203. Charcoal production in Somalia, including for illicit export, has continued at a high rate. According to analysis of satellite imagery by FAO, there were approximately 26,000 total sites of charcoal production from 2011 to 2017, with approximately 4,000 sites identified during 2017. In 2017, the primary area of charcoal production has been south of Badhadhe, Lower Juba, in the south-east corner of Somalia, while the secondary area of charcoal production has been near Bu’ale, Middle Juba. Both have been Al-Shabaab-occupied territory.
204. The Monitoring Group has received information that, in contrast to tactics observed during the previous mandate, Al-Shabaab has resumed the systematic taxation of charcoal at checkpoints along routes from charcoal production areas to ports. The rate of taxation is $2.50 per bag of charcoal, or about $750 for a truck loaded with charcoal bags. The charcoal produced south of Badhadhe is transported by way of small roads to the Buur Gaabo stockpile, while the charcoal produced near Bu’ale would be transported along the road through Jilib and onward to the stockpiles at Kismayo.
205. The stockpiles at Kismayo and Buur Gaabo remain the main sources of exports of charcoal, while the stockpile at Barawe may also pose a threat to peace and security. On 11 and 12 June 2017, members of the Monitoring Group observed the two charcoal stockpiles located near the Port of Kismayo. The Group also subsequently obtained photos of the third Kismayo charcoal stockpile located in the north of the city. Between 11 and 14 June, members of the Group observed the stockpiles located near the Port of Kismayo and at Buur Gaabo (see satellite imagery of the stockpiles in annex 12.1). Finally, the Group remains concerned that the charcoal stockpile at Barawe constitutes a threat to peace and security, as it could be a target for an Al-Shabaab offensive or prompt conflict among charcoal traffickers (see S/2016/919, para. 131). On 3 March 2017, in a meeting with the President of the Interim South-West Administration, the Group reiterated that the Interim South-West Administration, in consultation with the Federal Government, should seek the Committee’s guidance regarding the Barawe charcoal stockpile.
B. Illicit export of charcoal
206. The available evidence suggests that the scale of illicit charcoal exports from Somalia has not substantially changed from the Monitoring Group’s previous mandate. The Group conservatively estimates that, other than during the monsoon season from August to October, approximately 15 dhows per month, or about 135 dhows per year, depart from Kismayo and Buur Gaabo with cargoes of charcoal. With cargoes averaging a volume of 30,000 bags, each weighing 25 kg, that would equal 750,000 kg of charcoal per dhow or more than 100,000 metric tons of charcoal exported per year. At an estimated value of $30 per bag wholesale in export markets (see S/2016/919, annex 9.2), approximately four million bags per year of charcoal exports would be worth $120 million.
207. The United Arab Emirates, particularly Port Al Hamriya in Dubai, continues to be the principal destination for illegal exports of charcoal from Somalia. The Monitoring Group has also received information during the current mandate regarding Somali charcoal being imported through the Port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, although the quantities have not yet been verified. Other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, have also been confirmed as destinations for Somali charcoal (see annex 12.2). The Group has also received reports regarding charcoal dhows bound for ports in Oman, but these have not been verified.
C. Paperwork and criminal networks