Addressing the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa on Sunday (January 27th), Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called for lifting the United Nations arms embargo on Somalia.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I confirm Somalia being at your table today not as a liability but as a partner," Mohamud said, according to Somalia's Garowe Online. "Let us celebrate this historic moment as we all took part in helping Somalia return to the community of nations."
Mohamud said there continue to be many obstacles on the road to peace, thanking the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for helping Somalia improve security.
For further progress, Mohamud said Somalia needs help. "Our joint campaign against extremism and piracy in Somalia is not over. AMISOM must be strong and well equipped," he said.
"Somalia has come a long way and today Somalia needs the world's help," he said. "We request lifting of the arms embargo so we can rebuild our national forces."
Mohamud and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit to follow up on issues discussed during Mohamud's state visit to Kenya last year, according to a press release from the Kenyan government.
Mohamud briefed Kibaki on progress his government has made towards peace and stability, while Kibaki said Kenya would continue to support the Somali government in its reconstruction efforts.
At the summit, Mohamud stressed his desire for exiled Somali communities to return to their home country. Hundreds of Somalis have been returning from Kenya daily, as the country has moved to relocate all refugees to camps. Mohamud and Kibaki agreed that a regional meeting should be held later this year to discuss the issue.