Kenya Says Remittances to Somalia Are Acceptable Providing They Do Not Go to Terrorists

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Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohammed, said on Sunday (February 22) that Kenya has no problem with Somali refugees receiving remittances from relatives elsewhere in the world. She said: Almost all the refugees that are in our country are heavily dependent on remittances from outside Africa for their survival, for their day to day living. So we must carry out due diligence and make sure that the resources are actually being transmitted to the right people.”

Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on a visit to Kenya at the weekend also said that Germany would not seek to block the transmission of remittances to Somalia as long as due diligence was conducted.

 The tight restrictions recently imposed on remittances from the US to Somalia has caused great concern among Somalis and humanitarian organizations which say it has negatively impacted the majority of Somalis not involved in terror activities and the tens of thousands who rely on remittances for their everyday survival. Restrictions, they say, will seriously worsen the effects of food insecurity in Somalia. Last month, the United Nations warned that more than 38,000 Somali children were at “high risk” of dying of starvation. In the absence of legal methods of remitting funds, there are concerns that the restrictions will encourage criminal activity.
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