The United States has sanctioned six individuals based in Somalia, Kenya and Eritrea for their actions in support of the terrorist group al-Shabaab, which foments violence and instability in Somalia.
The six were designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13536, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia," the U.S. Treasury Department said July 5, 2012.
"Today, the United States imposed sanctions on six individuals who threaten peace in Somalia. These individuals all have links to the terrorist organization al-Shabaab, which remains one of the greatest obstacles to restoring stability in Somalia," said U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice in a statement the same day.
The individuals designated are Colonel Tewolde Negash and Colonel Taeme Goitom, two Eritrean government officials; Suhayl Salim Muhammad Abd-el-Rahman (aka Abu-Faris), a Sudanese al-Shabaab foreign fighter facilitator; and Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, Omar Awadh Omar and Aboud Rogo Mohammed, who are three Kenyan al-Shabaab supporters.
"The sanctioning of two Eritrean military officials underscores the ongoing concern about Eritrea's violations of Security Council resolutions," Rice said. "Thwarting Somalia's path to peace and creating regional discord will not be tolerated. The United States condemns, in the strongest terms, all acts that further destabilize Somalia and bring harm to innocent civilians."
President Obama issued E.O. 13536 in April 2010 to sanction individuals and entities engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia. Al-Shabaab was listed in the annex of the order.
Al-Shabaab was also previously identified in February 2008 by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization and designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, the U.S. government's terrorism sanctions authority.
Previous designations under E.O. 13536 have included members of al-Shabaab, a member of the Eritrean government, and pirates who operate in Somalia and neighboring countries throughout the region. The current designations of individuals based in Somalia, Kenya and Eritrea highlight the regional nature of the conflict in Somalia.
"The United States is determined to target those who are responsible for the ongoing bloodshed and instability in Somalia," said Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Controln Director Adam J. Szubin. "By designating these individuals today we are taking action to support our partner governments in East Africa and the African Union Mission in Somalia in their efforts to dismantle al-Shabaab."
More information on the designated individuals, including personal details, activities and aliases, is available in the Treasury Department news release.