Obama bans charcoal from Somalia
July 20th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Obama bans charcoal from Somalia

By Jamie Crawford

President Barack Obama has targeted the export of charcoal from war-torn Somalia, the sales of which help finance an al Qaeda-affiliated group, the State Department said Friday.

Through an amendment to an already existing executive order, Obama signed on to a resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council earlier this year that banned Somali exports of charcoal.

"The charcoal ban applies significant pressure on Al-Shabaab, which derives much of its income from charcoal exports," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a written statement. "The production of charcoal in Somalia has also had a devastating environmental impact that has exacerbated the country's protracted humanitarian crisis."

Al-Shabaab, a radical Islamist group that operates in southern Somalia, announced its affiliation with al Qaeda earlier this year and pledged its loyalty to Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's leader.

"Al-Shabaab continues to pose a serious threat to peace, security, and stability of Somalia, including by denying humanitarian access to those in urgent need," Nuland said in the statement.

In addition to the charcoal ban, Friday's amendment also imposes targeted sanctions on anyone misappropriating Somali public funds, using children in armed conflicts in Somalia or committing certain acts of violence against Somali civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended a conference in London earlier this year to discuss how the international community could work together to stabilize the chaotic situation in the Horn of Africa country. One topic was the British-sponsored resolution in the Security Council that sought to ban Somali charcoal exports, along with expanding the number of U.N. peacekeeping troops in Somalia and widening their mandate beyond the capital, Mogadishu.

"Much of the charcoal that flows out of south-central Somalia is either taxed or owned by Al-Shabaab," a senior State Department official told reporters traveling with Clinton in February. "When charcoal flows out to Yemen, to Saudi Arabia, to places in the Gulf, Al-Shabaab is able to tax this charcoal and to gain resources from it."

Since its inception in 2004, Somalia's Transitional Federal Government has had a difficult time developing the capacity to build and consolidate the country's security and political gains. Its mandate is due to expire in August.

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," Nuland said.

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Filed under: Al-Shabaab • Obama • Somalia
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Abdi

    Tank to president obama but let he tell to gulf states to stop charcoal from their ports

    August 1, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
  2. Omar

    Mr. President ,
    If you are serious about this act of stopping economical supply to terror. You have to stop billion a year that Somali Al-shabab business in Minneapolis MN and Arabs in Dearborn Michigan sent to Somalia, which ends to hands
    of Shabab terrorists.

    July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  3. Non

    Brack obama hi grazy mane

    July 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  4. 2012marandalaw

    Reblogged this on Marinchek-Marn.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  5. How

    Then how will the poor people grill food for the rich people then?

    July 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  6. jaoor

    Tks to president Obama. We wish if you could take further step to ban "Fishing and waste toxic" in the "Somali waters" if he does we will build "a Momentom" not only for him for his daughters as well. And every family will kill scared cow for "Obama".

    July 23, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  7. random name

    Easy to ban – as we don't import anything from Somalia [http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c7700.html] A couple hundred thousand dollars worth per year in all categories – apparently zero dollars worth of charcoal though.

    July 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  8. Name*Farah Ali

    Kindly inform me any press releases or informations regarding to Somalia with respect to the current affairs. Regards

    July 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  9. Osman

    iThink this sanction announced by Obama it the right statement produced at the right time, i hope it will discourage the export of the charcoal and also it will save more plants.
    Indeed it is the responsibility of the Somali people to conserve their county and fight any one who is currently involved charcoal export

    July 22, 2012 at 6:09 am | Reply
  10. Storm

    Then ban weapons imports from Israel while your at it.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:26 am | Reply
  11. lala

    Does the charcoal produced in somalia consumed by americans. I hope not, but the move will send the markets into the red and 1 or 2 somali banks will be bailed out by the pirates national reserve.

    July 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  12. saeed

    its no different what usa does its a bankcrupt and of course that little important fact that usa isent the world largest charcoal producer. he usa and britain isent the producer of anything longer even apple has lost out on samsung in mobile phones what usa does is shoot,outs like the ones that ki,lled 12 people in colorado it was funny that a couple of marines got fu,cked up to they like to play rambo but faced with a ak 47 they sh,it in there pants in afghanistan or in the usa funny the same wea,pon is kill,ing them in usa and outside usa.

    July 21, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • wavejump1100

      saeed i would like to see you tell a US marine to his face what you just posted, the marines in the theater had no weapons to defend themselves with . the united state produces many products and is rich in natural resources. any one of our 50 states can produce more food than the entire nation of somalia. the US has a budget and tax problem, it is not broke. the US can easily pay its deficit but it would have to make unpopular cuts to benefits and spending and raise taxes so it doesnt get done. i dont know what cesspool of a country you are from but its obvious you are very jealous of america.

      July 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
      • saeed

        we pakistani people have killed many usa soldier 1 bullet from a ak 47 to the head of a marine and the job is done we have blasted many of your so called marines to the high heavens 1 ied and boom gameover why we win all the time its abvious we are just to superior to your british and usa marines a taliban high warrior can easily take out 8 marines shoot after shoot to the flate face of a british marine.

        July 22, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • sriram

        Saeed, you paki buffoon, stop ur bull crap. Please dont tell me the about the guts and bravery of pakis... they all are cowards who target civilians with no weapons.... in actual combats you guys run, you are cowards... inspite of that you tell ur people that enemies have lost, and you have won.... hilarious.... hahahahahah....ur warriors are dummies, good for nothin... I know u'll tell me the stories of 65, 71 and 99 etc... u lost all... yep ur rulers will tell u that u are brave, one paki is equal to 10 enemy soldiers etc blah blah blah.... at the end of the day u r just P U S S I E S with big mouth....

        July 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
      • saeedTheTowelHead

        Baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaaaah, Daaaaaaaaaaaaaddy?

        July 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  13. baahalow

    Why Not ban Dumping toxic nuclear waste from Western nations in Somali seas, .that is Genocide against Somalis in general

    July 21, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
  14. DaveYoung

    Why doesn`t Obama ban the importation of Somali terrorists into Minneapolis ?

    July 21, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
  15. Porcelain Bus Driver

    Really? We "export" charcoal from Somalia? Is there nothing we make here anymore?

    Besides white trash psychopaths and meth cookers, attention wh0res and chickenhawks, that is?

    July 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • Porcelain Bus Driver

      Head up up my @ss on that one – should have been "import".

      July 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
      • Trevor

        Too late...

        July 21, 2012 at 1:46 am |
      • wavejump1100

        the USA produces more charcoal than somalia, just not enough to meet the demand. since there is no food to grill in somalia they export nearly all of their charcoal.

        July 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • umakeurselflookstupid

      Well, besides Attention WH0res, we have porcelain bus driver types too. They're not so great either. Odd you would forget that brand of weirdo.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply

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