On 5 July 2014, the EU added one individual and one group to its Al-Qaida sanctions list. The additions were made by means of an Implementing Regulation, and a notice for the attention of the individuals concerned was published in the Official Journal of the EU.
Shekau Mohammed Abubakar, the leader of the Nigerian Islamic militant group Boko Haram and Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan, a splinter group of Boko Haram, have now been made subject to restrictive measures under Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002.
These sanctions are effective from 5 July 2014, and follow a decision by the Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council on 26 June 2014.
All EU sanctions measures relating to Al-Qaida are on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog, which can be found here.
On 22 May 2014, the UN Security Council’s Al Qaida Sanctions Committee added the Nigerian terorist group, Boko Haram, to its List of Designated Entities. On the same day, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power, describing the move as an “important step in support of the government of Nigeria’s efforts to defeat Boko Haram and hold its murderous leadership accountable for atrocities.”
Welcoming the listing, UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague described Boko Haram as “an inhumane organisation who have no respect for religion or belief or a person’s right to decide their way of life”, noting that Britain was the first country to proscribe Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation.
In November 2013, the US State Department designated Boko Haram on the US Specially Designated Nationals List, and in June 2013, the US added Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram’s official leader.
These enforecement steps follow recent high profile attacks by Boko Haram. On 14 April 2014, the group kidnapped over 250 young women from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. More recently, it has been blamed for the deaths of 27 people in a north-eastern village in Nigeria and for twin bombings that killed 122 in the central Nigerian city of Jos.