Somalia and AMISOM release rules to guide recovered weapons

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Somalia and the African Union Mission (AMISOM) said Tuesday they have released detailed guidelines and procedures for the management of stockpiles of seized weapons.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Somalia and head of AMISOM, said the guidelines contained in a document titled Harmonized Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on the management of recovered small arms and light weapons was jointly developed by the government and AMISOM.

“The collection of these weapons ensures that our troops – both AMISOM and Somalia National Army (SNA) – are not harmed by these weapons when we collect them, yet they go back to the hands of the enemy,” Mandera said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

“Faced with these facts, the government and AMISOM will continue to work jointly on preventing recovered weapons from reaching the wrong hands,” he added.

The document is a culmination of months of hard work in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2444 (2018) which called on the government and Federal Member States and AMISOM to document and register all military equipment captured as part of offensive operations or in the course of carrying out their mandates.

“This is also in line with efforts of the Somali government to enhance its processes and management of small arms and light weapons,” Madeira said, adding that the need to come up with guidelines was informed by earlier challenges faced by both AMISOM and the government on the need for a coordinated approach to better manage stockpiles of seized weapons, and also to prevent them from falling into the hands of enemy combatants.

Somalia’s National Security Advisor, Abdisaid M. Ali, emphasized that the effective management of small arms and light weapons has implications for Somalia and regional peace and stability.

“The proper management of recovered weapons, especially through this harmonized SOPs will ensure that we have transparency on how to integrate the national stockpiles on everything that is happening, especially on weapons and arms management. This will help strengthen the capacity of the security sector,” Ali said.

The SOPs cover management of recovered weapons, ammunition, explosives, materials and equipment that could be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or other materials of particular concern to AMISOM, national authorities both at the government and federal member states levels and international partners. Enditem

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