Washington classifies Mozambique’s shebabs as ‘terrorist groups’ affiliated with the ISIS

On Wednesday, March 10, the United States designated the ADF, the Allied Democratic Forces, active in the DRC, and Daech Mozambique as “foreign terrorist organizations” and “specifically designated global terrorist groups. These classifications, which include their respective leaders, Seka Musa Baluku and Abu Yasir Hassan, have resulted in a series of sanctions.
“Daech-Mozambique, also known as Ansar al-Sunna, reportedly pledged allegiance to Daech as early as April 2018 and was recognized by Daech’s core group as an affiliate in August 2019,” the U.S. State Department explains in its Wednesday statement. Since October 2017, the group, known locally as al-Shabab “has reportedly killed nearly 1,200 civilians,” it recalls.
“You have something like 2,000 civilian casualties and up to 670,000 internally displaced persons in the Cabo Delgado region bordering Tanzania,” said John Godfrey, U.S. counterterrorism coordinator in Africa, who is alarmed by the presence in the northeastern region of “private Russian and South African companies in particular.
“The presence of these entities has not helped the government in any obvious way in dealing with the terrorist threat. Because these companies operate outside of any international partnership, they have historically tended to be less responsible in the area of human rights and armed conflict. Frankly their presence complicates the situation rather than helping. ”
While the U.S. counterterrorism coordinator believes that Mozambique is “at the heart of the crisis,” he does not deny that “there is a cross-border problem with Tanzania.
“We saw examples of this with the attacks in Tanzania from Mozambique last October. The crisis in Mozambique has ramifications in southern Tanzania. The possible terrorist cooperation between the two sides of the border is not yet clear. We are still working on it. But the cross-border aspect of the crisis is undeniable, it is worrisome and that is why we are focusing our efforts on it as well. ”
John Godfrey recalled that the late leader of the EI, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had encouraged his affiliated groups to conduct attacks: “Nowhere has this trend been more alarming than in Africa,” he said.
The U.S.-designated “terrorist groups” and their leaders are subject to U.S. sanctions. All assets of these groups in the U.S. are now frozen and no American is allowed to do business with them. Any financial institution cooperating in transactions with them risks sanctions.

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