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During the reporting period, a primary focus of investigations by the Panel of Experts on Somalia was Al-Shabaab’s “taxation” system, including revenue sources and methods of storage and transfer of funds using formal financial institutions.” according to report.
Letter dated 28 September 2020 from the Panel of Experts on Somalia addressed to the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992)concerning Somalia In accordance with paragraph 33 of Security Council resolution 2498 (2019), we have the honour to transmit herewith the final report of the Panel of Experts on Somalia.
The threat posed by Al-Shabaab to peace, security and stability in Somalia goes beyond the impact of the group’s conventional military action and asymmetric warfare to include sophisticated extortion and “taxation” systems, child recruitment practices and an effective propaganda machine. Similarly, Al-Shabaab’s control of populations extends beyond the areas in which it has a geographical presence, through threats and violence enacted against individuals or communities,
infiltration and control of information sources, and the manipulation of formal institutions such as the financial sector. The military operations to counter Al-Shabaab must be accompanied by non-military efforts to degrade the group’s capacity and combat its propaganda. The Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states have recognized that need intheir formal review of the Somali transition plan, in which the vision is set for the transition of security responsibilities to Somali authorities and the drawdown of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces.
During the reporting period, a primary focus of investigations by the Panel of Experts on Somalia was Al-Shabaab’s “taxation” system, including revenue sources and methods of storage and transfer of funds using formal financial institutions. Al-Shabaab “taxation” methods range in complexityfrom basic checkpoint controls to financial assessments of businesses through the group’s access to information sources such as business registrations, property assets and shipping cargo manifests.
The Panel assesses that Al-Shabaab remains in a strong financial position and is generating a significant budgetary surplus, some of which is invested in property purchases and businesses in Mogadishu.In line with Somali society as a whole, Al-Shabaab has transitioned froma cash-based economy to using the nascent formal financial sector in Somalia to collect and transfer funds.
The Federal Government of Somalia has taken steps to strengthen the Somali financial sector in order to combat terrorism financing through legislation and oversight, and the private sector has also implemented measures to protect its systems. The Federal Government, with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Panel, is developing a disruption plan for Al-Shabaab finances that builds on current reforms and requires engagement from across government, the private sector and the international community.Military operations against Al-Shabaab by the Somali National Army and AMISOM, and the increased intensity of air strikes by international actors, resulted in territorial losses for the group, including the significant stronghold of Janale, Lower Shabelle, in March 2020. Despite this military progress, Al-Shabaab has retained its ability to produce and conduct improvised explosive device attacks, although it has carried out fewer large-scale complex attacks to date in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.
The group continues its intimidation campaign, including assassinations and executions, targeting public figures and communities, while maintaining its agility of action to exploit weaknesses in security as they arise.
Tensions between the Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states continue to disrupt political progress and provide opportunities for Al-Shabaab to exploit. Electoral processeshave been the primary source of such tensions, both in the aftermath of disputed regional elections in Jubbaland and Galmudug and in the preparations for national parliamentary and presidential elections. Asobserved during the last national election period in 2016, Al-Shabaab may attempt to sabotage the upcoming electoral process, including through targeted political assassinations.
The final report of the Panel of Experts on Somalia addressed to the Chair of the UN Security Council
READ: Here Full report.
the final report of the Panel of Experts on Somalia. Oct 2020