Somali president asks - lift arms embargo
Mogadishu - 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-Shabaab has made the dropping of the arms ban necessary.
Thousands of Somalis marched through the capital on Wednesday during an anti-militant protest attended by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The Somali militant group al-Shabaab 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.