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Somalia: Puntland accuses Federal government of fuelling Oil Conflict

Somalia: Puntland accuses Federal government of fuelling Oil ConflictSomalia’s autonomous state of Puntland has accused the Federal government of authorizing a controversial agreement for the neighbouring Galmudug administration which lets exploration of natural resources in parts of its territories and could fuel a conflict in the region, an official has said.

Puntland Petroleum and Mineral Agency (PPMA) director Isse Mohamoud Farah released a statement on Wednesday saying the agreement is violating the constitution and could create instability.

‘’PPMA is aware of the Federal Government’s belligerent support of this Agreement as it endorsed it when ignoring Puntland Government’s administrative and territorial jurisdiction. In addition, this Agreement is proof about the Federal Government’s double standard of supporting this Agreement and signing an Illegal Agreement with Soma Oil and Gas; the same Federal Government works steadfastly to prevent Puntland Government’s efforts to develop its hydrocarbon and minerals resources for the benefit of all Somalia, in accordance with federal law,’’ read the statement.

Mr Dholowa warned the company expected to carry out the exploration to enter its territories, which he identified as Links Natural Resources FZC, saying that:’’ As a result, PPMA warns against the upcoming activities of Links Natural Resources FZC in Puntland territory, as such a move threatens stability and undermines peace and governance.’’

Somalia’s Federal government was not available to comment on the accusations from Puntland.

The Federal government has been at odds with the administrations in Puntland and Somaliland over responsibility for administering oil and gas activity, particularly as a number of companies signed deals with regional administrations in the years when Somalia suffered an absence of central government.

In June, Africa Energy announced that it had dropped its exploration acreage in Puntland citing uncertainties over the current political climate between regional authorities and the central government in Mogadishu.

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