Skip to main content

Somalia: Arms Control

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the UN arms embargo on Somalia; and if he will make a statement. (165364)

The Government fully support the UN arms embargo. The UK-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1766, adopted unanimously on 23 July 2007, extended the mandate of the Arms Embargo Monitoring Group for a further six months. The Monitoring Group reports to the Security Council on violations of the arms embargo.

Somalia unfortunately has a proliferation of illegal arms, many imported in violation of the embargo. The lack of a functioning government means that arms markets are unregulated. The situation is further exacerbated by the presence of clan militias and insurgents operating in the country. The Government institutions in Somalia do not currently have the capacity to hinder the illegal arms trade. The UK is working with the UN, and wider international community, to encourage the development of Government institutions in Somalia that will enable the authorities to develop its capacity in this area.