China demands arms embargo exit for Somalia, instead UN penalize-sources say

The UN Security Council on Friday renewed for another year the partial lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia, and added a ban on chemicals used for making improvised explosive devices.

The 15-member council voted 12-0 in favor of Resolution 2498 that enabled the decisions, with China, Russia and Equatorial Guinea abstaining.

Until Nov. 15, 2020, the arms embargo on Somalia shall not apply to deliveries of weapons and military equipment “intended solely for the development of the Somali National Security Forces or Somalia security sector institutions,” the resolution said.

China has demanded that the three decades old arms embargo on Somalia be pegged on milestones which the country can be judged upon instead of a blanket ban and year-in-year-out extensions.

While abstaining from a one-year extension of the arms embargo, the Chinese representative at the UN said the UN Security Council had failed to ‘to recognize Somalia’s strides toward reconstruction and assuming responsibility for security in the country.’

Somalia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Abukar Osman told Somali Times China demanded a graduated framework be set for Somalia to follow in order to guide it in meeting the threshold for lifting the arms embargo rather than just extending without question.