Somalia’s Internal Security Minister and chief of the National Intelligence Services Agency (NISA) have warned business and money remittance companies from enabling Al-Shabaab by funding, paying extortion or facilitating the transfer of money for their insurgency in Somalia.
Mohamed Abukar Islow, the Minister for Internal Security has said that telecommunication and financial services companies in Somalia have been abetting Al-Shabaab by transferring money to the militant group.
“The cabinet passed a resolution which outlaws telecommunication and money transfer companies from facilitating money transfer to Al-Shabaab. Banks and remittance companies are included in this category and are therefore warned against violating the resolution,” said Islow.
The government warned that there will be zero tolerance for those who disobey the resolution.
“Anyone who gives money to Al-Shabaab in form of fines will be prosecuted and the government will not consider any excuse,” the resolution read.
It also forbids money transfer services from sending or receiving money on Al-Shabaab’s behalf.
Somalia’s intelligence chief Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Sanbaloolshe said the government will closely monitor transactions by telecommunication and remittance companies to ensure compliance.
“From now on we will have close ties in regard to banking services like opening an account, withdrawal. No economic activity executed without government’s knowledge,” said Sanbalolshe.
Al Shabaab finances it’s insurgency by relying on both local and foreign sources. Locally, Al-Shabaab extorts local businesses for protection fee’s and by setting up checkpoints in the areas under their control. the UN asserts that the militant group also raises funds by poaching and selling ivory as well as trading commodities, such as sugar. Foreign funding comes other affiliated terrorist organizations with similar ideologies, such as Al-Qaeda. Individuals who are sympathetic to Al-Shabaab’s cause also fund and support the group. These transfers are largely done by Somali money transfer remittance services.