UN urges Gulf to stop somali charcoal trade | Shabelle Media Network
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

UN urges Gulf to stop somali charcoal trade

Published on September 17, 2013 by   ·   1 Comment

The UN is pushing Middle Eastern countries to crack down on a multimillion dollar charcoal trade that funds al-Qaeda-linked jihadis in Somalia in violation of international sanctions.

Charcoal is the economic lifeline of the al-Shabaab Islamist militants, who control much of southern Somalia and regularly conduct terror attacks in Mogadishu, the capital.

The UN Security Council’s committee on sanctions in Somalia meets on Friday to consider the case of two vessels docked in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which UN officials say are “test cases” of whether Middle East countries will enforce international sanctions.

UN officials have previously accused businessmen based in Gulf countries of illegally importing Somali charcoal, but this is the first time they have given prior warning to a government that a shipload of contraband charcoal was heading its way, putting pressure on it to implement the sanctions regime.

The UN estimates that al-Shabaab pocketed more than $25m (Sh2.2 billion) from charcoal in 2011, fuelling its operations and undermining efforts to promote stability in a fragile country suffering from terrorism, piracy and more than 20 years of clan warfare.

UN-backed African troops pushed al-Shabaab out of Mogadishu two years ago, but although weakened it still holds vast swaths of the southern

countryside – which is filled with acacia tree forests that are cut down for charcoal – and launches regular suicide attacks.

In a letter addressed to Ahmed Al-Jarman, the UAE’s permanent representative to the UN, dated August 30 and seen by the Financial Times, the co-ordinator of the UN’s sanctions monitoring group on Somalia, Jarat Chopra, said his group had verified that a vessel, the MV Energy 3, had docked in southern Somalia’s Kismayo port on August 2 and taken on board 140,895 sacks of charcoal. Eleven days later the ship docked in Dubai’s Port Rashid.

Chopra said, in a separate letter, that Dubai-based charcoal traders were treating the fate of the MV Energy 3 vessel as “a test case for the effectiveness of the charcoal ban” in the Middle East. He also named six more vessels plying the illegal charcoal route.

The UAE has told the UN that the shipment and vessel have been seized, but acknowledged the charcoal had been offloaded, but only because “smoke was rising from the vessel”. Abu Dhabi’s ambassador to the UN said in its letter that “investigations have been launched to verify the documentation of the cargo”.

A UN sanctions report published in July stated Somalia’s illegal charcoal exports are worth more than $360m (Sh31.3 billion) on the international market, and that two al-Shabaab traders control a third of exports. “[Gulf] countries continue to be the principal importers of Somali charcoal in violation of the Security Council ban,” said the UN sanctions report, which singled out UAE and Saudi Arabia as the worst perpetrators.

“There are strong links between the Kismayo charcoal traders and the large charcoal businessmen in Dubai,” the report stated.

In a separate case, a Dubai-owned vessel, the MV Loai IV, left an al-Shabaab-controlled port bound for Saudi Arabia late last year but

was refused entry and instead docked in Egypt, which impounded the shipment estimated at more than 100,000 sacks of charcoal. In a letter

dated August 30, Egypt asked the UN whether it could permit the cargo to leave its waters. The UN is seeking further details about the destination of the vessel.

This week, al-Shabaab claimed it conducted a “martyrdom operation” directed against Ahmed Madobe, the Kenya-backed militia leader turned

Administrator, who controls the fraught region home to Kismayo port and its charcoal exports. Mr Madobe escaped but said several of his guards were killed.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. [...] The U.N. has urged the governments of the countries in the Arabic Gulf, especially the United Arab Emirates, to respect a U.N. embargo on the export of charcoal from Somalia. The charcoal trade is one of the main sources of income for Al Shabaab, an Islamist militia fighting against the U.N. supported government in Somalia. Its main trading partners are traders from the UAE. Shabelle Media [...]

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Somali News


Taliye Koofi oo Maanta Amaro Culus Dul Dhigay Saxaafada iyo Mustaf Dhuxulow oo ka soo Hor Jeestay Amaradaasi

September 2, 2014
Muqdisho(Sh M Network)- Taliyaha Ciidamada Nabad Sugidda Gobolka ...

Nabadoon Xaad: Waa la i Handaday Waxaana la iigu Hanjabay in la i Dilayo

September 2, 2014
Muqdisho( Sh M Network)- Gudoomiyaha Golaha Dhaqanka iyo ...

Ciidamada Nabad Sugida oo u Hanjabaya Suxufiyiinta Shabelle iyo Sky FM ee ku Sugan Muqdisho

September 2, 2014
Muqdisho(Sh M Network)-- hanjabaadyo kala duwan ayaa soo ...

Radio Shabelle iyo SKY iyo Masuuliyiintii Idaacadahaasi oo Maalintii 19-aad oo si sharci darro ah ugu Xiran Dawladda Somalia

September 2, 2014
Muqdisho(Sh M Network)- Maalintii 19aad ayaa waxaa si ...

Suxufiyiinta Shabelle iyo Sky FM oo Qatar Weyn ay ku soo wajahday Weerarkii lagu Qaaday Godka Jilacow

August 31, 2014
War Saxaafadeed Muqdisho( Sh M Network)- War Saxaafadeed  ka ...

War Saxaafadeed: Shabelle oo ka wel welsan mu’aamarad dacwad oo uu wado xafiiska xeer ilaalinta

August 28, 2014
War Saxaafadeed Muqdisho(Sh M Network)- Haddii aynu nahay Guddiga Maamulka ...

Idaacaddaha Shabelle iyo SKY FM oo Labo Todobaad si Sharci Darro ah ugu Xiran Dawladda Federaalka

August 28, 2014
Muqdisho (Sh M Network)—waxaa Labo Todobaad si sharci ...

Gen Galaal: Dawladdu Sida ay ula Dhaqantay Shabelle iyo Sky FM waa Qaa Jabhadeed

August 27, 2014
Muqdisho(Sh M Network)- General Maxamed Nuur Galaal ayaa sheegay ...

DAAWO: Amiin Caamir oo Sawir Gacmeed Naxdin Badan ku Cabiray Jirdilka loo Geysto Suxufiyiinta Shabelle iyo Sky FM

August 25, 2014
Muqdisho(Sh M Network)- Sawir sameeyaha weyn ee Amiin ...

Masuuliyiinta iyo Idaacaddaha Shabelle iyo SKY FM oo Maalintii 9-aad si sharci darro ah ugu xiran Dawladda Federaalka

August 23, 2014
Muqdisho (Sh M Network)—waxaa Maalintii 9-aad si sharci ...