UN accepts resolution to refuse ransoms to terrorists

2014-01-29 00:00

AL-QAEDA and its associated terror groups had in the past three-and-a-half years extorted at least R1,15 billion in ransoms to free abducted hostages.

This is why the security council of the United Nations this week accepted a special resolution where all the organisation’s member states must work towards refusing to pay ransoms for hostages.

It is the first time the United Nations had made any ruling on the sensitive topic of abductions. A statement by the organisation said abductions are increasing and the United Nations condemns the practice in the strongest terms.

By not acceding to the demands of the abductors, the money will dry up and with it the profit in taking hostages.

Mark Lyall Grant of Britain, who drew up the resolution for the United Nations security council, said the R1,15 billion was a very basic estimate of the earnings from ransoming hostages. Countries often do not admit to paying ransoms for their citizens.

The resolution was made while South Africans are anxiously awaiting news with the Korkie family in Bloemfontein to hear if the Al-Qaeda group in Yemen will release Pierre Korkie.

Grant said the vicious circle created by ransoming hostages had to be broken so that terror groups will realise that they will not get paid even a portion of the ransom.

Kidnapping hostages should no longer be regarded as a lucrative industry to fund the organisation’s training, weapons and recruitment, Grant said.

The alternative is that the abductions will continue alongside the terror attacks the ransom money finances.

The United Nations’ counter-terror committee will now hold a special meeting with the representatives of member states and associated international organisations to find ways how abductions can be both be prevented and handled.

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