforts to fight terrorism and implement comprehensive security sector reforms, such as building strong security institutions.

“On behalf of UNSOM, I would like to congratulate Somalia on the lifting of the Arms Embargo. This historic decision by the United Nations Security Council demonstrates the progress that Somalia has made over the years, particularly against the benchmark set in 2022 on weapons and ammunition management,” said Ms. Anita Kiki Gbeho, the then DSRSG for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

“Together with international partners, the UN stands ready to support the government in ensuring the arms embargo does not inadvertently lead to the diversion of arms and ammunition. Such support includes the provision of technical advisory and capacity building to support the implementation of the National Weapons and Ammunition Management strategy and its action plan,” she added.

A week before the decision by the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo, Somalia was admitted as the 8th member of the East African Community at the 23rd Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State.

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