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Not the right time to explore in Somalia, says oil minister
Issue 300
Front Page

Duale: “We’ll Take Pre-emptive Strike”

Somaliland Takes Control Of Las Anod

Haatuf Media Chairman Meets Lord Avebury In London

Media Executive of Prominent Radio Station Assassinated in Mogadishu

Somalia 'investigates' WFP head

Expert: Ethiopia's Invasion Of Somalia 'A Disastrous Miscalculation'

Mass Murder in the Horn of Africa

Who Is Behind The Campaign To Smear The Reputation Of SHURO-Net, And Why?

University Of SA On Somaliland In Ohio And Havana!!

Only fearful officials resign: Somalia PM

Islamist leader denies having links with Somaliland-Puntland fighting

Regional Affairs

Puntland Calls For Intervention In Regional Fighting

CPJ Condemns Assassination Of Prominent Somali Journalist

Special Report

International News

Cheney increases U.S. oratory against Iran

Somalis’ Struggle In The UK

Somali Writer Added To 'Most Wanted' List In Minneapolis

Two plead guilty in slaying of teen who escaped war-torn Somalia


The Ogaden Crisis And Its Implications Within The Horn Of Africa Region

3 Top Govt. Officials Urgently Called in Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian Jewish community discovered by Scottish explorer

Can African Wildlife And Forest Be Protected?

Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007 - Eritrea Ranked Last For First Time While G8 Members, Except Russia, Recover Lost Ground

Taiwan is already a `normal country'


Eyes Wide Shut

Iranian-Born German Striker Refuses To Play In Israel

Food for thought


A letter of appeal for cessation of hostilities to the leaders of Somaliland and Puntland

How Puntland Administration Has Become A Rudderless Ship In Sool

Recover After Heart Surgery

All Las-Anoders Are Winners

The Theories And Realities Of Kulmiye!!

Somalilanders Refute The Claims From Puntland

A Job Well Done For President Rayale But What Is Next?

Complaint About Your Editorial

BAIDOA, Somalia Oct 16 - Somalia's petroleum minister says he does not believe it is the "right time" to explore for natural resources in the East African country torn apart by 17 years of civil war.

Oil Minister Abdullahi Yusuf Mohamed " Harare" told Garowe Online in an exclusive interview that the conditions on the ground in Somalia are not ready for oil exploration.

"In many parts of the country [Somalia] there is insecurity. Foreign companies and their employees are the people who will be coming and it is a heavy responsibility to assure their safety," Minister Harare said.

He pointed out that it is imperative that foreign oil companies who hold exploration contracts with the former Somali government meet with representatives from the ministry of energy and petroleum, which he leads.

Such meeting is necessary to see "if there is need to amend [past contracts] or adjust them to fit modern times," he said.

He said the interim government prioritizes past agreements and will give foreign firms who hold prior contracts time to mobilize efforts to commence operations in Somalia.

But if the companies fail to comply within the agreed upon period of time, the government reserves the right to take "appropriate action," Minister Harare warned.

Harare said some Western oil firms who old exploration contracts in Somalia have contacted the government. He cited Shell Company whose representatives approached Somali officials in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2004 weeks after the United Nations-backed transitional federal government was established.

The Somali oil minister first expressed his stance while speaking to lawmakers in the southwestern Somali town of Baidoa, where the country's federal parliament is based.

Lawmakers have been grilling Cabinet ministers with questions regarding financial accountability and the various ministries' operations.

Minister Harare spoke at length about his ministry's plans to bring electrical power across Somalia by utilizing water, solar and wind energy. He said the city of Baidoa will be the first to benefit from the ministry's electrical project.

Exploration is a controversial issue in Somalia where many believe it has led to serious divisions between government leaders.

Observers say it is easy to see Minister Harare's point, especially in light of renewed armed hostilities in northern Somalia between Somaliland and Puntland regions.

Many of the Western firms who hold contracts were granted exploration blocks in north Somalia, a relatively peaceful area where residents now fear the outbreak of full-scale clan war.

Source: Garowe Online


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