Last week, Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 invited legal representatives from countries within the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss security issues in the Gulf with a specific focus on the smuggling of charcoal from Somalia.

20190618_Legal Conference 2Captain Mubarak addressing the table at the legal conference

Captain Mubarak, Commander of CTF 152 said: “This was an excellent legal conference highlighting the benefits of cooperation to all those who attended including the representatives of the GCC Naval and Coast Guard community.  Conference delegates had the opportunity for face-to-face discussions with legal experts in order to improve collaboration and further protect legal trade from criminal activity”

20190618_Legal Conference 3A group of multinational representatives discussing security issues in the Arabian Gulf

CTF 152 is responsible for maritime security and counter terrorism within the Arabian Gulf, as well as building cooperation between GCC nations and the wider CMF. One of these threats is the illegal smuggling of charcoal from Somalia. This practice has been banned by the United Nations Security Council as it funds terrorist organisations and contributes to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

20190618_Legal ConferenceLegal experts and leaders from CMF and CTF 152

The conference, held in Bahrain, enabled legal experts to collectively share their experience and knowledge in combatting illicit trafficking, in a spirit of collaboration and friendship. It was attended by representatives from GCC nations and a number of the other nations who support CMF. This is the first in a series of planned legal conferences to address smuggling within the Arabian Gulf. They will provide a forum in which legal representatives join forces with Naval and Coast Guard experts to share experiences and offer possible solutions to further maritime security and stability in the region.