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Sanctions on Al-Barakaat Hawaala lifted


Abdihakim Sheikh

Soon after 9/11 the US flexed its muscles and in revenge took actions against individuals and enterprises it accused of supporting terrorism.

Among those affected were prominent Somali businessmen and enterprises notably Mr. Ahmednoor Ali Jimale, proprietor of Al-Barakaat Hawaala and Al-Barakaat Telecommunications in Somalia which were shut down and his assets frozen in 2001 on grounds that his businesses supported terrorism.

After nearly 13 years, the US and UNSC have finally determined that the businessman and his enterprises were ‘clean’. As a result the sanctions were lifted by UN Security Council and the US on March 14, 2014.

The Somali Community, Friends and relatives of the businessman and a host of leaders converged at a Nairobi hotel yesterday to celebrate the lifting of the sanctions on Al-Barakaat and its owner. Among those in attendance was Mandera Senator Hon. Billow Kerrow.

“How many individuals and enterprises have been condemned in this manner without being given the right to be heard in the first place” Posed Hon. Kerrow.

The action by the US, and subsequently the UN, deprived the Somali community Worldwide of their main lifeline on which many depended.

“Regrettably, to date, the West sees the Hawaalas as a conduit for financing terrorism; and consequently are determined to shut down the existing ones in the West even when they have made all attempts to comply with the laws in those countries” said Hon. Kerrow.

There is no doubt Mr. Jimale and his Al-Barakaat suffered huge economic losses and so are thousands whose Monies were held for all those years. Will the West underwrite their losses?

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