Kenya's plea to UN to classify Al-Shabaab in Somalia "terrorist group"

Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya - The government of Kenya says it plans to formally ask the United Nations (UN) designate Somali militant group al-Shabaab as a terrorist group.

The move is aimed at ensuring more attention is focused on combating the extremists.

Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau said Kenya will submit a proposal to have the UN Security Council list the Shabaab as a terrorist organization under an expanded bid to annihilate extremist groups in the world.

“We will formally be submitting a request, seeking UAE’s support in listing al-Shabaab under UN Resolution 1267. This is important to bring the global efforts in tackling the group,” he said in Nairobi, after meeting a delegation of United Arab Emirates officials where they signed a series of bilateral agreements and agreed to finalize a security agreement soon.

“It has caused serious havoc, not just in Kenya but the region and the world in general. It is important that all global efforts now come together to combat this,” added Kamau.

Under Resolution 1267 of 1999, or subsequent and related decisions, the UN Security Council targeted terror or militant groups like the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS and their leaders such as Osama bin Laden, sanctioning the groups and those associated with them.

The Shabaab, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2010—although a splinter group later sided with ISIS recently—has not been designated as a terror group by the UN, despite efforts by the African Union, and even the UN itself in combating al-Qaeda and ISIS or their affiliates.

It categorized groups or persons for sanctions if they participate in financing, plan, facilitate, prepare or perpetrate activities for, in the name of or in support of al-Qaeda, ISIL or their associates.

Officially, under the UN, terrorism is seen as a global threat but only al-Qaeda and ISIL are listed are terror groups.

Previous bids to have the Somalia-based Islamic insurgency listed was opposed by the US and the UK over fears Nairobi would want to be delisted as a participant in the Somalia-Eritrea sanctions regime.

Kenya’s troops are part of the 22,000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forces.

Amisom was established in 2007 and includes troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda deployed in south and central Somalia.

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