US sanctions arms smuggling ring in Somalia

The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday targeting an arms trafficking network supplying Shebab in Somalia, two days after an attack claimed by these radical Islamists which left 116 dead in the capital Mogadishu, the deadliest for five years.

The US Treasury has blacklisted eight people and a company involved in arms trafficking through Iran, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, fueling violence in the region, according to a statement. “These individuals and the entity named today are crucial elements of an arms trafficking network that is tightly integrated with the Islamic State-Somalia group“, further specified the press release from the Treasury. These networks operatemainly between Yemen and Somalia and have close ties with the jihadist group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqpa) and Shebab“. The Treasury specifically singled out Abdirahman Mohamed Omar, who operates in the Puntland region in northeastern Somalia, accusing him of supplying radical Islamists with nearly $2 million worth of arms over the past four years.

Somalia, a country in the Horn of Africa, has been plunged into chaos since the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991. The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab jihadist movement has been fighting the community-backed federal government since 2007. international. The American sanctions have the effect of freezing any assets of these persons under American jurisdiction and prohibiting any trade by American companies or individuals with these persons.

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