From Spring ’11: On mere suspicion

by June 10, 2011

We’ve just posted an online version from our Spring 2011 issue of Christopher Michaelsen’s critique of the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions regime, which has been used to target individuals and groups alleged by one or more states to be linked to terrorism. Here’s a couple of sample paragraphs, on the sanctioning of Somalia financial group Al Barakaat:

Nevertheless, one of the immediate results of the U.S. allegations was that Al Barakaat was included on the United Nations 1267 sanctions list maintained by a sub-committee of the Security Council. Initially established by the Security Council as a response to the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the 1267 sanctions regime required all states to freeze the assets of any individual or entity associated with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban as designated by the 1267 Committee.

The listing of Al Barakaat had severe consequences. It effectively deprived Somalia of its most significant employer and financial institution, and cut Somalis off from the remittance payments on which they relied. In fact, the freezing of Al Barakaat’s assets worldwide resulted in the collapse of economic activities in Somalia as thousands employed by the foundation had to stop working, while those receiving money from relatives and friends abroad struggled to make ends meet. As Somalia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ahmed Abdi Hashi, put it in 2003, “depositors cannot access their funds. Businessmen cannot do business. Many are going bankrupt.”

Read the rest (substantial preview provided for non-subscribers).