Relief Web reproduced a UN news release on 25th October which reported that the head of the Security Council’s Somalia Sanctions Committee had said that, whereas long-standing restrictions on the importation of weapons have largely prevented their flow into the hands of Al-Shabaab — a group responsible for ongoing terror attacks across the Horn of Africa — those measures require updating to better reflect reality on the ground. This was during a UN Security Council briefing. The briefing also spotlighted the continuing threat that Al-Shabaab poses to Somalia and the broader region. Indeed, it was said, there is now confirmation that Al-Shabaab is manufacturing home-made explosives, expanding its revenue base, and was once again responsible for the highest number of attacks against civilians in the region. There was a need to apply targeted sanctions to deter destructive behaviour in Somalia — including by arms traffickers and charcoal dealers, terrorism financiers and political spoilers. Concerning the ban on Somalia’s import and export of charcoal, he said it is clear that Al-Shabaab no longer derives significant revenue from that trade, but there were strong links between Al-Shabaab and crime syndicates engaged in the smuggling of people, weapons, sugar, tobacco, bomb components and narcotics as well as precursor substances.
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