Interim Somali government bans weapon trading


Somalia’s interim transitional government on Tuesday banned trading in weapons. The minister of interior and home security, Abshakur Sheikh Hassan Farah, said the government will take action against anyone seen trading in weapons.

“Right now, we [are] sending a warning message for all businessmen who are involved in weapon trade…The government would no longer tolerate harmful business. Our people are dying, injuring and displacing because of that,” Farah said. He also cautioned government soldiers not to carry their assault rifles in populated areas.

However, Farah said that businesses should register their weapons with the ministry of interior, All Headline News reports.

The trading ban comes after a deadly suicide attack on African Union peacekeepers and Somali forces in Mogadishu. Two African Union peacekeepers and a Somali soldier have been confirmed dead and four others injured on Monday after militants disguised as Somali soldiers attacked a military base in the capital.

It is not yet clear how the ban from Somalia’s fragile transitional government will take affect, as the government has failed to stamp its authority over the whole of Somalia and only controls half of the capital Mogadishu.

Meanwhile, in mid-April, Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland introduced a ban on trading weapon and ammunitions inside the regions and towns under its control, All Africa reports. The move was partly sparked by an increase in the number of assassinations of Puntland officials.

Puntland’s deputy minister of interior and home security Abdi Jamal told the local press that trading weapons and ammunitions in Puntland would be totally prohibited and that the administration would strictly enforce its decision.