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Declare Al-Shabaab a terror group, Speaker Muturi tells US

Speaker Justin Muturi during a past media briefing in his office in Parliament

NAIROBI - Kenya's National Assembly speaker Justine Muturi has slammed the US accusing the superpower of rejecting a bid to declare al Shabaab a terror group.

According to Muturi, the move by Americans serves to embolden the group to the extent of making them considered for financial assistance by foreign organizations.

“I have in my mind the recent decision by the US to refuse to declare Al Shabaab a terrorist group. This ensures the group becomes a recipient of financing even by taxpayers, ” Muturi said.

“The glorified terrorist groups like the al Shabaab in Somalia enjoy protection by some superpowers through civil society groups in the guise of human rights activists. This trend is unfortunate and has the potential of watering down all the gains made in the fight against terrorist groupings.”

The assertion was however immediately discounted by US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter who said the US government has never failed to declare and categorize the Somalia militants as a terror grouping.

According to McCarter, the US supported the United Nations resolution No. 751 which declare al Shabaab a terrorist group, denying allegations made by the Speaker.

“There are no questions here. The US has declared Al-Shabaab terrorists and we will use everything within that resolution to degrade them (terrorists), ” McCarter said.

The US envoy, however, said the US was not comfortable with Kenya’s request to cut off all humanitarian support to war-torn Somalia.

“This is an issue that needs to be made very clear today. The request from Kenya was resolution 1267 which includes in it the removal of humanitarian care for Somalia,” McCarter said.

The leaders were speaking during the official opening of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security conference in Nairobi on Monday.

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