The inaugural conference on combatting the illicit smuggling of charcoal was held at the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters in Bahrain on 23 July 2018. The conference was attended by representatives from GCC countries, as well as CMF members. With the majority of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries being present, the aim of the conference was to identify potential methods to disrupt the illicit trade in charcoal emanating from Somalia. It is estimated that terrorist organisations such as Al-Shabaab earn in the region of US$10 million per year by smuggling charcoal from Somalia, which is often marketed as legitimate charcoal to buyers in GCC countries, CMF said. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) placed a total ban on the export of charcoal from Somalia in 2012. In 2014, the UNSC gave authorisation for Member States to inspect vessels suspected to be carrying charcoal from Somalia in violation of the ban, to seize and dispose of the illicit cargo and to divert the vessels to a port for such disposal. There are multiple nuances in enforcing any UNSCR, and for Charcoal this includes considerations such as safe disposal, avoiding environmental damage. (…)