Obama authorizes provision of arms to Somalia

Updated: 2013-04-09 09:23


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Monday approved the provision of arms to Somalia, as the Horn of Africa nation is still fighting the al-Shabaab militants.

Obama signed a presidential determination allowing for "the furnishing of defense articles and defense services" to Somalia, saying the move will "strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace".

Secretary of State John Kerry was tasked with considering items to be offered.

With the help of the African Union troops, the Somali forces have retaken major cities in the country in recent months, and in January Washington recognized the new government led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the first permanent central government in the nation since the start of a civil war in 1991.

Al-Shabaab militants retook the southern town of Hudur last month following the withdrawal of allied Ethiopian and Somali government troops.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month lifting the arms embargo on Somalia put in place since 1992, in an effort to strengthen forces against the al-Shabaab fighters. The resolution doesn't include large-scale weapons like surface-to-air missiles, cannons and mines.