On Sunday, the United States threatened to sanction any Somalis who hinder a planned political transition. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, who is the senior most U.S. official to visit Somalia in 20 years, said the sanctions include asset freezes, travel bans and visa sanctions.

The American-backed transitional government of Somalia is set to hand over power to a new civilian government by Aug. 20, and the politically-troubled country is required to have a new constitution and president in place by that deadline.

Somalia hasn't had a stable government since the fall of the Siad Baare regime in 1991, and along with the sanctions, the United States is hoping that a $33 million bounty on rebel leaders from the al Shabab militant group will insure future security.