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EU sanctions Al-Qaeda affiliated group operating in Sehel

EU sanctions Al-Qaeda affiliated group operating in Sehel

The Council of the European Union has added one group and three individuals linked to Al-Qaeda and operating in the Sahel region to the list of those subject to restrictive measures.

The measures target Sidan Ag-Hitta and Salem ould Breihmatt, senior commanders within the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin, as well as its Burkinabe branch Ansarul Islam and its leader Jafar Dicko.

The EU press notice states: "The sanctioned group and individuals are responsible for several terrorist attacks, including against civilians, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali and defence and security forces in Burkina Faso. Their activities contribute to the expansion of the terrorist threat in Western Africa and therefore pose a serious and continued threat to the EU and to regional and international stability."

A total of 13 people are now subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze, and four groups to an asset freeze. In addition, EU persons and operators are forbidden from making funds or economic resources available to the listed persons and groups.

Alongside the targeted sanctions, the EU deploys a range of initiatives in the Sahel as part of an integrated approach to fighting terrorism. These include providing support to displaced people fleeing violence, providing food and basic goods to Sahel populations suffering as a result of the grave humanitarian situation, and working with local authorities to offer social and economic opportunities to these populations.

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