Smuggling cartels, militants hinder revival of Somali port | Reuters

Al Qaeda-linked militants, drug smugglers and shadowy criminal networks stand in the way of the Somali federal government’s hopes of hiring a foreign firm to manage the lucrative but run-down southern port of Kismayu.

One of only three deep-water ports in Somalia, Kismayu’s proximity to northern Kenya and Ethiopia has for decades made it integral to a thriving business smuggling arms, sugar and increasingly narcotics across porous east African borders.

Foreign powers trying to curb militant Islam in Somalia fret about the money-spinning charcoal trade that remains a big earner for the Islamist group al Shabaab. The U.N. Security Council has banned charcoal exports but the trade continues unabated in areas where the government holds little influence.

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via Smuggling cartels, militants hinder revival of Somali port | Reuters.

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