The White House late Friday issued an executive order authorizing new sanctions relating to an ongoing conflict in Mali.
Despite a 2015 peace and reconciliation agreement, terrorist activity has expanded into southern and central Mali, the White House said in a statement released alongside the executive order. Signatories to the accord “have made distressingly little headway” in implementing key components of the agreement that could move Mali toward peace and tackle grievances that push Mali toward violence, the U.S. State Department said.
“By taking this action, President Trump is ensuring all tools of national power are employed to promote resolution of the conflict in Mali and to hold accountable those persons who have committed acts of violence or engaged in other crimes that have prolonged the conflict, causing the Malian people undue suffering,” the White House said.
Drug trafficking, hostage taking, attacks against civilians and attacks against United Nations peacekeeping officials have made it the most dangerous U.N. mission in the world, the White House said.
The order did not contain an annex; no one was sanctioned when it was issued. The executive order follows U.S. sanctions imposed earlier this month on al-Qa’ida leaders operating in Mali and U.N. designations on five Malian men for impeding peace.
Senior administration officials acknowledged to reporters on a conference call that there was no one sanctioned under the order, but said its purpose is to put those undermining the peace and security of Mali on notice. “They’ll not be allowed to operate with impunity. The international community is watching and will not hesitate to impose costs if this activity persists,” the official said.