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24 Aug 2014

Agence France-Presse, in Global Post

UN envoy says charcoal sale funding militant attacks in Somalia

"Troops ready to end Somali Shebab's lucrative charcoal trade" 22 August 2014

Somali and African Union troops are preparing for a fresh assault on Islamist-held ports to end a multi-million dollar charcoal trade funding militant attacks, the UN envoy said on Friday. The Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab are still a powerful and dangerous force but have lost a string of towns to the 22,000-strong AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The southern port of Barawe is now one of the few major settlements under their control, said UN special representative in Somalia Nick Kay. "It is very important they are deprived of their towns," Kay told AFP while visiting the Kenyan capital. He said the hardline Shebab were still generating at least $25 million (19 million euros) a year from charcoal, which is mainly exported to Gulf nations.