LONDON – Somalia’s armed forces have not received “a single bullet” despite the partial lifting of a United Nations arms embargo because the East African country lacks funds, its defense minister said on Wednesday.

Somalia’s new leaders aim to train and equip a professional army of around 28,000 soldiers within three years but are hamstrung by a lack of cash, Abdihakim Fiqi said during a trip to London to drum up donor support.

“The arms embargo was lifted almost two months ago and we haven’t received a single bullet or one single AK-47 or gun. Nothing. Because of lack of resources,” Fiqi told the Royal United Services Institute defense think tank in London.

The Horn of Africa nation is only just emerging from two decades of civil war, and is struggling to rebuild a country riven by clan divisions and whose infrastructure and institutions are in tatters.

A newly appointed parliament last year elected a new president, the first vote of its kind since the toppling of former military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

In recognition of the legitimacy of Somalia’s new leadership, the United Nations in March partially lifted an arms embargo on Somalia, allowing it to buy light weapons.

Somali forces currently number in the low thousands, and are a poorly equipped and fragmented mixture of state troops and militias struggling to battle al Shabaab Islamist militants, who want to impose their brand of Islamic law on Somalia.

“For the last four months our soldiers are just sitting back not doing anything. Al Shabaab are fighting them, engaging them, attacking them. They are just in the defense position … due to a lack of weapons and ammunition,” Fiqi said.

African Union peacekeepers have been largely responsible for pushing al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab out of the capital Mogadishu and other urban centers in the past two years, but the group is still able to launch major attacks, including a suicide bombing on Sunday that killed at least eight people.

Fiqi declined to give an estimate for the number al Shabaab fighters remaining, but said due to a lack of funding the group was mired in “leadership wrangling”, and was “increasingly weakening, contained and losing ground every day”.

However, al Shabaab is highly mobile, a reason why Somalia aims to build an army made up of agile light infantry units.

“Our national security stabilization plan indicates up to 28,000 soldiers within three years,” Fiqi said, putting the cost of raising such an army at about $160 million.

The minister is part of a Somali delegation that includes President Hassan Sheikh

Source: Reuters


  1. Wait a country known for its violence cant seem to find guns? really? What have they been killing themselves with for the past 22 years? Forks? Butter knives?

  2. It is irresponsible to acquire new weapons when there is poor discipline among the men and women who are going to be carrying such weapons.

    Secondly when there is no means to safeguard the weapons it is better not to stockpile it. About 2 Months ago The Presidential palace had it's Weapons store emptied of a large stockpile of 500units of AK47 and Ammunition. The real number could be a lot higher.

    – Discipline among armed forces
    – Responsible storage system
    – Accountable Leadership that is answerable to the law when stock loss occurs.

    There is not a single person that has been held responsible nor accountable for the recent 500Unit AK47 theft from the Presidential palace… If that is that case

    Then someone must prepare to hold the International community and the world at large accountbale for supply and funding these people that will sell or loose their weapons on the black markets of Africa fuel more conflicts and war.

    Groups in Kenya and Ethiopia that are discontent with their governments will find cheap supply of weapons from Muuqdishu markets.

    • Buuxiye, the arms embargo was a joke. There are enough weapons in Somalia to last another 50 years. You have to remember that both the old Soviet Union and the USA plied the Barre regime with arms, and Somalis being quite clever created their own new weapons(Technicals) and forged some new ones out of the old one. So all this non-sense about not receiving weapons, they mean heavy stuff, like Tanks, armoured vehicles, and artillery. By the way, what is going to stop the arms being sold to highest bidder as soon as they get off the ship in Mogadisho. The IC will never learn, Somalia is like thrown good money after bad. Billions over the last two decades and nothing to show for it. And they still throw more money after bad…

  3. the so-called Somali army is a paper tigers and mere lies-invested mercenaries who are all puppets of neighbouring states such Kenya and Ethiopia. Long live the great nation of Somaliland and its victorious true national army.

  4. Zoomalia is used to getting everything for free and now they want arms for free to kill each other. Never ending coas. Bakhti cun aan xishoonayn.

  5. President Hassan planning administration reshuffle leaked source.

    MOGADISHU- Sources close to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) told the MEDIA that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is planning to conduct a major reshuffle in his administration.

    President Hassan Sheikh who is currently in London where he co-chaired the Somalia conference with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron might be getting ready for an overhaul of his administration.

    Sources tell the MEDIA that on his list of changes the SFG President will return the number of Cabinet Ministers from 10 to 18 which was the number of ministers during former Prime Ministers Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. The undersized cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon defied the 4.5 quota – a formula in which clans share government representation – and forced many ministries to be joined which resulted in 25 Deputy Ministers.

    According to our source, the high number of deputy ministers brought confusion, which resulted in political aides advising that the President return to the 18 ministry cabinet. Prime Minister Shirdon appointed the small cabinet which was backed by President Hassan who according to SFG sources had influence in the decision.

    The source also told the MEDIA that President Hassan is contemplating sacking Prime Minister Shirdon but it’s not 100% sure after he failed to subdue the ongoing Jubaland state process which has seen international backing from IGAD and mentions at the Somalia conference in London. After the conference in Lancaster House the official communique welcomed “progress on forming regional administrations and looked forward to the completion of that process,” which political insiders say is an oblique reference to the state building process.

    In the past, President Hassan has firmly stood against the Jubaland process in Kismayo. Addressing the Federal Parliament in Mogadishu earlier this month, President Hassan said “The Federal Government does not support the current Jubaland conference in Kismayo”.

    Prime Minister Shirdon – whose clan resides in Gedo region, one of the regions that make Jubaland –visited Kismayo in March and after meeting with process organizers returned to Mogadishu to reject the Jubaland state formation. Although Prime Minister Shirdon has firmly stood by President Hassan the source says that President Hassan was disappointed in his effort.

    According to the source, the possible reshuffle does not stop at Prime Minister Shirdon but key officials at the presidential palace might also be sacked. The source would not name some of the officials in question.

    The talk of a possible reshuffle of his administration comes at a time when President Hassan is being pledged millions of dollars to rebuild Somalia. Britain pledged 279 million US dollars which included funding for a doubling of the police force. The United States pledged 40 million US dollars, while the United Arab Emirates pledged 50 million in assistance.

    Source from:

  6. Mr. David Cameron and the rest of Western countries, are blinded by the hate of Al-Shabaab, and they don't want to see the future of these weapons and where they go. Don't they see that it could end up at Al-Shabaab themselves since there is not accountability in Mogadishu regime? Kenya and Ethiopia must watch this weapon, because it could end up in their courtyard tomorrow.

    Somaliland too must watch this seriously, even though our people are 24/7 alert when it comes to intruders by enlarge, and if they carry weapon is easy to catch in our towns.

  7. What I wanna know is when are we gonna attack this white trash english iidoooor state?

    I wanna destroy Buuxiye's house made of cow poo

    • @puntlandgeezer go and do something about the proxy state of puntland that is suffering with lots of problems Somaliland is out of you're league.

    • PIS,
      Give us a break, you are full of jokes of Indian dancing lyrics |o|

  8. when we get all these latest weapons I be leading the war to Hargeisa I know Hargeisa through the back of my head I know every single building of SNM, where they hidden the stolen weapons from Somalia etc

    I am ready for war I am gonna teach these bunch of white trash kids holed up in parts of Hargeisa that I am a man with dignity and honor and I don't bow down to white trashes folks.

    • PIS,
      The Alshabab fighters and the SFG/SNA are all conglomerates that it becomes difficult to
      seperate in many ways than not???