Kenya freezes assets of al-Shabab ‘financiers’

Kenya has frozen the assets of nine people it accused of funding Somalia’s militant group al-Shabab.

The interior ministry said the move was part of its renewed counter-terrorism efforts aimed at tackling “domestic terrorists”.

In a statement, Internal Security Minister Fred Matiang’i said the freezing of assets of the nine Kenyans would ensure they no longer financed al-Shabab group “within our borders”.

He also warned that the group was recruiting, radicalising and planting operatives among civilians “to advance their agenda of extremism and terrorism”.

The announcement came as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta told world leaders that the Covid-19 pandemic had heightened potential for terrorist acts, worsened the refugee crisis and led to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the Horn of Africa region.

Kenya has faced a number of attacks from al-Shabab since deploying its troops to Somalia in 2011 to combat the group.

Kenyatta was speaking in a virtual meeting of the Aqaba Process on Covid-19 convened by King Abdullah II of Jordan that was also attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and global security.

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