The Somali Prime Minister, Hamza Abdi Barre, addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York yesterday. In a compelling address, he shared Somalia’s achievements in the ongoing battle against the extremist group al-Shabaab and fervently appealed for the lifting of the arms embargo. Moreover, the Prime Minister highlighted the urgent need for international support to build national forces capable of securing Somalia’s future.
New York City, UNITED STATES. By Dalmar:
During his address, the Prime Minister emphasised the strides the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) made in liberating areas under previous al-Shabaab’s control. He reported that within one year, the government had successfully reclaimed approximately 45% of the territories previously held by al-Shabaab.
One of the Prime Minister’s central requests towards the Assembly was lifting the arms embargo imposed on Somalia. He argued that lifting the embargo is essential for the government to establish and strengthen national security forces capable of decisively defeating al-Shabaab. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of achieving complete control of the country following the anticipated withdrawal of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces by December 2024.
“In order to secure Somalia’s future and maintain stability, we urgently require the international community’s support, including the lifting of the arms embargo,” stated the Prime Minister. “Our goal is to establish capable and well-equipped national forces that can protect our people and territory effectively.”
Climate change and other issues
The Prime Minister also drew attention to Somalia’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. He underscored the need for global action to address environmental challenges and called for international assistance to mitigate the effects of climate change in his country. Additionally, the Prime Minister urged reform in international institutions to promote development and financial stability.
The Prime Minister’s address came on the heels of a letter that Somalia’s National Security Advisor sent to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), requesting a delay in the second phase drawdown of ATMIS forces. Despite this request, the government’s position remains that the full withdrawal of ATMIS forces will happen by December 2024, a timeline that the government appears steadfast in upholding.