Charcoal a dark issue for Somalia

cookstove-353x212A story in Christian Science Monitor claims that purchases of charcoal by the United Nations – to fuel the troop kitchens of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) – are indirectly funding the terrorist group, Al Shebab.

The UN currently buys 52 tons of charcoal a week (under a contract worth about $1 million annually) for the kitchens of peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu. To fulfill this contract, it is estimated that at least 250 trees need to be felled each week.

Deforestation of the few remaining trees in southern Somalia for charcoal burning is likely one of the major causes of drought, which has caused millions of people to seek international aid.

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