Mogadishu Feb 16, 2023 (SD) – A report released by the United Nations has revealed that the militant group Al-Shabaab has seen an increase in its revenue, despite efforts by the Somali government cracking down on its financing.
According to the report, Al-Shabaab’s revenue from 2021 to 2022 has increased from $100 million to $150 million, with the group increasing its taxes on the charcoal trade by 25%.
The group is also estimated to have made $24 million from the conflict in Yemen. Al-Shabaab mostly targets civilians living in areas under their control, imposing extortionate taxes. The group also extorts local businesses in major cities like Mogadishu.
In December 2022, the Somali government confirmed that 250 bank accounts and 70 mobile money accounts linked to Al-Shabaab had been shut down.
However, if the group continues to thrive, it may seek to escalate its economic warfare in a bid to control economic resources and exert greater influence over local populations.
The report estimates that Al-Shabaab has between 7,000 and 12,000 fighters. The recent conflict has reportedly resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 militants, according to the Somali government, although this figure is not verified.
The government has also called for international support to help counter the group’s growing financial power.
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