Somaliland: Government Promises Firmness against Destructors to Development

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L-R Interior minister Ali Awaranade and Foreign Minister Mohamed Behi at the press briefing at Egal airport

Genel Energy insecurity fears that led to its suspension of operations emanated from various warnings issued by citizens both in the country and in the Diaspora” Foreign minister Mohamed Behi

“The Anglo-Turkish company shall resume operations soon after a three member Security assessment team from Britain finalizes investigations that start on Monday 23rd Sept 2013” Interior minister Ali Waran’ade

By: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Country’s natural resources under the management of the central government and belong to all citizens who have equal rights to their enjoyment.

This was stated by the minister of Foreign affairs Mohamed Behi Yonis during a joint press briefing with interior minister Ali Waran’ade at the Egal international airport VIP Lounge upon their arrival from working tours abroad.

“The government of Somaliland is privy to threatening letters sent to Genel Energy by citizens in the country and the Diaspora” said foreign minister Behi who warned of drastic action against any person found sabotaging national activities.

Minister Behi, who informed that the Genel Energy Company has agreed to resume oil extraction operations in the country following lengthily discussions with senior officials of the Anglo Turkish company in London, decried the balkanization of national resources thus the audacity of some clans interfering with contracts with international companies signed by the government.

“During discussions with Genel officials in London I was very shocked first to see threatening letters sent to the company by citizens who claimed to be the rightful owners thence only authority on any oil contracts in their specific areas but more shocking was to have the officials all non somalilanders telling me that the threats were from that and that sub-sub clan of the xxx clan”

Saying that natural resources do not belong to a sub-clan of a clan where it is found but the property of all citizens of the country minister Behi who warned of stiff punishment for any person or group of persons found acting detrimentally to national concerns also informed that every citizen has a right to the natural resources whose management is strictly the reserve of the central government.

“Every citizen has not only a right to benefit from any natural resources regardless of area found or clan resident there but a right to work anywhere in the country as well, that is a resident of Burao has right to work in Sayla and vice versa” said minister Behi adding that he did not expect to see or hear of such petty issues following his decades of absence from the country while pursuing a career with the UN from where he retired recently in order to serve the nation in his current capacity assumed a few months back.

Genel Energy an Anglo Turkish company that has oil concessions in the country especially in the eastern region of Toghdeer where it has invested over $70m in seismic and other surveys that proved oil deposits in billions of barrels and was in advanced stages of activities geared towards extraction by the first quarter of 2014 abruptly suspended operations and withdrew its international staff two weeks citing insecurity in areas of operations.

While informing that discussions with Genel energy were successfully and it shall reinstate operations after an imminent security assessment said that the government has not only assured of a conducive working environment free from harassment by self-seekers but all relevant issues pertaining to its contractual obligations as well.

According to the Somaliland interior minister Ali Waran’ade, a three member team from the United Kingdom is in the country upon invitation by the government security assessment of areas where Genel Energy operates and the entire country as well in order to ascertain the viability of international concerns operations now and in the future.

The interior minister who reiterated his colleagues promise of punitive action against any citizens within and in the Diaspora found engaging in acts similar to those of threatening Genel energy into suspension of activities said the perpetrators had nobody to blame but themselves since the state has obligations to protect the interest of the nation.

Reiterating that the entire citizenry has obligations to the nation Minister Waran’ade cautioned the media against unverified and sensational information for the sake of attracting sales while injuring the common good.

The interior minister also cautioned opposition politicians against criticizing the administration for the sake of criticism committed blindly and publicly saying that such utterances might be injuries to the country and not government alone.

Terming them, opposition politicians, as envious of achievements garnered and being garnered by the government minister Waran’ade said that they the opposition politicians, whenever they hear mention that proven reserves of oil has not only been found but drilling is planned are seizure by various ailments especially high blood pressure resulting mental breakdowns.

Reciting an encounter with residents of sanyare centre in Toghdeer region who had gone up in arms against Genel operations in that area created laughter as a result of the encounter that went:

Waran’ade: Why are you against oil surveys and subsequent extraction?

Villagers: Oil extraction and surveys are lies, no oil is under survey.

Waran’ade: Who told this?

Villagers: We were told by members of the opposition who also urged us to stop any activities.

Following the lengthily laughter from the assembled members of the press and other state and airport officials the interior minister who said that law enforcement is in his docket cautioned the type of incitement encountered in sanyare from the opposition and other unscrupulous persons whom he promised legally stiff punitive measures.

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