UN Monitoring Group report of Khaatumo State.
Conflict between regional states, self-proclaimed administrations and local militias
19. Facts about the existing licences awarded by both Somaliland and Puntland demonstrate the potential flashpoints that exist over oil exploration in the disputed area of Sool and Sanag regions. On the left, a map representing block SL18,19 awarded by Somaliland and fully owned by Oslo-based DNO International; on the right, illustration of the Nugal block, awarded by Puntland to the consortium led by Africa Oil, a company owned by the Lundin Family
20. The two maps above, extracted from official websites of DNO International and Africa Oil, indicate the locations of the two blocks included in the PSAs signed respectively with Somaliland (SL 18) and Puntland (Nugaal Block). According to these maps, it seems evident that block SL 18 and the Nugaal block are overlapping.
21. Potentially, it means that exploration operations in these blocks, conducted by both DNO and Africa Oil under the protection of regional security forces, its allied militias or private forces, could generate a new conflict between Somaliland6 December 2012, Puntland has already issued a press release entitled “Puntland Cautions Oil Exploration Attempts in Sool Region May Trigger Conflict”.
and Puntland, and affiliated proxies over the control of the Sool and Sanag regions. On
22. During a 2012 meeting, the representatives of Africa Oil in Nairobi strongly stated that the company will not conduct any activity in the Sool region of Somalia, despite the fact that “the company disputes the claims of the Republic of Somaliland” on the Nugaal block.
23. However, in its response to the Monitoring Group’s letter, DNO International failed to comment on the impact of oil exploration operations on peace and security in the Sool and Sanag regions.24 Moreover, the letter states that “the Government of Somaliland will provide DNO with designated security forces to ensure the security of all personnel and property in connection with DNO’s activities”, adding that “DNO will engage a private security contractor to provide advice to DNO and coordinate day-to-day security activities”.
24. In addition, the President of the self-declared State of Khatumo, Mohamed Yusuf
Jaamac, denounced in a letter dated 28 April 2013 to the executive chairman of DNO
International, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, the legality of the PSA, claiming also that “your deal with Somaliland […] fuel [sic] the conflict in northern Somalia” (see annex 5.5.i.). The day after, the “forum for peace, unity and development” of the Khatumo State addressed a similar letter to the director of corporate communication and public affairs of DNO International. The document says:
In the case of our Khatumo State, [Somaliland militias] only occupy our regional capital Lascanod which is expected to be liberated in due course. Otherwise, the rest of our State, including this so called Block SL 18, is fully under our control (see annex 5.5.j.).
25. The Monitoring Group also understands that Africa Oil may start exploring in the
Nugaal block in the event that a competitor begins with their own explorations in an area included in the PSA assigned by the Puntland Government to Africa Oil.
26. Therefore, the Monitoring Group is deeply concerned by the fact that protection of oil exploration operations may lead to a new armed conflict for the control of the disputed areas between Somaliland, Puntland and Khatumo militias. Moreover, it is alarming that regional security forces and armed groups may clash to protect and further western-based oil companies interests. In this case, the involvement of a Norwegian company on one side, and of a Swedish owned/Canadian-based company on the other, is even more disturbing, considering the longstanding implication of NorwaySweden in promoting peace and dialogue in Somali
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