Somalia Closes Al-Shabab Bank Accounts

Somali deputy information minister Abdirahman Yusuf Al-adala.(PHOTO CREDIT: SONNA)

Somalia’s government said Saturday that it had blocked bank accounts belonging to members of the militant group al-Shabab in an effort to financially combat the group.

Abdirahman Yusuf Al-adala, the deputy minister of information, told reporters in Mogadishu that 3,000 people have volunteered to provide information about al-Shabab’s illegal financial and business activities.

“Upon checking that information and its reliability, we used it to block 250 bank accounts that the citizens have shared with the intelligence. The information given to us also made it easy to block 70 Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards that the group used to call people when collecting the illegal tax,” said Al-adala.

The government claims it has made progress in cutting off al-Shabab funding sources since requesting that the public report insurgent group businesses and networks used to obtain funds.

In October, the government launched a public awareness campaign warning people not to give money to al-Shabab or conduct business on their behalf. It also urged citizens to report al-Shabab members’ financial activities in the country.

The Somali government launched a military offensive against al-Shabab in the central regions in August, liberating over a dozen towns and villages.

The government urged the public to remain vigilant and to continue cooperating with the security agencies by providing all necessary information to aid in the elimination of al-Shabab from the country.

Al-Shabab has been fighting successive Somali governments for the past 15 years, targeting government institutions and their employees, the population, security forces, and African Union troops.