US blacklists teams in Congo, Mozambique over hyperlinks to Islamic State

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The US on Wednesday blacklisted two extremist Islamist teams within the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique as international terrorist organizations on fees of hyperlinks to the Islamic State (IS).

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Congo and its chief Seka Musa Baluku and Mozambique Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama and its chief Abu Yasir Hassan have additionally been named “specifically designated international terrorists”.

The designations stop members from touring to the USA, freeze U.S.-related belongings, prohibit People from doing enterprise with them, and criminalize supporting or useful resource actions.

The US has dubbed the teams ISIS-RDC and ISIS-Mozambique.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) introduced the launch of the Islamic State Province for Central Africa (ISCAP) in April 2019 to advertise the presence of parts related to ISIS in Central, East and Southern Africa, ”the State Division mentioned in an announcement.

“Though the media related to ISIS current ISCAP as a unified construction, ISIS-DRC and IS-Mozambique are distinct teams with distinct origins,” he mentioned. “These teams have dedicated or are at important danger of committing acts of terrorism.”

The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a Ugandan rebel faction energetic in jap Congo because the Nineties, has carried out a sequence of brutal retaliatory assaults towards civilians because the navy started operations towards it in late 2019. .

The ADF has been accused of killing greater than 140 individuals because the begin of the yr, in virtually weekly assaults in jap Congo. The group killed round 850 individuals final yr, in keeping with UN figures.

The funding and recognition of the Islamic State has led the ADF into a brand new section of murderous enlargement, mentioned Laren Poole of the Bridgeway Basis, a US-based suppose tank.

“We consider that focusing on the group’s monetary and recruiting networks will present the simplest solution to cut back ISIS’s capability for violence within the DRC,” Poole instructed Reuters.

Some analysts, nonetheless, have questioned the hyperlinks between the ADF and the Islamic State.

“These new sanctions are unlikely to have a lot impact on the bottom, simply because the sanctions towards the ADF in 2014 didn’t change something,” mentioned Dan Fahey, former member of an impartial professional panel answerable for to observe the UN sanctions on the DRC.

“It’s a symbolic act, and a bit shocking as a result of the group of consultants has continually downplayed the character and power of ISIS’s affect in Congo,” he added.

Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, identified in Mozambique as Al-Shabaab, staged her first assault in 2017. First identified primarily for his or her beheadings, the fighters declared allegiance to the Islamic State in 2019 and have since multiplied the assaults in magnitude and frequency.

Extra reporting by Hereward Holland in Kinshasa and Daphne Psaledakis in Washington; edited by Richard Pullin

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