We can Survive without Oil as We have Done for Millennia, if Necessary
By: Ahmed Abdi Daar
Somalilandsun – Somaliland is keen to attract foreign investment to alleviate the poverty of its people. Thanks to Genel, it made advances on Somaliland and acquired licenses to prospect for oil. Genel kept its word and started exploratory seismic activities. It did the venture on the correct premise that Somaliland was a peaceful country.
To the surprise of every one, it abruptly halted its operations a few days ago, and pulled out from Somaliland on the grounds that twin bombings happened in distant Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Genel perhaps means Somaliland is part of Somalia and would return if it accepted to be a region of Somalia.
The title and the sub-title of an article at Ankara in the Wall Street Journal, 9/9/2013, authored by Justin Schek and Alexis Flynn, read as follows:
Genel Pulls Out Somaliland Staff: Move Follows Twin Bombing in the Somalia Capital, Mogadishu
Note the subtitle. It summarizes the invented reasons of withdrawal of Genel from Somaliland. It is weird one uses events in another place as an excuse to stop its operations in the country of the authority with which it had signed binding agreements. It says that Genel moved out from Somaliland due to some violent events in Mogadishu, Somalia!
Bombings happen in Somalia on daily basis. Bombings were continuously happening in Somalia, during the whole period of over 11 months that Genel was exploring oil in Somaliland. Bombings were happening in Somalia during the process period when Genel was working on agreements with Somaliland acquiring licenses. Why would it matter this time? What has the cited spike of violence in Mogadishu, the capital of neighboring Somalia, to do with Genel’s operations in peaceful Somaliland? Or was that the design from the start: to pull out when Somalilanders’ appetite for petro-dollars was whetted.
Since the start of Genel’s operations in Somaliland, thousands of daily violent incidents kept happing in Somalia. Genel has not halted its operations in a single instant. It rather continued its operations unabated enjoying the prevailing peace in Somaliland. The few confrontations of the company with local residents in the area of its operations were resolved peacefully without much ado – an indication that Somaliland is capable of resolving its local problems using traditional means of conflict resolution.
In passing, thanks to Genel anyway: one drastic conclusion which can be drawn from Genel’s false excuse is that the bombings happened not in Somaliland but in Somalia. This fact attests to the negation of Genel’s assertion that they were leaving Somaliland for security concerns. Somaliland is as peaceful as in when it entered into initial agreement with Genel. Somaliland is peaceful and is worth foreign investment. Genel is bound by the agreement it entered into with Somaliland authorities and employees.
The truth of the matter is that there are other explanations to Genel’s decision.
The above cited article in the Wall Street Journal maintains that the fact that Genel entered into an agreement with Somaliland angered the Mogadishu regime.
The puppet president of Somalia, who is at the same time engaged in peace talks with Somaliland, ordered Genel to stop its operations in Somaliland. He insisted on licensing for oil is the sole responsibility of his administration. (Thanks to him, many people, including high ranking oficials in Somaliland government are already voicing that Somaliland should immediately pullout from the useless talks with Somalia.)
The intention appears to be to bring Somaliland down to its knees and compel it accept to be part of Somalia so that its oil resources are prospected.
If we accept domination under semi-sovereign Somalia, that will be our end. We should not accept any type of assistance from any foreign government and/or company, whether political or economic, if it entails re-union with Somalia in any form.
We have survived without oil for millennia and can continue doing so. We should tell the enemies of Somaliland that we never will exchange our sovereignty for even billions of dollars worth of proceeds from oil. We are not lured.
According to an old Somali adage you don’t accept to ingest harmful stuff on the grounds that your tummy is in need. (In the vernacular: waan baahanahay, bahal looma cunno!)
We rather remain without oil but free; we rather remain sovereign than under Somalia, where we will lose both sovereignty and proceeds from oil. If we lose our freedom and sovereignty will accordingly lose all our resources. A non-sovereign region cannot decide on its own resources. Loss of sovereignty means we will all be eliminated, for others to inherit the benefits of our resources.
Let us stick to our sovereignty, and keep our oil close under our own feet. We can survive with sovereignty without oil, but not with oil without sovereignty.
Ahmed Abdi Daar firstname.lastname@example.org