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SOMALIA: Islamic courts ban tree felling

A circular signed by the representative of the Islamic courts of Shabelaha Hoose Region, southern Somalia, has banned the cutting of trees. Issued by court representative Tahlil Mahmud Ibrahim, the circular said the order was effective from 19 July.

The order also banned construction on public land and any "pillage" of national property, said a report carried by 'Xog-Ogaal' newspaper, Mogadishu.

The circular said the Islamic courts could enforce the notice, and that anyone violating the order would "face measures in line with Islamic sharia law".

Meanwhile, statistics released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) say Somalia's population was estimated at 9.2 million in 1998, with an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent.

In 1999, WFP put the number of people internally displaced by the civil war at 300,000 in Mogadishu alone, and some 500,000 Somalis living in refugee camps outside the country.

Somalia's population is highly mobile because of the large number of nomads, moving mainly in the central and northern areas, and because of refugee movements in response to food shortages and clan warfare, it said.

Estimated 1998 figures say 50 percent of the population is nomadic, 22 percent urban, and 28 percent agricultural. The available population figures were based on UN sources.



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