UN report: Banned Somali charcoal exports pass through Iran

A Somalian soldier walks past a consignment of charcoal destined for the export market in Barawe. (Reuters/Feisal Omar/File)
Updated 13 October 2018
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UN report: Banned Somali charcoal exports pass through Iran

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations sanctions monitors say banned charcoal exports from Somalia are thriving, generating millions of dollars a year for Al-Shabab extremists — and often passing through Iran to have their origins obscured.
That’s according to excerpts from a yet-unpublished report seen by The Associated Press.
The monitors say that six years after the UN Security Council prohibited Somali charcoal exports to stem Al-Shabab funding, an estimated three million bags of charcoal are making their way out of the Horn of Africa country each year.
The monitors say the main destinations are ports in Iran. There, they say, charcoal that is already falsely labeled as coming from Comoros, Ghana or Ivory Coast is transferred and labeled “product of Iran.”
There is no immediate response from Iran’s UN mission.


Eastern Libyan forces hand El Sharara oilfield to oil guards

Updated 5 min 20 sec ago
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Eastern Libyan forces hand El Sharara oilfield to oil guards

  • The field, which had been producing about 315,000 barrels per day (bpd), was closed after a group of state guards and tribesmen seized it
  • Libyan forces loyal to a commander based in the east of the politically divided nation took control of the field last week

BENGHAZI, Libya: Eastern Libyan forces handed over control of the El Sharara oilfield to an oil security force, officials said on Tuesday, in a bid to encourage state oil firm NOC to restart production that has been halted since December.
The field, which had been producing about 315,000 barrels per day (bpd), was closed after a group of state guards and tribesmen seized it, making financial and other demand. NOC declared force majeure, a waiver on its contracts.
NOC, based in Tripoli, in the west of Libya where the internationally recognized government is based, has said it will not reopen the field without a new security arrangement and once other conditions are met, such as ensuring its workers are safe.
Libyan forces loyal to a commander based in the east of the politically divided nation took control of the field last week, after holding negotiations with the state guards and tribesmen.
“We call on NOC to lift force majeure,” Naji Al-Maghrabi, the eastern-based commander of the state oil guards which were appointed to protect the field, said in a statement posted online.
A spokesman for the eastern military confirmed the handing over of the field to the oil force.
There was no immediate comment from NOC.
It was not immediately clear if handing over security to security guards under the control of an eastern-based commander would meet NOC’s demands.
The eastern forces launched an offensive in mid-January to secure the southern oilfields, which include El Sharara.