US sanctions Tanzanian for funding Mozambique insurgents
The United States has announced sanctions on a Tanzanian national for his role in financing the ISIS-backed insurgency in Mozambique.
Washington says Peter Charles Mbaga, aka Abu Kaidha, facilitated fund transfers from South Africa, where he is based, and helped an armed group linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) purchase equipment on the South African market.
The 45-year-old is further cited for seeking to purchase weapons in Mozambique.
The US “is taking this action to disrupt and expose key ISIS supporters who exploit South Africa’s financial system to facilitate the funding of ISIS affiliates and networks across Africa,” said US Treasury under Secretary Brian E. Nelson.
The ISIS militia has staged attacks in villages and towns in northern Mozambique since October 2017, killing more than 2,500 people and destroying crucial infrastructure, including schools and health centres.
More than 800,000 people have been displaced since April 2020, following an escalation in the violence.
But calm returned after the Rwandan military and Southern African Development Community forces routed ISIS-affiliated insurgents from the troubled natural gas-rich region.
The US says ISIS members and their associates in South Africa are playing an increasingly central role in facilitating funds transfer from the top of the ISIS hierarchy to affiliates across Africa.
“Recently, ISIS has attempted to expand its influence in Africa through largescale operations in areas where government control is limited. ISIS affiliates in Africa rely on local fundraising schemes, such as theft, extortion of local populations and kidnapping for ransom, as well as financial support from the ISIS hierarchy,” Washington says.
Along with Mbaga, the US also sanctioned an Ethiopian Abdella Hussein Abadigga, from Oromia, who lives in Johannesburg as a refugee and two South African nationals – Farhad Hoomer and Siraaj Miller. The ISIS-linked individuals are designated as financial facilitators of terrorism.
The US noted that it is working with African partners, including South Africa, to dismantle ISIS’ financial support networks on the continent.
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