Somalia, UN meet over illegal charcoal sale

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    By RISDEL KASASIRA

    KAMPALA. The Somali government and United Nations representatives will meet next week in Mogadishu to discuss ways of stopping illegal charcoal trade in the country.
    Charcoal exportation was banned by the UN Security Council resolution and the Somali government in 2012 because of the destructive effect on the environment.

    However, it is also a source of revenue for the al-Shabaab militants.
    “It [the meeting] intends to rally support for concrete action, including partnerships with investors to stop the illegal trade and to strengthen ongoing work in developing alternative livelihoods and alternative energy sources in Somalia,” a statement issued by African Union/United Nations Information Support Team in Somalia on Friday reads in part.
    According to the statement, the May7-8 meeting will also seek to end the trade that has left more than 8.2 million trees cut in Somalia between 2011 and 2017.

    “It intends to rally support for concrete action, including partnerships with investors, to stop the illegal trade and to strengthen ongoing work in developing alternative livelihoods and alternative energy sources in Somalia,” the statement reads.
    Kenya’s Defence Forces have repeatedly denied reports that Kenyan soldiers are involved in this illegal trade at Kisimayo port after it emerged that they were involved.
    Kisimayo is controlled by the Kenyan troops.

    REVENUE
    A UN report released in 2017 showed that al-Shabaab earned approximately $10million in 2016 from charcoal exports to Asia through Kismayo. The report said the militants were using charcoal revenues to finance its operations in Somalia which is undermining counter-terrorism operations by Amisom and Somalia government.

    Monitor.co.ug

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