In further efforts to stop the brutal terrorist activities of Boko Haram, the United Nations Security Council's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee - chaired by Australia - has added Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau and the Boko Haram splinter group Ansaru to the Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

In the last three months, Nigerian civilians have been the target of bombings, abductions and mass killings undertaken by the Al-Qaida-linked terrorist group Boko Haram. Twenty one people were killed on Tuesday when a shopping centre was bombed in the capital Abuja.

Boko Haram is also responsible for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls, and other atrocities against women and children.

Listing Boko Haram's leader and splinter group to the United Nations Al-Qaida Sanctions List will obstruct Boko Haram from obtaining arms, funding and other material support, including recruits, used to carry out these terrorist attacks.

The designations of Abubakar Shekau and Ansaru have immediate effect in Australia. It is now a serious criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to use or deal with assets owned or controlled by Boko Haram, Ansaru or Abubakar Shekau, or to make funds or assets available to them. Any assets identified as owned or controlled by them must be frozen and details of those assets immediately notified to the Australian Federal Police.

Australia has offered support to the Nigerian Government's counter-terrorism efforts and I have reiterated this offer in writing to the Nigerian Foreign Minister Aminu Wali.

Boko Haram was listed as a terrorist organisation at the UNSC in May. 

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