Somalia: UN Sanctions Al-Shabaab Leaders

Members of the UN Security Council unanimously approved sanctions for three leaders of the Al-Shabaab terror group after the US and Somali governments forwarded them for designation.

The resolution slapped penalties on Abukar Ali Adan, Maalim Ayman, and Mahad Karate, allegedly responsible for numerous acts of terrorism in Somalia and in the region.

According to the resolution, Abukar Adan Ali, the deputy leader of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, was engaged in or provided support for acts that threatened the peace, security or stability of the Horn of Africa nation, including with attacks on its military, as well as peacekeeping forces of the African Union.

The UN accused him of associating with Al-Qaeda affiliates, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Moalim Eyman, the second name on the sanctions list, is the founder and leader of Jaysh Ayman, an al-Shabaab unit conducting attacks and operations in both Kenya and Somalia.

The UN said Karate, for his part, played a key role in the Amniyat, the wing of al-Shabaab responsible for the 2015 attack on Garissa University College in northeastern Kenya that resulted in nearly 150 deaths.

The Amniyat is al-Shabaab's intelligence wing, which plays a key role in the execution of suicide attacks and assassinations in Somalia, Kenya and other countries in the region, and provides logistics and support for its terrorist activities.

Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group that has been fighting the Somali government and forces of the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) in Somalia for over a decade.

"Sanctioning senior Al-Shabaab figures is a welcomed initiative. Perhaps a bit long overdue they should also follow suit with other senior combatants," said military and security expert Col. Ahmed Abdullahi Sheikh.

"UNSC should keep monitoring this group and maintain the international pressure to contain the threat they pose," added Sheikh, who is also the former head of Somalia's Special Forces, DANAB.

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