“New Advisor Appointed by President Mohamud to Combat Illegal Arms Leaves Us Bewildered and Bursting with Inquisitiveness”

On a bewildering Tuesday May 16, 2023, Mogadishu (AX) brings news of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s appointment of Marwo Mako Mohamud Muse to the coveted role of Advisor on Controlling Illegal Arms.

As tensions continue to run high in war-torn Somalia, this appointment has raised a lot of eyebrows. President Mohamud has been quick to highlight the critical role that Muse will play in lifting the longstanding arms sanctions slapped on Somalia. He stressed the need for managing arms effectively and preventing them from falling into unauthorized hands, a move ultimately aimed at lifting the fragile nation’s security situation.

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However, the appointment of Mako Mohamud comes as a bit of a surprise. A candidate in the recent federal parliamentary elections for HOP064, Mako Mohamud lost to Sahro Omar Malin but now finds herself thrust into the limelight. Whilst residing in London, Mako Mohamud worked with Travelex, a leading foreign exchange service, but her political clout lacks backing from her expertise, making her appointment less than ideal for this challenging role. As with most political appointees in Somalia, the details of her CV remain undisclosed.

The arms embargo imposed on Somalia by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 1992 aimed to stop the influx of weapons pouring into the civil war-torn country. All deliveries of weapons and military equipment were also banned, along with technical assistance, training, financial assistance and other forms of aid linked to military activities.

However in 2013, Resolution 2093 eased the embargo, allowing the Somalia government to acquire light weapons under strict regulations for a year. Since then, the partial lift has been renewed annually, with the most recent renewal under Resolution 2568 in November 2022.

The UN has refused to lift the arms embargo on Somalia despite objections from the Somali government. The UN perceives the threat that terrorist group Al-Shabab poses to be too severe; hence the Security Council partially modified the embargo. UN Ambassador Abukar Osman highlights that the ban is hindering attempts to redevelop the nation’s security forces and counter Al-Shabab.

Amid these challenges, President Mohamud introduced a ban on carrying guns in Mogadishu, the capital. The government’s drive to combat Al-Shabab and commence the second phase of a military operation against the group has precipitated the ban. The regulatory ban extends beyond traders importing military gear and outlaws politicians flouting the directive.

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