Sanctions on Somalia will stifle growth, affect stability

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In Hargeisa, I also met Moustapha Osman Guelleh, chief operating officer and co-owner of Somaliland Beverage Industries. Educated in Britain, Mr. Guelleh had just completed construction of a state-of-the-art Coca Cola bottling plant. In a nearby village, he built a two-classroom school.

I also met three entrepreneurs Abdi Nur, CEO of a construction company; Abdirahman Adam, senior marketing director of a privately held telecommunications company; and Omar Hayd, CEO of an import-export trading company. They all had lived in the United States and were enthusiastic about Somaliland’s future.

A trade embargo on any products will hurt already destitute Somalis, who live on less than $1 per day.

Somaliland has been stable, without insurgent activity, so the sanctions will be extended against this fledgling economic activity. Somalis fear the sanctions because they may scare off expatriates seeking to invest in Somaliland.

The U.S. sanctions, intended to curb radical Islamists’ activities, instead will stifle economic growth a requisite for stability.

• John Price is a former U.S. ambassador to Comoros, Mauritius and the Seychelles islands. He is currently a resident scholar at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. He is the author of “When the White House Calls” and writes commentaries on Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

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