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Somali president asks for lifting of arms embargo

Somalia's president says to UN lifting of arms embargo necessary after Al-Shabab and Al-Qaeda alliance

AP , Wednesday 15 Feb 2012
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Somalia's president is asking the United Nations to lift the arms embargo against his country, saying the recent merger between Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabab has made the dropping of the arms ban necessary.

Thousands of Somalis marched through the capital Wednesday during an anti-militant protest attended by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The Somali militant group Al-Shabab has long had close links with Al-Qaeda, but the two announced an official merger last week.

Ahmed's call for the lifting of the arms embargo comes one week before a high-level meeting on Somalia to be attended by world leaders in London. Currently the Somali army is armed by international donors.

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