President Obama informed Congress on Thursday of his intention to renew sanctions against Somalia despite the country forming a central government for the first time in 22 years.
The Obama administration recognized the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Jan. 17. The move paves the way for a resumption of civilian and military aid and full diplomatic relations with a country that had operated without a government since warlords toppled the central government in 1991.
“Although the U.S. recognition underscores a strong commitment to Somalia's stabilization, it does not remove the importance of U.S. sanctions, especially against persons undermining the stability of Somalia,” Obama wrote to congressional leaders. “For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Somalia and to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.”
The decision renews for a year sanctions such as restrictions on charcoal exports that have funded the Islamist militant group al Shabaab.
Here's the full notice regarding the continuation of the national emergency with regard to Somalia:
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO SOMALIA
On April 12, 2010, by Executive Order 13536, I declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the deterioration of the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia, acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, which have repeatedly been the subject of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and violations of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
On July 20, 2012, I issued Executive Order 13620 to take additional steps to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13536 in view of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2036 of February 22, 2012, and Resolution 2002 of July 29, 2011, and to address: exports of charcoal from Somalia, which generate significant revenue for al-Shabaab; the misappropriation of Somali public assets; and certain acts of violence committed against civilians in Somalia, all of which contribute to the deterioration of the security situation and the persistence of violence in Somalia.
The situation with respect to Somalia continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on April 12, 2010, and the measures adopted on that date and on July 20, 2012, to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond April 12, 2013. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13536.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
April 4, 2013.