Kenya to lift Somalia cash transfer freeze

2015-06-18 13:33
Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta. (File: City Press)

Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta. (File: City Press)

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

Nairobi - Kenya's president ordered on Thursday the central bank to issue regulations and then lift restrictions on key money transfer services vital for Somalia suspended over suspected links to the al-Qaeda-allied Shabaab.

Kenya in April froze transfer companies as part of a crackdown on alleged Shabaab supporters following the university massacre of almost 150 people by the Islamists.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a statement released to mark Islam's holy month of Ramadan, said he had "noted the proposal to lift the suspension of licences" for 13 registered money remittance providers (MRPs).

"I direct the Central Bank of Kenya to immediately issue comprehensive regulations that guide the operation of MRPs, upon which their suspension would be lifted," Kenyatta added.

No date or further details were given for when the suspension would end.

Security review

Aid agencies criticised the shutting down of transfer services, warning it would hit the poorest hardest and jeopardise their operations.

With no formal banking system in the poverty-stricken country, diaspora Somalis use money transfer services to send cash back home to support their families, sending some $1.3bn each year, dwarfing foreign aid.

Kenyatta also called for a security "review" during Ramadan. In past years Shabaab fighters have intensified attacks during the month of fasting.

"Aware that the enemies of our country may wish to exploit this season, I call upon the entire Muslim fraternity and its leadership to remain vigilant, and do everything in their power, to co-operate fully with the security agencies in order to safeguard this holy month," Kenyatta said.

Kenyan troops crossed into Somalia in 2011 to fight the Shabaab, and later joined the African Union force, Amisom, which is supporting Somalia's internationally-backed government.

The Shabaab have since stepped up their operations in Kenya, dealing a blow to plans for the troops to serve as a buffer and protect the long and porous border.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  amisom  |  uhuru kenyatta  |  kenya  |  east 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

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.