Monday, August 8, 2022

‘Botswana will not stop dealing with Al Qaeda suspect’

The Botswana Government will not embargo goods from Sniper Africa, a South African company alleged to be sponsoring Al Qaeda and currently supplying Botswana with camouflage tunics.

The United States of America is trying to get the United Nations to impose sanctions on South African businessmen Junaid Dockrat and his company, Sniper Africa, for allegedly providing R 400 000 to the al-Akhtar Trust, an Afghanistan-based fundraiser for al-Qaeda.

According to a press statement from the US Treasury Department issued last week, the US moved to designate Farhad Docrat and Junaid Docrat and Sniper Africa “for financing and facilitating Al Qaeda, pursuant to Executive Order 13224. This action freezes any assets the designees have under US jurisdiction and prohibits transactions between US persons and the designees.”

Botswana this week, however, said it would neither prohibit transactions between Batswana and the Docrats nor freeze any of their assets in the country adding that Botswana is not convinced that America has a strong case.

Permanent Secretary Political Affairs in the Office of the President, Ernest Mpofu, told The Sunday Standard this week that Botswana would not stop goods from Sniper Africa coming into the country because they are not sure if America has a strong case.

“Even other countries say they are still studying the case and the Security Council has not yet taken a decision, besides America has in the past been caught not telling the truth as was the case at Guantanamo Bay,” said Mpofu.

The permanent Secretary said Botswana would wait for a Security Council decision.
Botswana is taking sides with South Africa which has just used its new position on the United Nations Security Council to block the US putting the Docrats on the UN sanctions list until the government has had time to discuss the charges against them further.

Camouflage clothing company, Sniper Africa, is registered as Sniper Outdoors and currently exports to Botswana and Zambia. But now it has been put on a United Nations list of terror suspects. The US alleges that Junaid is a financier, recruiter and facilitator who coordinated and facilitated the travels of South Africans involved with Al Qaeda.


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