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Kuwait’s KEC signs illegitimate agreement with Somali Warlord

Kuwait Energy Company (KEC) has signed a partnership agreement with the Somali government and Indonesia’s PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk to set up a state oil firm in Somalia. The agreement gives newly established Somali National Petroleum Company (SNPC) 51%, and KEC and Medco will own the remaining percentage equally.

The agreement, which was signed in Kuwait, comes at time fighting and turmoil swept across the country, and even the average Somali citizens are not getting food and water. The leader of Transitional Government of Somalia (TGS) Abdullah Yusuf approved Petroleum Law on August 7, 2008; the law delayed due to disputes with Former Prime Minister Ali Geedi.

There is widespread violence and killing in the capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu; the government, which signed the agreement with KEC, does not control even one single inch in Somali territory; Somalis accuse TGS leadership in Mogadishu for corruption and organized killing; TGS failed to restore the law and order in the capital.

Nevertheless, Abdullah Yusuf signed petroleum agreements with Australian companies; it is not possible to sign petroleum agreements with foreign parties while you failed to provide the basic social rights like security, water, schools and other fundamentals of human life.

International aid organizations are unable to supply food and water to displaced Somalis due to the bad security situation; even SNPC does not have headquarter and offices inside Somalia for the aforesaid reasons. Somalia needs government that restores security and basic human livings before signing the millions of dollars agreements.

Somalia failed 20 years ago, there is no rule and order; there is no constitution and accountability; no courts and police. The warlords or leaders are free to sell the national resources like oil to outside world without been asked why!

TGS leader Abdullah Yusuf is trying to appoint new ambassador to Kuwait, in order the new ambassador to process the under table oil contracts with Kuwaiti companies and across the gulf region.  The four years term of Abdullah will end next Aug 2009, so the money from the oil will enable him to campaign in next election and lead Ethiopian occupation in Somalia. 

In the same way, “Puntland”, Somali State in West-East Somalia, led by Adde Moose, signed similar oil exploration agreements with Australian companies; Moose, later, failed to provide security to oil exploration staffs. Somali Intellectuals described the current oil agreements by TGS leaders with KEC illegal and illegitimate because the natural resource does not belong to leader or group but the Somali people, and lack of accountability.

“Puntland” was formed in 1998, as it not existed in the Somali history, by group of tribesmen led by TGS leader Abdullah Yusuf. Human rights organizations accused “Puntland” for sponsoring human trafficking into Arabian Gulf and hijacking the foreign aid workers in addition capturing the foreign ships and asking ransom money.

The security of “Puntland” is deteriorating as the shooting and killing is on daily bases. The civilians are armed with AK 47 in the streets in the lawless “Puntland”.

In Somalia, it is not the right time for good leader to think of exploring the oil; thousands of Somalis are starving to death in the refuge camps in the neighboring countries like Ethiopia and Kenya. The UNHCR expressed concern over the faith of thousands of Somalis because of the famine and starvation.

TGS’s eagerness to sign the oil contracts across the world including Kuwait is an attempt to collect big dirty money. These foreign partners fall victim of cheating and delusion; while the poor Somalis die for starvation.

The illegitimacy of Partnership Agreement between KEC and TGS

A partnership agreement allows you to structure your relationship with your partners in a way that suits your business. You and your partners can establish the shares of profits (or losses) each partner will take, the responsibilities of each partner, and defines what will happen to the business if a partner leaves, and other important guidelines.

Base on the above definition of Partnership Agreement, the agreement between KEC and TGS is illegitimate for many reasons: Somali Minister of Oil Eng. Maxamud Cali Saalax Kaanje, who signed the deal, resigned from the cabinet last month; TGS can not take responsibility of sharing the profit or loss with KEC as it may disappear like many other governments in Somalia; TGS don’t represent the people of Somalia; TGS don’t control the areas with oil reserves in Somalia, and if TGS loose the power the next Somali government will not recognize the agreement because of violence and lack of rule and order in the country.

The establishment of SNPC needs the support of all Somalis across the country, because oil is one of the major natural resources in Somalia. Also influential countries like Ethiopia and USA involve in Somali.

A reliable Somali sources said, Former Prime Minister Ali Geedi accepted this offer from KEC but TGS President Abdullah Yusuf rejected it, and introduced Chinese Company called (CNOOC). Such disagreements accelerated the faith of Geedi’s administration.

Yusuf cannot step foot on Somaliland – former northern regions of Somalia – because the region declared independence from the rest of Somalia. The majority of Somali oil reserves are in “Puntland” and Somaliland. “Puntland” is also leaving Abdullah’s dictatorship.

In other hand, Abdullah Yusuf and his government including Eng. Maxamud Cali Saalax Kaanje don’t control the southern parts even the capital city, Mogadishu.  The question lingering in my mind is, where will KEC carry out its operation in Somalia as per agreed? Is the oil under the Villa Somalia, Abdullah’s residence, because TGS government controls only its offices?

Somalia, many described it as failed nation, suffers of warlords coming one after another from 1991 until today. The natural resources of Somalia was misused by the warlords and even some allowed the superpower countries in Europe and America to dump the Nuclear wastes in Somali water, in exchange of dirty money.

Based on these facts, we call the international communities including Arab League to avoid signing agreements with warlords/leaders in the former Somalia. These warlords/leaders are stealing the natural resources of the country for their personal use.

Somaliland, that formed democratic institutions, is different from the result of former Somalia because the current government in Hargiesa represents the all people starting from Sool to Awdal regions. There is accountability in Somaliland and elected parliament should approve every agreement with foreign party. 

By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi

Faafin: | Aug 22, 2008


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