The President of Somalia’s southern semi-autonomous region of Jubbaland, Ahmed Mohamed Islam, known as [Ahmed Madobe] has been accused of resuming charcoal export despite UN ban.
The port city of Kismayo, the current seat of Jubbaland is in the spotlight again over illegal exports of the charcoal from Al Shabaab controlled areas in Middle and Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia.
Exclusive photos obtained by Shabelle Media Network [SMN] based in Mogadishu showed truckloads of charcoal being loaded onto boats docked at Kismayo port by Jubbaland administration under Madobe.
In the pictures, Kenyan soldiers are seen patrolling the port yard as porters load the charcoal sacks on the boats. Kenya Defence Forces [KDF] liberated Kismayo from Al Shabaab militants in 2012.
A port worker who asked not to be named told SMN that in the past few months more 20 boats were being loaded for transport to the countries in the Middle East, mainly Oman, Iran, and UAE.
Sources close to Jubbaland Presidency revealed that President Madobe is receiving millions of US Dollars for allowing illicit exports of charcoal from a port under his control.
Madobe uses the charcoal export economy to neutralize an impeachment motion against his government by members of the State Parliament and other crises he is now facing, according to the sources.
President Ahmed Madobe, former Islamist leader took power in May 2013 after a bloody battle with rival leaders in Kismayo, several months after KDF liberated the lucrative town from the Al-Shabaab fighters.
Charcoal produced in southern Somalia comes mainly from acacia forests in riverine zones between the Jubba regions, mostly under Al Shabaab. Massive deforestation occurred in those areas as a result.
In 2012, the UN Security Council bans trade in charcoal from Kismayo city, citing generate at least $15 million a year in revenues for Al Shabaab militants who are waging a decade-long insurgency against Somali government and the African Union forces [AMISOM].