US Puts Sanctions on 6 for al-Shabab Support

Posted July 5th, 2012 at 4:15 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has placed financial sanctions on two Eritrean officials and four other East Africans it accuses of supporting the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated the six men Thursday under a 2010 presidential order that allows the government to freeze property of individuals contributing to the conflict in Somalia.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said all six have direct links to the terrorist organization. In a written statement, she said all six threaten peace and hopes for stability in the region, and she warned that such actions will not be tolerated.

The Eritreans named are Colonel Tewolde Negash, an intelligence officer accused of funneling money to al-Shabab, and Colonel Taeme Goitom. Goitom is accused of helping make decisions for a group within the Hizbul Islam militia that merged with al-Shabab in 2010.

The sanctions also identify Sudanese national Suhayl Salim Abd-el-Rahman, an alleged travel and financial assistant for foreign fighters trying to enter Somalia.

Three Kenyans — Aboud Rogo Mohammed, Abubaker Shariff Ahmed and Omar Awadh Omar — also made the list. They are accused of providing financial or logistical support to al-Shabab.

In addition, Omar is accused of helping to plan the July 2010 bombings in Kampala, Uganda that killed 74 people. The U.S. says he is incarcerated in Uganda, awaiting trial.

The United States designated al-Shabab itself as a terrorist organization in 2008. The group has been trying to overthrow the Somali government and impose a harshly conservative form of Islam on the country.

It once controlled most of southern and central Somalia but has lost most of its territory in the past 18 months to a multi-nation offensive.