Oil blocks: Kenya flexes muscle in row with Somalia

Oil blocks: Kenya flexes muscle in row with Somalia Source: Daily Nation Kenya, By AGGREY MUTAMBO Wednesday May 22, 2019 Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma addressing journalists outside her Nairobi office on May 21, 2019 on her talks with European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (not in frame). Kenya and Somalia are wrangling over territorial waters rich in hydrocarbons. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP Kenya is flexing its diplomatic muscles in its row with Somalia, which it accuses of continuing to violate its territorial waters rich in hydrocarbons by launching investment programmes in the disputed area.The Nation learnt that Kenya is taking measures to put pressure on Mogadishu. These include withdrawing privileges given to senior government officials, resuming stringent measures for Somali aircraft, engaging with friendly federal states, as well as tactical withdrawal of Kenyan security forces from areas they had liberated in Somalia before a transition programme is implemented. On Tuesday, three members of the Somali delegation who had travelled to Nairobi for the launch of a European Union-sponsored cross-border conflict management programme were sent back to Mogadishu after Immigration authorities said they had no valid visas. The three — junior minister for water and energy Osman Liban and lawmakers Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam Dahir — were refused entry at the Nairobi airport for lacking visas despite holding diplomatic passports. VISAS The officials later claimed they had been ambushed with the demand for visas, which they used to get on arrival at the airport. Asked for comment, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma told reporters in Nairobi that the Somali officials...

Somalia passes petroleum law, paving way for exploration

Somalia passes petroleum law, paving way for exploration Source: Reuters, Monday May 20, 2019 MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia passed a petroleum sector law on Monday, paving the way for exploration in its waters that could potentially transform the troubled country’s economy if hydrocarbon riches are found. The new legislation allows for the creation of institutions to oversee the sector and for revenue sharing between the central government and federal states, among other objectives, the ministry of petroleum and mineral resources said in a statement. “This is a landmark in the development of Somalia’s natural resources, which will be transformational for the country’s development,” the ministry said in the statement. Somalia has been mired in insecurity and lawlessness since the toppling of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in the early 1990s. However, early this year Somalia began preliminary preparations for a licensing round for 15 exploration blocks covering a total of 75,000 square kilometres, according to the statement.”With the passage of the petroleum law it is anticipated that PSAs (production-sharing agreements) will subsequently be signed, which will enable exploration activity to then commence,” the statement said. Somalia is currently battling a threat from Islamist group al Shabaab which frequently carries out bombings in the capital Mogadishu and other parts of the country. Al Shabaab wants to overthrow the central government and establish its own rule in the country, based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia...

Somali Foreign Minister receives EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs

Somali Foreign Minister receives EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Source: Hiiraan Online, Tuesday May 21, 2019 Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ahmed Isse Awad, received on Monday in Mogadishu the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms. Federica Mogherini, who arrived in the Somali capital on a working visit leading a large multi-faceted delegation Minister Awad also received the Acting Director of West and East Africa of the European Commission, Mr. Hans Stausboll, and discussed the relationship between Somalia and the European Union in the political, security and economic fields. The federal government seeks to consolidate these long-term relations to support development projects to achieve economic growth that will reduce unemployment rates to raise the standard of living to push forward efforts to end the violence and recurrent humanitarian crises. Somalia has a friendly relationship with the European...

U.N. says Somali militants using home-made explosives to step up attacks

U.N. says Somali militants using home-made explosives to step up attacks Source: Reuters, Friday May 17, 2019 Friday May 17, 2019 Somali Islamist insurgents are making their own explosives, according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters, as they mount more frequent and deadly attacks. The findings are a blow for internationally backed efforts to fight the al Shabaab insurgency, which has repeatedly carried out attacks in East Africa and launched dozens in Somalia this year despite a dramatic increase in U.S. air strikes. “For the first time, post-blast laboratory analyses … indicate a clear shift in al Shabaab construction methods, away from the use of military-grade explosives and toward HME (home-made explosives,” said a confidential report by the U.N. panel of experts on Somalia, which was seen by Reuters. “Information from a range of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts suggests a probable connection between the development of HME by al Shabaab and the recent increased frequency of major attacks in Mogadishu.” The analysis was based on at least 20 attacks since July 2018, the report said. It specify who did the analysis, but footnotes cited the U.N. Mine Action Service, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and experts who were not named but only identified by the dates on which they were interviewed. The U.N. panel declined to comment, and the two organizations did not respond to questions from Reuters. Somali government officials could not be reached for comment. Lt Col Charles Imbiakha, spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM, said it could not comment because it had not seen the report. Al Shabaab, which wants...

Somaliland Celebrates Independence Despite Lack of International Recognition

Somaliland Celebrates Independence Despite Lack of International Recognition Source: VOA, Saturday May 18, 2019 Saturday May 18, 2019 The breakaway state of Somaliland is preparing to celebrate 28 years since it declared independence from Somalia. No country recognizes Somaliland as a sovereign nation, but in the capital, preparations for the celebration are under way. Inside a boardroom in the Somaliland parliament, legislator Abdurahman Atan explained his country’s struggle for international recognition. “There’s a legitimate case for Somaliland to be recognized, a legitimate case to look at what has been done, legitimate case about the yearnings of Somaliland people to be free and independent,” he said. “They have a right to do so and a right to be part of the international community.” Outside, the streets of Hargeisa were receiving a face lift ahead of Saturday, when thousands of people will gather at independence square to celebrate the anniversary of the independence declaration. Despite the lack of international recognition, Somalilanders like Hargeisa student Mohamed Abdullahi are looking forward to the day. “According to ourselves we are independent, and that’s why we are proud and very happy to see many people celebrating this historic day,” Abdullahi said. Trader Ahmed Adan felt the same, calling the independence celebration a “very great day.” Briefly independent before Somaliland, a former British colony, briefly gained independence in 1961. Five days later, it merged with Somalia after Mogadishu gained independence from Italy. After years of conflict and the ouster of former Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, Somaliland declared independence in 1991. Somaliland now has its own police, army and currency, and has held regular elections for...