U.N. partially lifts arms ban on Somalia

March 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council said it wouldn't apply an arms embargo to some weapons supplied directly to security forces in Somalia, reversing a 1992 ban.

The Security Council passed a resolution extending the mandate for the African Union's mission in Somalia by another year. The council, meanwhile, decided to integrate the U.N. Political Office in Somalia with the AU mission.

"On the arms embargo, originally imposed in 1992, the council decided that it would not apply to arms or equipment sold or supplied solely for the development of the government's security forces, but it kept its restrictions in place on heavy weapons, such as surface-to-air missiles," a statement read.

Somalia last year made strides in solidifying the authority of the central government in Mogadishu. The government, however, was criticized recently for taking legal action against a rape suspect and a journalist covering the incident.

Somali Foreign Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam this week said in a statement, "The achievements of the last year do offer real hope for a brighter future, but they are precarious and the road to full recovery will be long."

An international meeting on Somalia is to convene in May in London.

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