UN lifts Eritrea sanctions & renews arms embargo on Somalia

UNSCEarlier this week (14 November), the UN Security Council adopted UNSC Resolution 2444 (2018), which (inter alia):

1.      Lifts the UN arms embargo, travel bans and asset freezes imposed on Eritrea; and

2.      Renews the UN arms embargo against Somalia.

US continues Somalia sanctions for 1 year

White House2In April 2010, the US adopted Executive Order (EO) 13536, which declared a national emergency in respect of Somalia (namely, for 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… and violations of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council”). That EO imposed a number of asset freezing measures, including against ‘al-Shabaab’.

In July 2012, EO 13536 was amended by EO 13620, which (inter alia) imposed an import ban on Somalian coal into the US.

Yesterday, President Trump extended those sanctions for 1 year by continuing the national emergency as declared. White House press release here.

EU implements 2 new UN entries to Somalia sanctions list

EU5.jpgOn 8 March 2018, the UN Security Council added 2 people to its Somalia and Eritrea sanctions list, Ahmad Iman Ali and Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi, for alleged links with Al-Shabaab (previous blog here). The EU has implemented those two new entries by adopting Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/417 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/413.

UN & US sanction 2 people for Al-Shabaab links

UN HQ.jpgThe UN Security Council has added 2 individuals, Ahmad Iman Ali and Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi, to its Somalia and Eritrea sanctions list – UN press release here and UK OFSI Notice here. The US Department of State has designated those same individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 – OFAC Notice here and Department of State press release here.

Mr Ali is said to be a “prominent Kenyan Al-Shabaab commander who has served as the group’s leader in Kenya since 2012” – UN summary of reasons for listing here. Mr Abdi was placed on the “Kenyan government’s wanted list of terrorists known or suspected to be members of Al-Shabaab”, and is “wanted in connection with the June 2014 attack in Mpeketoni, Kenya that claimed numerous lives” – UN summary of reasons for listing here.

UN extends arms embargoes on Somalia and Eritrea

UN1The UN Security Council has adopted Resolution 2385 (2017), which extends the modified arms embargo on Somalia and the authorisation for maritime interdiction of illicit arms imports and charcoal exports until 15 November 2018. The arms ban on Eritrea has also been renewed until 15 November 2018. Click here for the UN press release.

EU Afghanistan, Somalia and Tunisia listing updates

In order to implement decisions by the UN Security Council to amend its sanctions listings, the EU has added Torek Agha to its Afghanistan list and deleted Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale from its Somalia list.

The US sanctioned Torek Agha in October for being “a long-standing Taliban member”, who had “been central to spearheading brutal military attacks and raising millions of dollars to support the Taliban’s ruthless acts of terrorism” (see previous blog), allegations echoed by the UN in its reasons.  Ali Ahmed Nur Jim’ale was said by the UN to have supported al-Shabaab, listed itself for threatening the peace, security, or stability of Somalia.  HM Treasury’s notice is here.

The Afghanistan update is made by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2043 implementing Council Regulation 753/2011 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/2054 implementing Council Decision 2011/486/CFSP.  The Somalia update is made by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/2044 implementing Council Regulation 356/2010 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/2053 implementing Council Decision 2010/231/CFSP. The UN’s press releases on the Afghanistan and Somalia updates are here and here.

The EU has also published a notice for the attention of people and entities listed in its Tunisia sanctions, informing them that, following a review, the Council has concluded that they should all remain on the list of those designated, and that they may request reconsideration of that decision and present observations to the Council before 1 December 2015.


On 3 March 2015, the EU removed Mohamed Sa’id from its list of individuals subject to sanctions in view of the situation in Somalia.  This is to reflect his delisting by the United Nations Security Council on 19 December 2014 (UNSC Resolution 1844 (2008)).  See Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/325 implementing Article 13 of Council Regulation (EU) 356/2010 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2015/337 implementing Council Decision 2010/231/CFSP.

The EU also amended its sanctions against Somalia to reflect amendments made by the United Nations Security Council on 24 October 2014 (UNSC Resolution 2182 (2014)).  Under the amended measures, Member States are now authorised to inspect vessels bound to or from Somalia, in Somali territorial waters or off the Somali coast, which they have reasonable grounds to believe are:

  1. carrying charcoal from Somalia in violation of the charcoal ban; or
  2. carrying weapons or military equipment to Somalia, directly or indirectly, in violation of the arms embargo on Somalia; or
  3. carrying weapons or military equipment to individuals or entities designated by the Sanctions Committee.

Member states are authorised to seize and dispose of any such items that they find, and must promptly notify the Sanctions Committee of any inspections carried out under these measures.

The amendments are made by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/335 amending Council Decision 2010/231/CFSP.

A list of EU sanctions in force against Somalia can be found in the “sanctions in force” section of this blog.


On 21 October 2014, the EU published Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1104/2014 and Council Implementing Decision 2014/729/CFSP which implement the updates made by the United Nations Security Council to its sanctions relating to Somalia. Both of the measures enter into force on the date of their publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The amendments add two new people (Maalim Salman and Ahmend Diriye) on the basis of their senior roles in al-Shabaab. The new Regulation implements Article 12(1) of Council Regulation (EU) No 356/2010 and the new Decision implements Council Decision 2010/231/CFSP.

The UN has targeted restrictive measures against Al-Shabaab and Somalian individuals deemed to threaten the peace process since 2008.

A Notice published in the Official Journal informs listed people of the possibility of challenging the decision in the General Court of the EU or submitting a request to the United Nations Focal Point or Council of the EU for reconsideration.

A full list of EU sanctions in force against Somalia can be found on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.