The Kenya government says it will seek the United Arab Emirates support in its efforts to push the UN in designating the Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab as a terrorist group in order to help focus international attention towards combating their violent extremism campaign, local media reported on Wednesday
Speaking after meeting with UAE delegation in Nairobi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affair Macharia Kamau said Kenya will submit a proposal to have the UN Security Council list Al-Shabaab as terrorist organization.
"We will formally be submitting a requesting seeking UAE's support in listing Al-Shabaab under UN Resolution 1276. This is important to bring the global efforts in tackling the group," Kamau was quoted by the East African newspaper as saying after signing bilateral security agreements with the UAE delegation.
"It has caused serious havoc, not just in Kenya but the region and the world in general," he added.
Al-Shabaab, which is a local franchise of Al-Qaeda in Somalia is not recognized as a terrorist group by the UN. Under Resolution 1276 of 1999, the UN Security Council targeted the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS and their leaders, sanctioning the groups and those associated with it. Kenya now wants Al-Shabaab to be included in that list.
Kenya's decision comes at a time when DusitD2 luxury hotel in Nairobi, which was the scene of the last terror attack in January, reopened on Wednesday for the first time since that deadly attack claimed 21 innocent lives and left scores others injured. Al-Shabaab were responsible for the attack then and continues to carry more attacks especially around Kenya's border with Somalia. Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties in the Somali inhabited North Eastern region are the worst affected by Al-Shabaab attacks.
Kenyan troops are also part of the 22,000 strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping mission with around 4000 forces based in southern Somalia's Jubaland State that borders Kenya to the east.