MOGADISHU (Halbeeg News) – The Somali government has urged Iraq authorities to investigate a ship carrying 200,000 bags of charcoal which reportedly docked at an Iraqi port, Umm Qasr.
In an interview with VOA, Somali Ambassador to the United Nations Abukar Osman called on Iraq government to halt the clearance to the ship carrying bags of charcoal smuggled out of Somalia.
“The federal government of Somalia calls on the Iraqi government to expedite investigations and be swift in actions to halt further clearance of the said ship,” Osman said.
The ambassador condemned all parties involved in the racket and those who have been engaged in the illegal export of charcoal from Somalia.
“Illegal charcoal smuggling is detrimental to the security and stability of Somalia since revenue from illegal charcoal export is the main financial source for the terrorist organizations of Al-Shabab,” Osman said.
The development comes barely five months after Somalia hosted a UN-supported conference on charcoal which focused on means to stop the illegal trade, curb the unsustainable production and use of charcoal and develop alternative sources of energy.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that the total production for export is about four times that for domestic use.
A 2012 United Nations Security Council resolution banned the export of charcoal from Somalia due to its destructive effect on the environment, and that it was intensifying conflict and humanitarian crises.