US, Somalia Push for Fresh UN Sanctions against Al-Shabaab Leaders


WASHINGTON (Somaliguardian) – The United States and Somalia are pressing the United Nations to add three senior Al-Shabaab leaders to its sanctions list, as the militant group continues a 14-year long insurgency war against Somali authorities backed by tens of thousands of foreign troops.

“We are proud to note that today we joined with the Federal Government of Somalia in co-nominating three senior al-Shabaab leaders, Abukar Ali Adan, Maalim Ayman, and Mahad Karate, to the 751 Somalia Sanctions list,” Acting US ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills said on Monday during a speech at UN Security Council meeting.

The US government says imposing sanctions on the three militant leaders would reflect international community’s commitment to holding accountable those who undermine Somalia’s peace.

“These designations demonstrate that the international community will hold accountable those who undermine Somalia’s peace, security, and stability. We welcome co-sponsorships, which would serve as an expression of the Security Council’s unity in condemning al-Shabaab and its violence,” he added.

Among those mentioned in Mr Mills speech is Abukar Ali Aden, who is the deputy leader of the militant group.

“Consistent and united support from Somalia’s neighbors and other international partners for reform and stabilization remains imperative. It is incumbent on all of us, Madam President, to remain focused on Somalia’s stabilization and to avoid the pursuit of narrow interests that work counter to this long-term strategic goal,” Richard Mills noted.

The US ambassador stressed that fighting Al-Shabaab remains an urgent priority as it still wages a deadly insurgency war against Somali forces and allied troops in the country.

“Fighting al-Shabaab remains an urgent priority, as we have heard. Later this week, this Council will consider again extending the mandate of the AMISOM mission, which has been vital to the progress Somalia has achieved over the past decade,” The Acting US ambassador to the UN told Security Council Members.

“But lasting stability requires Somali forces capable of providing for their own security. We welcome the updated Somalia Transition Plan and see it as a step towards the transfer of security responsibilities from AMISOM. It will be imperative that the Federal Government devote the political and financial resources necessary for its successful implementation.”

The ambassador’s remarks at the UN Security Council meeting on Somalia’s current situation on Monday, have come weeks after militants retook a number of key towns following US troop pullout from the country last month.

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