A new United Nations report has concluded that wealthy financiers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait are using the illicit charcoal trade in Somalia to fund the Jihadist terror group Al Shabaab.
Key financiers of Islamist militants in Somalia are operating with impunity in Gulf states, undermining efforts to end an insurgency in the Horn of Africa country, a United Nations monitoring group said.
Traders in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are fueling the illegal trade in charcoal from Somalia that was banned by the Security Council in 2012, according to a UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea report published on the UN’s website.
“Poor cooperation from state members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, notably in terms of a lack of response to requests for customs documentation,” has hampered the group’s investigations, according to the report.
Charcoal exports to Gulf states are worth at least $250 million a year and “could be much more, given that the group may not have identified all shipments,” according to the report. About a third of that amount is channeled to al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants…