PRESS RELEASE 2022/09/15
Puntland Government supports the vision to explore and develop the natural resources of our country for the benefit of the Somali people; in respect to the provisions envisaged in the provincial constitution of the Federal Government.
However, the controversial Somali Petroleum Act 2020 violates both the letter and spirit of Articles; 44, 51, 53 and 54 of the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia of 2012. notable violations include:
- Articles 44 of the Provisional Federal Constitution (2012) stipulates that the natural resources of Somalia shall be shared through a process of negotiation between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Federal Member States (FMS). Nevertheless, the enactment of the controversial Somali Petroleum Act 2020 did not follow the constitutionally mandated process and is therefore unacceptable to the Somali people, and in particular to the Government and people of Puntland.
- With reference to the National Consultative Forum Agreement, held on 51fi June 2018, matters relating to ownership, management, and revenue sharing on Somali natural resources were agreed upon. Unfortunately, this law is in direct contradiction to those agreements.
- Article 54 of the Puntland Constitution of 2012, clearly states that “the natural resources of Puntland are owned by the people of Puntland, and the Government of Puntland is responsible for the protection and development of its own natural resources.” However, the controversial Somalia Petroleum Act 2020 violates this Article (54), and therefore greatly weakens the political and socio-economic system of Puntland.
In light of the aforementioned contentious issues, Puntland Government affirms the following:
- The development of Somalia’s natural resources should be advanced through the guidelines of the Provisional Constitution of the Federal Government and in line with the respective constitutions of the Federal Member States (FMS).
- The controversial Somalia Petroleum Act 2020 was approved by the Parliament of FGS without FMS consultations and inputs. In the absence of this important consultative process this law is deemed unconstitutional.
- Puntland Government regrets the Federal Government of Somalia’s insistence on the implementation of this controversial act and the rush to the commercialization of the country’s natural resources.
- International Partners should support the adherence of the Provisional Federal Constitution, legal agreements and frameworks, of which it had an important role in its establishment.
- Puntland Government cautions the Federal Government of Somalia to cease the implementation of this unconstitutional law that may further destabilize the country, derail the state building process, and eventually ignite civil unrest and violence.
- Puntland Government will categorically not be party to this unlawful process and therefore, reserves the right to exclude itself until consultation on ownership, management, and revenue sharing of natural resources between FGS and FMS resumes.