US welcomes sanctioning of Al Shabaab leaders by UN Security Council

Special Representative of the Secretary-General, James Swan, to the Security Council on the Situation in Somalia on February 22, 2021/ UN

The United States has welcomed the sanctioning of Al Shabaab leaders by the UN Security Council.

The three are deputy leader Abukar Ali Aden, commander of Jaysh Ayman Moallim Ayman and Mahad Karate, ex-deputy leader and a powerful figure in the terrorist group. They are accused of being responsible for numerous acts of terrorism.

“This is an important step towards stability, prosperity, and peace for Somalia,” said Ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles, Senior Bureau Official of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, US Department of State.

Somalia and the US governments had on February 22 asked the three terrorists to be added to the UN sanctions list, and the measure required approval of all UNSC members.

UNSC special envoy to Somalia James Swan on Monday said attacks by the militant group have increased since August 2020, and 2021 has seen a rise in attacks targeting security points and hospitality industries.

“Al-Shabaab continues to pose the primary threat to the security of the country.  Al-Shabaab has increased its operational tempo since August 2020, and the beginning of 2021 has seen a new peak in the number of attacks, including more Person-Borne and Vehicle-Borne IEDs, targeting government officials and key figures in Somali society,” Swan said.

On Saturday for instance, security forces intercepted a vehicle suspected to be filled with explosives at the airport road.

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