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Provide roadmap for lifting sanctions on Somalia, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tells Biden administration

Somali American Congresswoman has called on the US government to provide a roadmap for the lifting of sanctions imposed on individuals in Somalia and entities over ten years ago noting the restrictions may no longer be relevant.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his treasury counterpart Janet Yellen, Congresswoman Omar said it was time to review the sanctions issued in 2010 and updated in 2012 by the Barack Obama administration.

“The situation in Somalia has changed dramatically since these orders were issued during the Obama Administration and the Executive Orders don’t enumerare any specific conditions under which santions can be lifted,” Omar said.

Omar also asked the two ministers to elaborate the criteria for lifting the sanctions, provide an assessment of the need for the sanctions and strategy for Somalia in addition to the impact the sanctions have had on security, humanitaarian and political stability in Somalia.


President Obama issued Executive Order 13536 on April 12, 2010 ‘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, and acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.”

In July 20, 2012, the president renewed the sanctions under Executive Order 13620 which expanded target areas to include the ban of charcoal export from Somalia and the misappropriation of Somali public assets; and certain acts of violence committed against civilians in Somalia.

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