Kenya suspends licenses of over 500 NGOs

Kenya Tuesday it has suspended licenses and freezed bank accounts of 510 NGOs, 15 of which have been accused of having ties with terrorist groups and money laundering.

IANS| Updated: Dec 16, 2014, 23:09 PM IST

Nairobi: Kenya Tuesday it has suspended licenses and freezed bank accounts of 510 NGOs, 15 of which have been accused of having ties with terrorist groups and money laundering.

Apart from those 15, the rest were suspended for alleged accounting irregularities, such as failing to submit audited annual reports, said a statement by the NGO Coordinating Council (NGOCC).

Some of the organisations suspended are of great international importance, such as Doctors without Borders and Intervida, according to the list offered by the government.

Those affected by accounting irregularities have 21 days to file a formal protest and submit documentation that can prove the legality of their activities and balances.

Organisations accused of criminal activity, which were detected in collaboration with international law enforcement agencies, will face charges of financing terrorism in Kenya and the Horn of Africa, according to the NGOCC.

The director of the NGOCC, Fazul Mahamen Yusuf, did not release the names of the NGOs to avoid interfering with the investigations.

The Kenyan government also immediately suspended residence permits for expatriates working in all 510 NGOs, and ordered these organisations to go to the NGOCC and update their paperwork.

Kenya recently suffered terrorist attacks by the Somali Islamist militia al-Shabab in response to the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia.

Some of the suspended NGOs could be related to these attacks, according to the government.