UNITED NATIONS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to extend the mandate of AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia, for one year, until Feb. 28, 2014.
The Security Council "welcomes the progress made by AMISOM in reducing civilian casualties during its operations, and urges AMISOM to enhance its efforts to prevent civilian casualties," said a resolution adopted by the 15-member body.
AMISOM is an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. It was created by the African Union's Peace and Security Council on Jan. 19, 2007 with an initial six-month mandate.
The mission has a mandate to conduct peace support operations in Somalia including supporting the Federal Government of Somalia' s armed forces against Islamic militants, under Chapter VII provision of the UN charter, which authorizes force.
In the resolution, the arms embargo on Somalia that dates back to 1992 was also lifted, in an effort to strengthen forces against the Al-Shabaab Islamic fighters.
The text stated that for a 12-month period, the embargo "shall not apply to deliveries of weapons or military equipment or the provision of advice, assistance or training, intended solely for the development of the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalis, and to provide security for the Somali people."
According to the resolution, the lift on the arms embargo will not apply, however, to large-scale weapons like surface-to-air missiles, cannons and mines.