Mogadishu (Halgan Online) – President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud appointed Marwo Mako Mohamud Muse on Tuesday as his Advisor on Controlling Illegal Arms.
President Mohamud underscored that this appointment is an integral part of the nation’s strategic plan to lift the longstanding weapon sanctions placed on the country. He stressed the importance of managing arms effectively to prevent them from falling into unauthorized hands, further destabilizing Somalia’s security situation.
Marwo Mako Mohamud Muse, the newly appointed advisor, was a candidate in the recent federal parliamentary elections for HOP064, where she lost to Sahro Omar Malin. Once a resident of London, she has previously worked with Travelex, a leading foreign exchange service. However, her expertise in the global and regional arms control landscape remains unclear, raising questions about her suitability for this challenging role. The Somali government typically does not publish the CVs of its political appointees.
The arms embargo on Somalia, introduced by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 1992, aimed to halt the influx of weapons fueling the country’s civil war. The ban, encompassing all deliveries of weapons and military equipment, also included technical assistance, training, financial, and other assistance related to military activities.
In 2013, Resolution 2093 partially lifted the embargo, allowing the Somali government to acquire light weapons for a year under strict regulations. This partial lift has been renewed annually, with the most recent renewal under Resolution 2568 in November 2022.
However, despite the Somali government’s strong objections, the UN continues to maintain the arms embargo, citing the severe threat posed by the terrorist group Al-Shabab. The Security Council has recognized the Somali government’s progress in improving its weapons and ammunition management, leading to some modifications of the embargo. Yet, the country’s UN Ambassador, Abukar Osman, warns that the ban hampers efforts to rebuild the nation’s security forces and counter Al-Shabab.
Amid these challenges, President Mohamud announced a ban on carrying guns in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. This announcement comes as the government intensifies its efforts to combat Al-Shabab and commences the second phase of a military operation against the group. The ban also extends to traders importing any form of military gear. However, weeks following the ban’s announcement, the regional police chief of Banadir reported that politicians were flouting the directive.