Kenya lifts ban on Somali Hawalas

Kenyan government has lifted ban on Somali remittance money transfer companies, More than 13 companies were shut down on April following suspected financial link with armed group Al Shabaab.

Money transfer owners in Kenya that was affected by the Kenyan government move faulted the government while threatening to take the issue to court.

Rights groups and humanitarian agencies have also criticized Kenyan authorities for the closure saying it will threaten the lives of thousands of Somalis who depend on the service for life.

Hawalas are lifeline for thousands of Somalis in and outside Somalia as they send and receive money from family and relatives in Europe and America.

One significant issue that came out after Kenyan move of closure was the rise of US dollar which is the main circulation currency in Hawalas against Kenyan Shilling.

Several countries in Europe are also considering ban on the Somali remittance companies.

Economic experts say Somali money transfer companies famously known as “Hawalas” have become part of the growing financial institutions across the globe which threatens some services of international banks.