Kenya has closed 510 non-governmental organisations, including 15 for allegedly “raising funds for terrorists”, as part of a security crackdown following repeated attacks.
The government’s NGO coordination board said on Tuesday that “some NGOs have been and continue to be used for criminal activities, including as conduits of terrorism financing in Kenya and in the Horn of Africa”.
From the names of 510 listed, many appeared to be aid agencies and charities, with many closed for failing to provide financial audit returns.
Several appeared to be Christian organisations, orphanages, or organisations working in health and development.
“The board has with immediate effect de-registered these organisations, frozen their bank accounts and forwarded information on them to relevant government security agencies for immediate action,” a statement read.
The NGOs’ assets seized would be redistributed to credible organisations working in the same areas.
Kenyan lawmakers are currently deliberating proposals to boost security laws, criticised by some as being too tough and restricting freedoms.
Kenya’s government has been under pressure since last year’s attack by Somalia’s al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, in which at least 67 people were killed.
Earlier this month Kenya’s interior minister and police chief were removed from their posts after al-Shabab carried out massacres in the northeast of the country.