US blacklists two groups in Congo and Mozambique over connections with ISIS

WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 11, 2021, 11:41 PM(IST)

Representative image. Photograph:( ANI )

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It also named the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Congo and its leader Seka Musa Baluku and Mozambique's Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama and its chief Abu Yasir Hassan 'specially designated global terrorists'

The United States on Wednesday blacklisted two Islamist extremist organisations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique over their connections with the Islamic State. 

"The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced the launch of the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) in April 2019 to promote the presence of ISIS associated elements within Central, East, and Southern Africa," the State Department in a statement said. 

"Although ISIS-associated media portray ISCAP as a unified structure, ISIS-DRC and ISIS-Mozambique are distinct groups with distinct origins." 

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The state department said that the two groups "have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism."

It also named the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Congo and its leader Seka Musa Baluku and Mozambique's Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama and its chief Abu Yasir Hassan "specially designated global terrorists".

The ADF and Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama are dubbed by the US as ISIS-DRC and ISIS-Mozambique.

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The ADF, a Ugandan insurgent faction, has been involved in several brutal assaults on civilians since the army started operations against it in late 2019, reports news agency Reuters. 

It has been blamed for the killing of more than 140 people in 2021, in about weekly attacks in Congo's restive east. 

According to the UN, the ADF has killed approximate 850 people last year. 

Laren Poole from the Bridgeway Foundation, a US-based thinktank said that the recognition and funding to the group by ISIS has pushed the group's deadly expansion. 

Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, called Al-Shabaab in Mozambique, staged its first attack in 2017. 

Initially known largely for beheadings, the fighters declared allegiance to Islamic State in 2019 and have since intensified its operations. 

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