UN: 'Vessels off coast of Somalia to be searched for arms, illicit charcoal'

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Security Council said ships off the coast of Somalia suspected
of carrying illicit arms or charcoal can be stopped and searched, in order to ascertain what
the ships are carrying, and to ensure conformity with the Council's relevant resolutions.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York on Monday said that Council passed the
resolution last Friday, with 13 votes in favour, while Russia and Jordan abstained from the
voting.

It said the resolution authorized any UN member state to carry out inspections and
ensure compliance with the Council's decisions.

It also renewed the partial lifting of an arms embargo for the security forces of the Federal
Government of Somalia (FGS).

The statement quoted Ambassador David Pressman of the US Mission to the UN, in his
presentation, as saying: "The international market value of charcoal exported from
Somalia in 2013 and 2014 is estimated to be 250 million dollars of which 30 percent is
estimated to flow directly to Al Shabaab and fund their operations.

"The export of Somali charcoal has long been a concern for this Council and we are
pleased the Security Council is authorizing further means to enforce the ban on charcoal
exports and illicit arms transfers that violate the arms embargo through maritime
interdiction."

In response to concerns voiced by some Council members, the statement advised
naval forces to have "reasonable grounds" to carry out the searches.

A recent report by the UN monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea revealed that the
terrorist group Al-Shabaab continued to export charcoal illegally.

PANA in New York reports that the mandate of the UN Mission in Somalia has also
been renewed.
-0- PANA AA/AR  27Oct2014

27 october 2014 18:01:34




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