updated 4:06 PM MDT, Mar 27, 2017
A+ A A-

Opinion

The global squeeze on Somalia just got worse, thanks to Kenya


Ayan’s Shop, which sells Somali goods and houses a money transfer office called Juba Express in Fall Church. The American government and banks are shutting down cash transfers to Somalia because of fears of fraud and funds going to terrorism.(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The world’s chokehold on Somalia’s key financial lifeline is getting even tighter.

As of February, many banks in the United States have largely stopped servicing the accounts used by money transfer operators to help Somalis in the country send money to their families and networks back in Somalia, often for basic needs such as food, medicine and school fees. The country, which has been ravaged by civil war, famine and lacks a central banking system, heavily relies on these remittances. Some organizations estimate that remittances represent 25 percent to 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Somalia, which barely has a functioning government, is also plagued by the Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabab. Consequently, the threat of heavy fines for failure to comply with U.S. anti-terrorism regulations has many banks choosing to flee the market altogether.

  • Written by Contributor
  • Category: Opinion

Don’t Block Remittances to Somalia

By  Keith Ellison

WASHINGTON — Ayan Hassan  works as a medical professional in Minnesota to support her family in Somalia. Her mother, stepmother, six siblings and her blind uncle depend on her remittances, the money she sends home every month. The money goes toward food, water, doctor visits, housing and tuition. If she couldn’t send money to Somalia, she worries, her 14-year-old brother might drop out of school and be recruited by extremists.

But her worries may soon be realized. Banks, afraid of running afoul of government anti-laundering regulations, are pulling the plug on remittance services to Somalia. If nothing is done, the Hasan family may have to face life without help from Ayan.

  • Written by Contributor
  • Category: Opinion

A watershed moment for Minnesota's Somalis

    by: JAMAL ABDULAHI
 
To mitigate terror connections, they need to separate themselves from the roiling politics of their homeland and engage with America.
hide

This image was taken from an Al-Shabab video posted online last month, threatening violence at shopping malls, including at the Mall of America in Bloomington.

  • Written by Contributor
  • Category: Opinion

Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport's Somali workforce



Here's what Mark Bowden, the author of "Black Hawk Down" (which was made into a movie of the same title), wrote after visiting the Twin Cities: “At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last week, I was emerging from a concourse when three electric carts driven by Somali airport workers whizzed past, startling me. Many Somalis have a distinctive look — very dark skin, slender frames and broad, roundish foreheads — and, to those who know a little about Somalia, it should not be surprising to encounter them at the Minneapolis airport.”

  • Written by Contributor
  • Category: Opinion

Somalia: Remittances, Somali at a critical juncture

By Dr. Abdusalam Omer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion, Federal Republic of Somalia. Somali Remittances: The Reality by Dr. Abdusalam Omer, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of ‎Somalia.

Somalia is at a critical juncture: Al Qaeda and its affiliate Al-Shabaab are on the back foot, thanks in large part to the critical support being given to our national security forces by partners such as the United States of America and our coalition partners on the ground.

    The economy is rebounding with thousands of Somalians returning and making significant investments.

 

 
 

  • Written by Contributor
  • Category: Opinion

Subcategories