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
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.