Mahdi Omar Mumin, the head of the Banadir Regional Police, has blasted politicians for failing to uphold the weapons ban imposed by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, raising questions about the ability of the government to enforce security measures in the face of continued unrest. Officers have started a campaign to stop open carrying of guns throughout the city, said Muumin.
Government representatives haven’t followed the instructions yet. They continue to carry PKMs and machine guns. Anyone found in possession of a PKM or heavy weapon will be detained and arrested, the commander warned. Muumin also issued a warning that those who disobeyed the arms control order would be prosecuted.
The new order, which President Mohamud announced last week during a Friday prayer sermon, expressly forbids everyone other than government security personnel on duty from carrying heavy weapons in public on the streets of Mogadishu. According to the government, the action is a component of a larger plan to lessen bloodshed and promote stability in the face of the extremist organization al-Shabab.
“We strictly forbid carrying firearms on Mogadishu’s streets. For defense against an elusive al-Shabab militant armed just with a handgun, it is irrational to have machine guns mounted on vehicles and rocket-propelled grenades in the streets, the president said. He made it clear that breaking the restriction would not be accepted, and violators would be held accountable.