Written Answers. - UN Sanctions.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

41 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the hardship being suffered by the people of Somalia as a result of the recent sanctions imposed against that country. [3731/02]

In December 2000 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1333 as part of its ongoing campaign against international terrorism. The resolution provided,inter alia, for the drawing up of a list of persons and entities associated with the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organisation whose funds and financial assets were to be frozen. Following the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, the asset freeze list was extended to include the Somalian money transfer bank Al-Barakaat. The European Union subsequently added Al-Barakaat to its asset freeze list in Council Regulation (EC) No. 2199/2001.

As the Deputy is aware, expatriate Somalis use the money transfer system to send remittances to family members at home in Somalia. Al-Barakaat is the largest, but not the only, remittance bank operating this kind of system. It is earnestly to be hoped that any hardship caused as a result of the dislocation of the Al-Barakaat system may be alleviated by having recourse to the other such money transfer systems still operating.