Somalia: Jubaland Chamber of Commerce denies benefiting from illegal charcoal exports

KISMAYO, Somalia Oct 23, 2014 (Garowe Online)-The Chairman of Jubaland Chamber of Commerce and Industries Shafi Rabbi Kahin for the first time responded to allegations by UN panel of experts of violating Security Council ban on Somalia charcoal trade , Garowe Online reports.

Kahin told Garowe Online that the UN report lacks credibility ,and objectivity: "In turn, we joined a campaign aimed at stopping charcoal from exportation at Kismayo seaport to curb deforestation and environmental degradation".

Though UN monitors said in their confidential report that on daily basis at least 20 trucks loaded with 5 to 12 metric tons of charcoal arrive at Kismayo port, Chairman of Jubaland's chamber of Commerce says, alleged businessmen do not facilitate the lucrative trade.

The 8-member panel of investigators furthermore estimated sacks of charcoal to Middle Eastern markets, notably UAE and Saudi Arabia worth USD 250 Million at slightest a year.

On violation of weapons embargo, he stated that they have not financed Jubaland administration in getting armored fighting vehicles.

In February 2012, United Nations Security Council banned the export of charcoal from Somalia, deeming it Al Shabaab's major source of income.
Following the removal of Al Shabaab militants from strategic  Kismayo seaport in late 2012, GO correspondent confirms agricultural product exports gradually replaced charcoal.

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