US sets in motion trade sanctions on Mali

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday said it is preparing to implement a presidential executive order that will set the stage for trade sanctions on Mali.

The West African country in recent years has become a flashpoint of terrorist activity on the continent. On July 26, President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for blocking property of persons contributing to the destabilization of Mali.

In addition to terrorism, the Trump administration cited concerns with increased drug trafficking and human rights abuses in the landlocked country.

Such activities in Mali constitute “an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security and foreign policy of the United States,” the administration said.

OFAC’s rulemaking, which will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, is sparse on details of how the agency will implement and enforce the sanctions.

“OFAC intends to supplement these regulations with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance, general licenses, and statements of licensing policy,” the agency said.