UN Says Oil Search in Northern Somalia Risks Stoking Tensions

10 Jun – Source: Bloomberg – 149 words

Two semi-autonomous areas of northern Somalia have largely avoided the violence that’s plagued the rest of the Horn of African nation for decades. Now oil exploration may change that, according to the United Nations.

Territorial disputes between the governments of Somaliland and Puntland, a separatist campaign by a clan-based group and “discrepancies” in oil licensing throughout Somalia are all contributing to simmering tensions in the region, the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea said in a May 28 memorandum. Somaliland’s planned deployment of an oil-protection force in the region may also deepen the strains, it said.

“Urgent attention must be given to this issue to avoid commercial activity triggering conflict further down the road,” Jarat Chopra, the coordinator of the monitoring group, said in the report. The document was sent to Bloomberg by a UN official who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t been released publicly.

 

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