News / Africa

Somali Government Calls For End to Arms Embargo

Members of Somalia's al-Shabaab militant group parade during a demonstration to announce integration with al Qaida, in Elasha, south of the capital Mogadishu, February 13, 2012
Members of Somalia's al-Shabaab militant group parade during a demonstration to announce integration with al Qaida, in Elasha, south of the capital Mogadishu, February 13, 2012

Somalia's government has called for the end to an international arms embargo on the country, so that it can better fight the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

A government statement Monday said al-Shabab's union with al-Qaida, announced last week, will increase regional insecurity. It said that Somalia could become a base for the terrorist network.

The government said it wants an end to the U.N. embargo, imposed in 1992 after Somalia's last stable government fell and the country descended into chronic violence.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks at a news conference in Cape Town, February 13, 2012
British Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks at a news conference in Cape Town, February 13, 2012

However, British Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke out against the idea while talking to reporters in South Africa Monday.

"Lifting the arms embargo would be difficult to do under those circumstances, I think it would be very unwise to do," said Hague. "What we are trying to do is make sure that the African Union and U.N.-supported forces in Somalia are strengthened, and have the funding to do their job and grow in number over the coming years."

Hague said those goals will be discussed at an upcoming international conference on Somalia in London.

Weapons have continued to flow to Somalia despite the United Nations ban. The U.N. Security Council has accused Eritrea of arming al-Shabab -- an allegation Eritrea denies.

In an interview with VOA'S Somali Service, an al-Shabab official defended the merger with al-Qaida. Sheikh Mohamed Osman Arous called the union an "Islamic obligation."

"Muslims share Islamic religion," said Arous. "Any Muslim from anywhere in the world can unite with a Muslim brother on the other side, and we have to become one."

He said al-Qaida and al-Shabab plan to work toward the application of sharia, or Islamic law, across Somalia.

Al-Shabab is known for imposing a strict form of sharia in the parts of Somalia under its control. The group has executed people or chopped off their hands for alleged crimes.

A crowd of at least several hundred people attended an al-Shabab-organized rally Monday west of the capital, Mogadishu.

The group was recently pushed out of the capital by government and African Union troops, but continues to carry out attacks in the city, including a deadly suicide car bombing last week.

Al-Shabab still controls large sections of southern and central Somalia, although it is facing pressure from Ethiopian troops in the center and Kenyan troops in the south.

Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri welcomed the group into al-Qaida last week through a video message posted to jihadist websites.

Al-Shabab had previously pledged allegiance to al-Qaida, and the group has long been suspected of deploying al-Qaida-trained fighters from abroad.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid