‘Terror outfits enhancing their finances and presence by exploiting natural resources in Africa’: Indian minister V Muraleedharan at UNSC

V Muraleedharan said terrorist organisations were exploiting resources to bolster their finances. "These regions have remained vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing. Terrorist and armed groups are increasingly funding their activities through illegal exploitation of natural resources and trafficking of wildlife, and extortion, etc., amongst other well-known activities."

In a debate organized by the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, October 6, 2022, India raised alarm about the use of African resources to boost terrorism and bloodshed in several parts of the nation.

In the debate was titled “Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening the fight against the financing of armed groups and terrorists through the illicit trafficking of natural resources”, India emphasized that the exploitation of African resources must be ended, and those engaged in funding terrorism must be held responsible by the world community.

While addressing the conference, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan stated that in recent years, terrorist and armed organizations have made significant inroads in Africa. He described how some of the weaker groups are taking advantage of weak governance structures and security flaws across the continent, notably in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, and East and Central Africa.

V Muraleedharan underlined that by taking advantage of the region’s abundant resources, the terrorist organizations are enhancing their finances. He said, “These regions have remained vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing. Terrorist and armed groups are increasingly funding their activities through illegal exploitation of natural resources and trafficking of wildlife, and extortion, etc., amongst other well-known activities.”

He added that these organizations are using rapidly developing information and communication technology, as well as other technologies related to financial transactions, encryption, and other forms of transportation and delivery, to fund their operations. He told that without deliberate and concerted measures to stop the financing of terrorists, neither the global war on armed organizations nor the war on terrorism can be won.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said, “We need to recognize the fact that terrorism, like armed conflicts, is expanding in Africa. Al-Qaida and ISIL-affiliated terrorist groups in different parts of Africa have gathered significant strength in recent years, thriving on the illegal mining of artisan gold, rare minerals, gemstones, uranium, coal, timber, etc. through illegal trade networks facilitated by transnational criminal networks.”

He said, “Terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab have put in place elaborate revenue collection networks, to support their terrorist activities. If left unaddressed, terrorism may seriously jeopardize peace prospects in several parts of Africa, which is already ravaged by armed conflicts.” 

Source: 'India acutely aware of growing terrorism in Africa': V Muraleedharan at UNSC (opindia.com)

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