Kenya’s bid to list Al-Shabaab flops at the UN

Hopes by Kenya to seek a UN approval to list Al-Shabaab a global terrorist organisation hit a snag Wednesday after the UN Security Council rejected the bid following intense lobbying by US agencies and former diplomats against the listing.

The Security Council made up of five permanent members and 10 non-permament members blocked the proposal by Kenya which would have listed the militant group just as its affiliate, Al-Qaeda as a global terrorist organisation.

Kenya’s argument in the proposal was that the listing of Al-Shabaab would help ‘global efforts in tackling the group.”

But opponents of the bid which include Somali government and international agencies working in the country warned the listing of the group would adversely affect humanitarian efforts in the country especially at a time millions of Somalis are facing adverse food shortage.

If Kenya’s proposal succeeded, the UN and member countries would have had to squeeze any possible funding conduits to Al-Shabaab with the possibility of affecting businesses suspected of supporting the group. Humanitarian support in Al-Shabaab controlled areas would also be affected.

But Somalia has argued Kenya’s move is unjustified and that it should instead focusing on implementing the charcoal ban to deny Al-Shabaab source of funds.

“Commend Council members for rejecting the unjustified listing of AS to 1267 and urge Kenyan Government to implement existing SC res. “751 targeting AS, including the ban of illegal charcoal trade in Somalia, which is the lifeline of the AS to finance its operations in the region,” Somali ambassador to the UN Abukar Osman tweeted following the UN decision.

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