Vessels off coast of Somalia to be searched for illicit charcoal

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Security Council meeting. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Ships off the coast of Somalia suspected of carrying illicit arms or charcoal can be stopped and searched, the UN Security Council has determined.

The Council passed the resolution on Friday, with 13 votes in favour. Russia and Jordan abstained.

The resolution authorizes any state to carry out inspections.

It also renews the partial lifting of an arms embargo for the security forces of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS).

Ambassador David Pressman of the United States is in charge of Political Affairs.

“The international market value of charcoal exported from Somalia in 2013 and 2014 is estimated to be 250 million dollars of which 30 per cent is estimated to flow directly to Al Shabaab and fund their operations. The export of Somali charcoal has long been a concern for this Council and we are pleased the Security is authorizing further means to enforce the ban on charcoal exports and illicit arms transfers that violate the arms embargo through maritime interdiction."

In response to concerns voiced by some Council members, naval forces are advised to have "reasonable grounds" to carry out the searches.

A recent report by the UN monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea revealed that the terrorist group Al-Shabaab continued to export charcoal illegally.

The mandate of the UN Mission in Somalia has also been renewed.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’43″

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