Mogadishu, Somalia — GO has obtained a proposed draft resolution that argues that the 21 year old UN arms embargo on Somalia should be lifted ahead of Wednesday's Security Council meeting, Garowe Online reports.
Last month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon suggested lifting the arms embargo after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud submitted a request to the Security Council.
The resolution requests that the arms embargo be lifted for one year, after "recognizing" the Somali Federal Government (SFG), "has a responsibility to protect its citizens and build its own national security forces".
According to diplomats, the draft was drawn up by Britain and will be presented to the 15 nation Security Council on Wednesday. The resolution states that the current arms embargo shall be modified to, "not apply to deliveries of weapons or military equipment or the provision of advice, assistance or training," for the Somali Federal troops.
The draft resolution, "calls upon states to exercise vigilance over the direct or indirect supply," of arms. Any member states planning to deliver arms to Somalia will have to, together with the SFG, inform the Security Council committee 5 days in advance.
According to the draft resolution, the arms supplies will be not be available to "any individual, or entity not in the service of the Security Forces of the Federal Government."
The Somali Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG) will carry out monthly assessments on the progress of the arms embargo lift and where the supply of arms is delivered to.
The proposed resolution extends the mandate of the African Union forces AMISOM for one more year. It also welcomed the reduction of civilian casualties in operations and urged for the AU forces to continue to prevent civilian casualties.
Amnesty International stated that the UN Arms Embargo should not be lifted because it may expose Somalis to greater risk and could "worsen the humanitarian situation", said Gemma Davies Amnesty International's Somalia researcher.
The statement by the human rights groups stress that the lift is "premature", adding that their needs to be the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure that the arms do not fall into the wrong hands. Amnesty International stated that the 21 year old arms embargo was repeatedly infringed which has, "fueled serious human rights abuses committed during the conflict."
SFG Minister of Foreign Affairs Fowzia Hajji Yusuf Adan lobbied for the lift at a recent Security Council debate about the issue. She said that the Somali government is setting up certain mechanisms to ensure that the arms do not fall into the wrong hands.
Britain and France expressed their concerns about the Somali government's readiness for the lifting of the arms embargo. The controversial issue could be debated over vehemently, but Russia states that a decision needs to be reached.
According to Reuters, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin, who is also the president of the Security Council for March 2013, said, "we must reach a consensus," on the proposal to lift the Somalia arms embargo for 1 year. Adding that discussions on the scope of the embargo lift are still in progress.
Some of the arms that are not permissible in the draft resolution including, surface to air missiles, cannons, anti-tank guided weapons and mortars.
Although Al Shabaab's control in southern Somalia has been weakened, security analysts report that insurgents have infiltrated many sectors in southern Somalia such as security and low level government institutions.