Somalia government on Saturday issued a stern warning to local dealers and Middle Eastern countries involved in the illegal charcoal trade.
"We warn Somali businessmen living in Somalia or abroad that are engaged in this illegal activity to cease such activity or face criminal charges as per the Somali Penal Code.The Office of the Attorney is engaging international law enforcement
institutions including Afripol and Interpol and other countries through mutual legal assistance to enforce the investigation and enforcement of such alleged criminal activities" a statement issued by the FGS said
"The Somali government has requested international forces that are involved to prevent and combat acts of piracy and other activities including illegal fishing in the Indian Ocean to expand its operational scope to include illegal trade of charcoal" the government said.
"The Office of the Attorney General wants to draw the attention of Somali security forces and AMISOM to be vigilant about such activities and urges them to support the investigation and the enforcement of Somali Criminal law and the UN Resolution S/RES/2036 (2012) on Imposing a ban on the direct or indirect import and trade of charcoal from Somalia. The Office of the Attorney General warns that any vessel loaded with charcoal may be confiscated in accordance with Somali laws" the statement said.
Despite a 2012 UN Security Council ban on importing Somalia's charcoal the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Iran are major markets for Somali charcoal exports.
The illegal charcoal trade is said to partly finance militant group Alshabaab.