Somalia-based al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab has banned single-use plastic bags, according to its official media outlet.
The Islamist terrorist group broadcast its edict on the jihadist-operated Radio Andalus, with regional leader Mohammed Abu Abdullah saying plastic bags are a “serious” threat to both humans and livestock.
The statement banning the use of plastic bags was also published on Somalimemo.net, a pro-Shabaab website. It has previously been used to announce the group’s rejection of music, cinemas, satellite dishes and humanitarian organisations.
The site aired an audio recording from Mohammed Abu Abdullah, al-Shabaab’s governor in the Jubaland region, who said that plastic bags “pose a serious threat to the well-being of humans and animals alike,” a statement that was repeated in a Twitter message via an al-Shabaab-associated account.
In the same announcement, the East Africa group also banned the logging of rare trees. Details of how the eco-friendly bans would be enforced were not shared with listeners, SBS News reports.
Harun Maruf, the founder of the Investigative Dossier radio show in Somalia and the co-author of Inside Al-Shabaab, took to Twitter to ouline the irony of a terrorist group seeking to protect human lives from pollution. He said:
The militant group has reportedly issued a general directive banning plastic bags, and gave environmental and health risks to the livestock as reasons for taking the move.
Things that Shabaab has NOT banned: Bombings, assassinations, targeting civilians.
This is not the first time the terrorist group has taken to environmental issues.
In 2016, a magazine which is published by the Yemeni branch of al-Shabaab slammed former U.S. President Barack Obama for failing to adequately address combat climate change during his presidency.
In 2017, Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada said Afghans should plant more trees because of their “important role in environmental protection, economic development and beautification of Earth”.
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