Three Kenyans on US Terror Sanctions List
The United States has imposed sanctions on three Kenyans for allegedly assisting Islamist militants, including the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab.
The three are Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Abubaker Sharif Ahmed and Omar Awadh Omar. Rogo is an Islamic cleric who advocates radicalization and recruitment of non-Somali Africans. Ahmed is accused of recruiting Kenyan Muslims for "action" in Somalia. Omar is awaiting trial in Uganda on charges of helping to plan a 2010 terror attack in Kampala.
The three are included on a US Treasury list of six people newly placed under sanctions for their role in the conflict in Somalia, which US officials see as a growing threat to regional stability across East Africa. The others include two Eritrean government officials, Col. Twolde Negash and Col. Taeme Goitom, and Sudanese militant Abu Fahris.
The designations block financial transactions with the specified individuals and freeze any property they have that may come under US jurisdiction.
"The United States is determined to target those who are responsible for the ongoing bloodshed and instability in Somalia," Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council has sanctioned Eritrea for providing support to Somalia's Islamist militants, a charge Asmara strongly denies. Eritrea, which declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after decades of fighting, has blamed Addis Ababa for the sanctions drive and the rivals have frequently clashed as they seek to influence events in Somalia, which has been without a central government for two decades.
The United States and other Western powers have been backing efforts to crush al Shabaab, which remains in control of large swathes of central and southern Somalia despite the presence of African Union troops and separate military action by both Kenya and Ethiopia.