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Somali Islamists ban animal trade


The Islamic courts that control large parts of Somalia have banned the export of charcoal and wild animals. The courts warned businessmen involved in the trade that they will be dealt with firmly if arrested.

Charcoal exports have stripped areas of woodland, causing drought and soil erosion, while many wild animal species are becoming rarer.

Somali companies and individuals run the trade, with exports going mostly to the United Arab Emirates.

Birds of prey, trapped and exported live, form a significant part of the trade.

The exports have been going on since the collapse in 1991 of Somalia's last effective national government.

For the past 15 years, the country has been divided between warring militias.

Some of these factions have tried to control the export of wildlife and charcoal, but with little success.

The Islamic courts and their militia who have controlled the capital, Mogadishu, since earlier this year are taking the issue more seriously, the BBC's Hassan Barise reports from the city.

Their decision to halt the trade is more likely to have an impact, particularly in Mogadishu, our correspondent says

Islamists in Somalia Start training militias

Islamists in Mogadishu have started training and demobilizing the militiamen that joined the Islamic courts.

About six hundred militiamen have been encamped at Hiilweyne military camp about 20Km north of the Capital on Monday where thay will be mobilized and trained militarily.

An opening ceremony for the training has been held at the camp on Tuesday where the supreme leader of the Islamists sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys and other prominent members including sheik Muktar Robow and Sheik Yusuf Indho Ade participated.

Hiilweyne military camp is one of the prominent training bases in Somalia where the military regime used during the 21 years rule.

At least 25 Koranic teachers are also among the trainers and they will teach Koran to the militias.

Some of the militias are from the defeated warlords while others are young men who preferred to join the Islamists.

Ex-Somali president Abdikasim: Ethiopia dreams splitting up Somalia

Former Somalian president Abdikasim Salad Hassan held a press conference at his headquarter today condemning Ethiopia for managing and controlling the Somali interim government led by president Abdulahi Yusuf.

He praised the Islamistsˇ¦ seizure over the capital Mogadishu.

ˇ§ The Union of Islamic Courts have been formed in the general interest of the Somali people and it exists because of themˇ¨, said Abdikasim, adding that the Islamists would save the Somali people.

Abdikasim blamed Ethiopia for violating IGAD decisions that called not to give safe heaven to the defeated Mogadshu warlords.

ˇ§The Somali government which was supposed to honestly serve the Somali population has chosen to be puppet of Ethiopia that desperately requires to disintegrate Somaliaˇ¨, Abdikasim, former Somali president said.

This is the first time Abdikasim Salad Hassan has spoken about the issues of Somalia since the Union of Islamic Courts overpowered former tribal warlords.

He urged the Islamists to welcome the international community that is interested in the unity of Somalis, including the United States, Europeans and Arabs.

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