Switzerland has added Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram to its sanctions list after the UN Security Council did so last month. The Islamic fundamentalists have connections to the terrorist network al-Qaeda.
At the request of the Nigerian government, the UN Security Council classified Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation on May 22 and placed it on its sanctions list. Switzerland followed suit this weekend.
According to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) website, the sanctions include account lockouts as well as entry and travel bans for people connected with the organisation.
Boko Haram was founded ten years ago to fight in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria for an Islamic theocracy. Since 2009, the extremists have repeatedly launched attacks in which thousands of people have been killed. The group is also notorious for kidnapping nearly 300 students in mid-May. The name Boko Haram means “Western education is a sin”.
In the US, leader Abubakar Shekau is considered the region’s public enemy number one. Last July, Washington placed a bounty of seven million dollars (CHF6.25 million) on him.
swissinfo.ch and agencies