UN removes former Somali warlord from sanctions list

A former Somali warlord who allied to the Islamist Shebab group but severed links this summer has been removed from a UN sanctions list.

Mohamed Said Atom, a powerful arms dealer, was targeted with UN travel and financial sanctions for “kidnapping, piracy and terrorism.”

In June, Atom announced he had laid down his arms and would now only work through “peaceful means and understanding.” He accused Shebab, which is linked to Al-Qaeda, of being manipulated by a foreign agenda and of killing Muslims.

Shebab controls areas of Somalia and has staged a number of brazen assassinations and killings in Mogadishu as well as in neighboring Kenya.

The United Nations Security Council committee dealing with Somalia announced Atom’s removal from the sanctions list on Friday. He however remains on the US Treasury’s financial sanctions list