Forces -- The Combined Maritime Forces
(CMF) HQ has been visited by Dr. Charles Cater from the United
Nations’ (UN) Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group to update CMF
on the latest analysis of the illegal charcoal trade from
The export of charcoal from Somalia has been
banned since 2012 under UN Security Council Resolution 2036.
Dr. Cater, a highly qualified Nairobi-based UN natural
resources expert, spent three days with CMF staff to discuss
CMF’s activities in intercepting this illegal trade, which
contributes substantial funding to the Somali militant group
known as ‘Al Shabaab’.
Dr Cater explained that checkpoint taxation between charcoal
production sites and stockpiles at ports currently generate at
least $10m per annum of income for Al Shabaab.
In addition to meeting with CMF policy and legal advisers, Dr
Cater discussed with the staff of Jordanian led Combined Task
Force 152 to establish what more CMF can do to help enforce the
UNSCR wherever possible.
CTF 152 is specifically responsible for maritime security
operations within the Arabian Gulf and, along with CTF 150 who
focus on maritime security operations outside the Arabian Gulf,
are best placed to disrupt the flow of charcoal from Somalia to
countries in the region.
CMF has enjoyed some success during recent months by sharing
information with port authorities in the importing nations, to
provide the opportunity for those nations to then seize and sell
the cargos, retaining the sales proceeds for their own national
CMF is continuing to work with regional stakeholders to
enforce Security Council resolution 2036 and eradicate the
illicit charcoal trade as a source of financing for Al-Shabaab.