7/20/2012 WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order (E.O.), “Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency with Respect to Somalia,” providing the U.S. Department of the Treasury with expanded authority to target, in consultation with the State Department, individuals and entities that contribute to the deterioration of the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia.
The E.O. makes clear that the United States is committed to supporting Somalia and the international community’s efforts to promote the peace, security, and stability of Somalia. The E.O. further demonstrates that the United States will take the steps necessary to target those who inhibit or obstruct these goals.
This E.O. gives explicit authority to the Treasury Department to sanction individuals, wherever they may be located, who are acting to misappropriate Somali public assets. It also targets political or military leaders who are recruiting or using children as soldiers in the armed conflict in Somalia as well as those who are responsible for committing certain acts of violence against Somali civilians, including acts of sexual and gender-based violence.
“By expanding our ability to impose sanctions on those engaged in despicable acts of violence in Somalia, the United States is once again demonstrating its full support for the Somali people,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “We are also taking aim, in coordination with the international community, to cut off a key source of revenue for al-Shabaab.”
To implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036 adopted unanimously on February 22, 2012, the E.O. prohibits the importation of charcoal from Somalia into the United States and authorizes the Treasury Department, in consultation with the State Department, to sanction those who have engaged, directly or indirectly, in the import or export of charcoal from Somalia on or after February 22, 2012. Internationally, the sale of charcoal is a significant revenue source for al-Shabaab, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The United States remains focused on working with its partners in Somalia, the region, and the international community to deter those threatening the peace, security, or stability in Somalia. It is crucial that the trade in charcoal from Somalia be prohibited to diminish this source of al-Shabaab’s revenue and further discourage the group from engaging in terrorist acts. In addition to being a significant revenue stream for al-Shabaab, the production of charcoal has led to environmental degradation that has contributed to the on-going humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. The United States will continue to monitor the situation in Somalia, and the Treasury Department stands ready to exercise the authority provided in today’s E.O. to target those persons who would jeopardize the security situation in Somalia.