United Nation Security Council on Wednesday rejected Kenya’s plea to include Somali jihadist group Al-Shabaab in the list of organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS that are under international sanctions, reported Yahoo News.
Belgium, France, Germany, Kuwait, Poland, and the United States were the six countries whose votes blocked the implementation of the new sanctions. UN agencies and several humanitarian organizations had earlier warned that if the proposal was approved, the move would have left millions in drought-stricken Somalia without aid.
Kenya has been pushing for tightening sanctions against Al-Shabaab since late last year and especially after an attack by the Al-Shabaab group at a Nairobi hotel in January left 21 people dead. Somalia, on the other hand, wants Kenya to implement resolution 751 targeting the group that includes the ban on illegal charcoal trade in which is the lifeline of the group to finance its operations in the region.
On Thursday, the Kenyan government expressed disappointment at the United Nations Security Council’s decision to block its push to toughen sanctions on Somali militant group Al Shabaab.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said he was dismayed that the countries that have been hit the most by Al Shabaab and other extremist groups did not support Kenya’s proposal.
“We are disappointed because it seems unconscionable that any country, least of all a country that is in the UN Security Council and which has lost its citizens in the terror attacks by Al Shabaab, would not wish to see all necessary measures brought to bear on this hideous organization,” said Mr. Kamau.
The UNSC’s decision comes as Kenya and Somalia are locked in a bitter dispute over a 100,000-square-kilometre marine territory with potential oil and gas deposits in the Indian Ocean. Both countries are claiming ownership over the alleged area which might explain Somalia’s reluctance to support Kenya in its bid.