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Minister Of Minerals And Water Mysteriously Disappears
Hargeysa, Somaliland , March 18, 2006 – The Somaliland minister of Minerals and Water, Qassim Sheikh Yusuf has mysteriously disappeared.
He was not to be seen in the last two days. The minister didn’t report to his office on Thursday and was not at his home on Thursday and Friday.
Mr. Qassim Sheikh Yusuf was supposed to appear before the Foreign Relations select-committee of the Somaliland lower house of parliament by Thursday.
Yusuf Tuke, the secretary of the select-committee confirmed to this newspaper that the minister was scheduled to answer questions on oil concession agreements signed with a number of prospectors.
According to one source in the ministry of Minerals and Water, Mr. Qassim flew from Hargeysa airport on Thursday to Europe via Addis Ababa .
The hasty exist of Qassim was explained as an attempt to avoid appearing before the select-committee on Foreign Relations.
A Ministry source said that he might visit London and Norway and then proceed to Houston .
Last week the Rova Energy Cooperation which is involved in oil exploration in Somaliland paid $75,000 in training bonus to the ministry of Minerals and Water. Ministry officials declined to confirm whether the check was already cashed or not.
It was unlikely that Mr. Qassim would have traveled out of the country unless the president Rayale gave him his green-light.
This is the second high government officials to fail appearing before parliament this week.
The state Auditor General also skipped a parliamentary hearing this week on the government budget.
Meanwhile, Mr. KV Sood, an Indian businessman who was given the Chevron block 32 for oil exploration, is expected to arrive in Hargeysa next week. Mr. Sood is expected to be received by president Rayale as soon as he returns to Hargeysa.
Source: Somaliland Times