Somalia spoils , Issue 1349

SOMALIA’s shark-infested waters have grown even more dangerous recently, with a new set of predators from the City of London and the UK Conservative party circling our war-ravaged country’s offshore oil reserves.

A United Nations panel of experts warned in July that competition for Somalia’s oil could spark clan fighting and empower corrupt warlords who caused the disintegration of the country 22 years ago. Britain, which has positioned itself to play a key role in “stabilising” our country, still awash with pirates and Islamic jihadists, backed the panel’s findings at the UN security council – but that seems unlikely to stop the London-led feeding frenzy.

Indeed, Baron Michael Howard of Lympne QC, former Tory leader, is among a number of great whites laying claim to our untapped oil.

Shiny beads and fancy cloth
Howard established a new company, Soma Oil and Gas Exploration, in April. In May, Africa minister Mark Simmonds hosted an event in London in which the Somali president and Lord Howard’s people took part. By August, with no other assets or interests anywhere in the world, Soma had been awarded rights to up to 12 oil blocks in Somalia in exchange for conducting seismic surveys – the technical equivalent in today’s world of the shiny beads and fancy cloth that Europeans once traded for Africa’s land. Somalis and foreign diplomats wonder what kind of bait was used to secure such a generous catch.

Milord has told industry gazette African Energy that Soma is a British-registered company and that he is a shareholder. But 77.5 percent of it is actually held by a British Virgin Islands-registered company owned by Basil Shiblaq, Soma’s executive director. Shiblaq, in his late 60s, has a long and colourful business pedigree that has attracted interest from regulatory agencies and police forces across four continents since he agreed to pay a fine imposed by the New York Stock Exchange in 1981 for alleged commodity trading abuses.

Corruption allegations
Against this promising background of corporate transparency and good governance, who better to explain what great news Soma is for Somalia than a former deputy secretary-general of the UN, Mark Malloch Brown? Now a Labour peer and chairman at financial service and public relations behemoth FTI Consulting, he has deployed his company’s minnows to handle Soma’s PR.

FTI Consulting has also been brought in to discredit corruption allegations brought by the UN panel against our central bank governor, who is alleged to have been “key to… irregularities” surrounding $12m missing from the ledgers. The company helped publish a rebuttal to the UN findings, on behalf of the Somali government.

FTI presents itself as a bona fide forensic accountant that is merely challenging the methodology of UN investigators it claims are too dumb to analyse financial records. However, the company appears also to be acting in partnership with a US law firm, Shulman Rogers, which is under contract with Somalia’s government to recover financial assets including gold reserves sitting in foreign banks and been rendered inaccessible during the civil war.

Greedy old has-beens
Bank executives say they feel nervous about giving back millions of dollars in sovereign assets to a Somali central bank exposed by the UN as corrupt, but if FTI can cook up findings to trash the UN panel, Shulman’s will be well placed to pull off the asset recovery. And how absurd to suggest that making pronouncements on the state of health of public financial management in Somalia, while also being involved in an asset recovery scheme, might constitute a conflict of interest!

After all the fuss about Africa’s generosity to Tony Blair since he left office, how refreshing to see the continent showing such similar kindness to equally washed-up but greedy old has-beens from across your political divide.


  1. Michael Howard is a wolf in a sheep's clothing, however, I would not blame him of being an opportunist in this matter because if he doesn't do it, somebody else will, as Somalia's natural resources will always be up for grab..

      • For sure that's a dead end. The FGS is in pretty bad shape with Kismaayo/Jubbaland and
        Puntland not to say least about the Alshabab gaining comeback powers. Over all other
        things, the FGS and Kenya are in for a deep haul cross roads. It makes no sense that the FGS
        is ready to talk about Hydrocarbon deals at this troubling times where the National Security
        of Somalia is threatened and in escalating tatters.

  2. Genel Energay Environmental Issues in the Somaliland and Eithiopia

    the Genel Energy underground injection of fluids (including solids, liquids, and gases) to underground sources of drinking water was the major cause of the Somaliland and Ethiopian environmental crises that the have contributed mass birds death both countries. And genel energy escape after disposal . but soon genel energy will pay the prize , and cover operation will be disclose soon by the Eithiopia backed scientific investigation about this issues, concerns and question.….

    why Genel energy used satellite Survey rather than such outdated Seismic and Magnetic Survey methods, doing good rather than harm.

    The researchers also found that: : groundwater contamination occur in unconventional oil and gas operation (e.g., failure of well-bore casing and cementing) because the Genel Energy Exploration is unconstitutional. There is no mining code: in the Somaliland Constitution.

    Genel Energy seismic and magnetic fracturing technique have cause severe effects on the environment As this report indicate. Species both plan and animal (vertebrate and invertebrate). T]ere is at present clear evidence of groundwater and wells contamination from hydraulic fracturing of shales at normal depths and evidence of chemicals from hydraulic fracturing fluid has been found in aquifers as a result of fracturing operations.

    The laboratory reported presents that the hydraulic fracturing chemicals was the cause of groundwater contamination (mainly involving methane, turbidity, odor, and chemical contaminants),, that was the scientific lab evidence. and result

    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to recover oil and natural gas from underground low permeability rock formations. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping fluids (primarily water and a small portion of chemicals, along with sand or other proppant) under high pressure into rock formations to crack them and allow the resources inside to flow to a production well. The technique has been the subject of controversy because of the potential effects that hydraulic fracturing and related oil and gas production activities have caused on the environment and health.

    There also Genel field workers who are suffering from the chemicals impacts
    .that the health professional has a reasonable basis to believe that
    1) the information is needed for purposes of diagnosis or treatment of an individual, (2) the individual being diagnosed or treated may have been exposed to the chemical concerned, and (3) knowledge of the information will assist in such diagnosis or treatment

    (information must be held confidential) there .was chemicals compromise Person conducting fracking operations discloses and the lab . unintentionally present
    in trace amounts was matched.

    By : Dr. Ahmed Ali Abdi (timo)

  3. I remember when he was running for the prime minister and some ppl accused him of being ant-migrant which he claimed that himself was the son of economic migrants from Romania of Jewish origin. Yahuudi opportunist

  4. some things just never change with companies wanting the riches of the land, find the greedy people who will help you get what you want…pay them off…make it look like a mutual agreement…mutual benefits…it doesn't matter if it's oil, gold…help those countries invest in gold so everyone realizes a benefit over time…don't make the deal with the governments..but the real people who have a real investment in the future..