U.S. Blacklists Congolese, Mozambican Groups Over I.S Links

The United States on Wednesday blacklisted two extremist groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique after they were found to have links with Islamic State.

The two groups were listed by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organisations while their leaders were tagged “specially designated global terrorists”.

Congolese group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and its leader Seka Musa Baluku; and Mozambique’s Ahlu Sunnah Wal-Jama and Abu Yassir Hassan, its leader have been identified as global terrorists.

Following the blacklisting, no member of the groups will have access to their properties in the U.S., if any is in existence, and have been banned from travelling to the country. Business interests with American nationals have also been banned.

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Both groups have been dubbed ISIS-Congo and ISIS-Mozambique by the U.S. State department. ISIS in 2019 had formed its Central African province as they unleashed terror on Central Africa, and some parts of East and Southern Africa.

According to the statement of the US State Department, the Central African Province, ISCAP is an offshoot of ISIS while the Congolese and Mozambican groups are distinct entities.

The ADF has been a nemesis to Congo since the 1990s, using child soldiers in some instance to cause terror. This year alone, the group, which originated from Uganda has killed 140 people and UN figures reported 850 deaths last year.

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The Congolese military has been on an offensive against the group but it has always found the most vulnerable in Eastern Congo as victims of reprisal attacks.

Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama rose in 2017 and has declared allegiance to the IS. It is responsible for the spate of killings in Northern Mozambique. The group is known as Al-Shabaab in the country and has constituted terror for the last four years.

The US State Department says I.S funding has been fuelling these groups and have strengthened their ranks and weaponry.

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