Don’t pay ransoms to terrorists, UK urges

2013-12-04 10:00
(Jorge Uzon, AFP)

(Jorge Uzon, AFP) (Jorge Uzon, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Britain submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on Tuesday that calls on countries to prevent the payment of kidnap ransoms to extremist groups, like al-Qaeda, which have earned hundreds of millions of dollars from such crimes.

British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said he hoped the 15-member council would be able to adopt the resolution by the end of the month. No new legal obligations would be created, he said, as states were already required not to pay kidnap ransoms under an anti-terrorism resolution adopted in 2001.

"There is increasing concern about the amount of money that is being raised by terrorists through kidnap for ransom and it has been particularly a tool of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and also al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," Lyall Grant said.

"We want this resolution ... to show that the international community should not be paying ransoms for kidnap that can be used for terrorist purposes," he told Reuters.

The United States has estimated militant groups have received $120m over the past decade, including ransoms paid to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The US government does not pay ransoms, but some European governments do.

Source of tension

French President Francois Hollande has said Paris ended a policy of paying ransoms for hostages, but suspicion that it still does so, despite official denials, has been a source of tension with the United States.

This year France brushed off an allegation by a former US diplomat that it paid a $17m ransom in vain for the release of three hostages abducted in 2010 from Niger.

While a confidential Nigerian government report seen by Reuters showed that Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram was paid an equivalent of around $3.15m by French and Cameroonian negotiators before freeing seven French hostages in April.

The British draft Security Council resolution will echo a commitment made the Group of Eight powerful nations - the United States, Russia, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan - in a communique in June.

"We unequivocally reject the payment of ransoms to terrorists and we call on countries and companies around the world to follow our lead and stamp out this lucrative income for terrorists," the G8 communiqué said.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  boko haram  |  cameroon  |  france  |  niger  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.