Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Canadian Government Designates Boko Haram Terrorist Organisation

Following the United States designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation, the Canadian government, Monday, listed the outlawed group a terrorist organisation under the country’s Criminal Code.
The Canadian government also listed the Caucasus Emirate blamed for recent bombings in Russia a terrorist organisation.
Rights groups have blamed Boko Haram for the death of more than 3000 people mostly in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Boko Haram started an insurgency against the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2009. The group says it wants the northern states of Nigeria placed under Sharia law.
The U.S. government says the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, is the ninth most wanted person in the world and has placed a $7 million (N1.1 billion) bounty on his head. The Nigerian military, however, believes Mr. Shekau might be dead after getting caught in a shootout.
“Boko Haram is an organization that is responsible for over 300 attacks in Northern Nigeria, which have resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people,” says Steven Blaney, Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
“The actions of Boko Haram and the Caucasus Emirate meet the legal threshold set out in the Criminal Code, which requires the existence of reasonable grounds to believe that the entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity or is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an entity,” reads a statement from the ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
“The Government of Canada is keeping our streets and communities safe. Listing terrorist entities facilitates the prosecution of perpetrators and supporters of terrorism, as well as countering terrorist financing,” added Mr. Blaney.
By virtue of these listing the asset of the groups and anyone associated with them in Canada will be “seized and forfeited.”
“There may be severe penalties for persons and organizations that deal in the property or finances of a listed entity. In addition, it is a crime to knowingly participate in, or contribute to, any activity of a listed entity for the purpose of enhancing the ability of the entity to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity,” the statement reads.