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[Photos] Protest against British conference on Somalia – 7 May 2013

Hundreds gathered near Lancaster House on Tuesday to protest the second British conference held by David Cameron on Somalia.
Hands off Somalia, Fight Racism Fight Imperialism and a wide range of Somali groups based in Britain attended to make their voices heard about the pillaging of Somalia through proxy wars and exacerbation of tribal differences, the criminalisation of Somalis in Britain and the ever-growing hiest to snatch natural resources from across the region.
Hands off Somalia banner: NO TO BRITISH INTERVENTION IN AFRICA

Hands off Somalia banner alongside other protesting groups: NO TO BRITISH INTERVENTION IN AFRICA

Chants, music, dancing and contributions from protesters on Hands off Somalia’s open-mic made the protest lively and colourful.

People spoke about disgusting UKBA, the plight of Mahdi Hashi, the true agenda behind ‘aid’, the theft of Somalia’s resources by outside forces, and the need for self-determination without interference.

The message was clear- that imperialist hands should be kept off Somalia!

Other groups and speakers used the Hands off Somalia sound system

Other groups and speakers used the Hands off Somalia sound system

Hands off Somalia speakers

Hands off Somalia speakers

Hands off Somalia displayed Mahdi Hashi posters and told people about his struggle - I AM MAHDI HASHI!

Hands off Somalia displayed Mahdi Hashi posters and told people about his struggle – I AM MAHDI HASHI!

The protest had 2 sides but they were supportive of each other and called for unity between all Somali people

The protest had 2 sides but they were supportive of each other and called for unity between all Somali people

Loud music and dancing in the streets - always a good thing!

Loud music and dancing in the streets – always a good thing!

More dancing and songs

More dancing and songs from a group attending the protest

Supporter makes very good points that Britain is part of the robbery of Somalia's resources

Supporter makes very good points that Britain is part of the robbery of Somalia’s resources

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Imperialism stirs conflict in North Somalia

Originally posted by Global Research

See also: http://somalilandpress.com/energy-juniors-eye-somaliland-oil-potential-38189

Tony Hayward makes a deal for Genel Oil in Puntland

British Tony Hayward makes a deal for Genel Oil in Puntland

On Monday the  5th of November 2012, Somaliland forces mounted an offensive [1] against Khatumo state forces based in Hudun town.

Hudun[2] town is situated in the western parts of Sool province, in what was a relatively peaceful area of Northern Somalia.

Pro Somaliland media outlets reported [3] that “the skirmishes” were the result of elements who were trying to intimidate voters in the “local elections [4]” that was held in Somaliland. However the offensive launched by Somaliland on the 5th of November proved to be just the start of what would be a prolonged offensive campaign waged by Somaliland on Khatumo State forces based in Hudun town.

Repeated [5] clashes followed on the  28th of November, the  1st31st of December, the 23th24th of January, the  1st13th of February 2013, with the most recent one being on the 8th of March. The offensive on the  8th of March followed the  press release [6] by Jacka resources on 6th March of large structural petroleum prospects in North Somalia.

In three months’ time Somaliland attacked Hudun a total of nine times. Sources close to Somaliland have confirmed Somaliland is planning a new major offensive. In spite of Somaliland’s continued offensive, Khatumo remains in firm control of Hudun town.

Illegitimate Oil Deals

Prior to the start of its offensive on the 5th of November, Somaliland signed a deal [7] on the 30th of October 2012 with  Genel Energy Plc to drill two wells for Oil in Northwestern Somalia, on two blocks assigned by Somaliland. Soon after the deal Somaliland militia headed towards Hudun and attacked the town.

Hudun town is situated on the Nugaal block [8]one of the blocks to be drilled for oil.

The Nugaal block is a stretch of land situated in the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (Buhoodle town) in short the SSC [9] regions, and to a lesser extend Nugaal region. The Nugaal block has been  sold [10] to oil companies by both Somaliland and Puntland. Somaliland has sold the land to Genel Energy led by  Tony Hayward, the former BP CEO, who headed BP during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Puntland has sold the land to Horn Petroleum.

However both entities do not control or have minimal control of the Nugaal Block, with the later having no physical presence at all in the SSC region. There are also claims being made by large international oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell [11], who possess old oil exploration licenses granted by the former Somali government of Major General Mohamed Siad Barre. The SSC region is not only rich in Oil but also has large reserves of Tin, Iron Ore, Zircominium, Copper, Cobalt and Chromium.

The Nugaal Block is largely  controlled [12] by Khatumo State and cannot be sold to any foreign company without the consent of Khatumo State, that represents the aspirations of the local population.

Investors in companies who claim to have bought the rights to explore Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) from either Somaliland or Puntland should be informed about the facts on the ground, and the conflict that these oil deals have caused. Any funds disbursed to these two entities for drilling rights on the Nugaal block can be considered as an squandered investment and a lack of due diligence on the part of these companies.

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The Nugaal block is the most sought out by the oil companies, with prospective resources of 4.1 Billion barrels of oil.

Extraction of Oil and Minerals can only be done with the support of the local population represented by Khatumo State of Somalia.

The War Waged against Khatumo State and the SSC population

Puntland and Somaliland have been waging war against each-other in the SSC regions for a  decade [13] now, and in the last three years  against [14] Khatumo State of Somalia and its predecessor SSC.

Khatumo State of Somalia was created on the 12th of January 2012, in the historic town of Taleh [15]. The officials of  Khatumostate of Somalia [16] have been elected and endorsed by the civil society at large including the 13 Garaads of the SSC regions (prominent elders of SSC), women associations and business groups.

Since the creation of Khatumo State of Somalia and its predecessor SSC, Somaliland and Puntland have moved closer to each-other and have formed an alliance to fully eliminate any party that may challenge their claims to these regions. This alliance culminated into a  coordinated [17] attack on Khatumo State forces on the 28th of June 2012 by Puntland and Somaliland on Tukaraq a small village in Sool region, situated 15 Miles from Garowe, the capital of Puntland. The presumption in the SSC regions is that Puntland and Somaliland have divided the area between themselves.

Since the  capture of Lasanod by Somaliland on the 5th of October 2007, there has been a relentless war against the local population. The war waged by Somaliland includes the targeting of food convoys,  sexual violence [18], arbitrary excecutions of nomads [19] and their animals with mobile units of technicals mounted with machine guns. The wars waged by Somaliland in Buhoodle district alone have resulted in the displacement of  150,000 residents as reported [20] by the UN monitoring group on Somalia and Eritrea. These fleeing civilians end up in villages and cities where safety is provided by Khatumo State of Somalia or end up in refugee camps in Kenya.

The displacement of civilians from their homes and livelihoods by Somaliland is the main cause of loss of life in the Northern region of Somalia. The war in the SSC region will continue and accelerate in the near future while Somaliland is trying to secure these regions for  seismic surveys on the ground and eventually drilling.

Despite Somaliland’s continues offensive it has been losing ground to Khatumo State that has the support of the local population.

The role of the International community and the UN

The UN has undertaken various governance and law programmes in Somaliland, including the training [21] of  Special police unitsmaritime police and the donating of vehicles [22]. The aim of these governance programs is to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the security forces thereby “increasing security” in “Somaliland”.

These programs do not take into account the war waged by Somaliland on Khatumo State and the SSC population. Increasing the effectiveness of the security means increasing their ability to wage war. At the start of 2012, Somaliland started to use its newly acquired equipment and training received to  attack Buhoodle district.

The UN is aware of the war that Somaliland is waging in the SSC region but is still committed to funding “governance and law” programs in Somaliland and has even increased funding for these kind of projects for 2013. Through the UN, the  United  Kingdom and to a lesser extend the European Union have been the biggest donors to Somaliland. The budget of Somaliland depends on the funds made available by the International community.

The United Kingdom has been informed [23] of the war waged by Somaliland by the SSC diaspora living in the United Kingdom and is well aware of Somaliland’s war against Khatumo State of Somalia and its people. However it has promised increased funding [24]  to Somaliland. One has to question why the United Kingdom is funding Somaliland while it is waging war in the SSC regions of Somalia.

Although there has been a decade of war in North Somalia (Somaliland), there is a media blackout of the conflict. Many media outlets even portray Somaliland as an oases of Peace in Northern Somalia, with the BBC leading the way.

Khatumo State and the SSC population

Khatumo State of Somalia and the population living in the SSC regions are aware that the war is not only about Somaliland wanting to secede, but that it is increasingly a war for resources. Somaliland has been able to promote itself as being in full control of the SSC region to oil companies, and is actively seeking to “sell” land to these companies. The international community is keen to explore these resources.

The war in the SSC regions is developing into a war for the resources of North Somalia. The human and material cost suffered by the SSC population is of no relevance to Somaliland and the oil companies.

Khaatumo State and the SSC population are aware that the resources on their land can either be a blessing or a curse. Today Khaatumo State controls the majority of the SSC regions and is actively working towards the development of the region. It is the right of the people of Khaatumo State to choose their own destiny, and to develop their own land.

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Notes

1.  ”Somaliland troops clash with rebels in Hudun”. http://somaliamediamonitoring.org. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 30 March, from http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/november-6-2012-daily-monitoring-report/

2. Location Hudun, see: http://www.gomapper.com/travel/where-is/hudun-nugaal-located.html

3. ”Somaliland: Skirmishes in Hudun as Polling gets underway”. http://somalilandpress.com. 5 November 2012.

Retrieved 30 March, from http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-skirmishes-in-hudun-as-polling-gets-underway-38009

4. The local election held in Somaliland in 2012, was largely of tribal nature were each sub clan of the ruling Isaaq clan of Somaliland had its own party. The 4 (DhulbahanteGadabuursiIssa, and Warsangali) other clans of Somaliland did not participate and were not represented during the local election. See Steve Kibble. “Preparing for local elections in Somaliland”.http://www.progressio.org.uk. Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.progressio.org.uk/sites/progressio.org.uk/files/Preparing-for-local-elections-Sld-2012.pd

5. Repeated clashes, see: “Fighting erupts in Hudun district, Sool region”. http://www.bar-kulan.com. 28 November 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.bar-kulan.com/2012/11/28/fighting-erupts-in-hudun-district-sool-region/, “Somaliland (Somalia) 1 Dec 2012″. http://www.crisisgroup.org. 1 December 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/crisiswatch/crisiswatch-database.aspx?CountryIDs={F8A09CE3-0615-4CBA-9EC7-7DCC2A088A7E}, “War in Xudun” (Somali language). http://www.lasanod.com. 31 December 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, from www.lasanod.com/details.php?wararPage=12&num=8520, “War in Xudun” (Somali language).http://www.lasanod.com. 22 January 2013.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.lasanod.com/details.php?wararPage=6&num=8637, “Somaliland:Khatumo Militias Dislodged from Hudun Bases”. http://somalilandsun.com. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 30 March, from http://samotalis.blogspot.nl/2013/01/somalilandkhatumo-militias-dislodged.html, “Somaliland Army Crush Khatumo Aligned Militiamen”. somaliamediamonitoring.org. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 30 March, fromhttp://somaliamediamonitoring.org/january-25-2013-daily-monitoring-report/, “Somaliland (Somalia) 1 Feb 2013″.http://www.crisisgroup.org. 1 February 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/crisiswatch/crisiswatch-database.aspx?CountryIDs={F8A09CE3-0615-4CBA-9EC7-7DCC2A088A7E}, “North Somalia: Somaliland Militia & Khatumo State Forces Clash in Hudun Town, Sool Region, Somalia February 13. 2013″. http://awdalstatenews.com. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 30 March, from http://awdalstatenews.com/north-somalia-somaliland-militia-khatumo-state-forces-clash-in-hudun-town-sool-region-somalia-february-13-2013/, “Somaliland: clashes between army and khaatumo separatist group militiamen in Hudun town”. http://beforeitsnews.com. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March, from http://beforeitsnews.com/war-and-conflict/2013/03/somaliland-clashes-between-army-and-khaatumo-separatist-group-militiamen-in-hudun-town-2445388.html

6. Bevis,Yeo. “Jacka Resources finds promising structures in Somaliland petroleum block”.http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March, from

7. ”Turkish firm eyes Somaliland”. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 30 March, from

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-firm-eyes-somaliland.aspx?pageID=238&nid=33524

8. ”Nogal and Dharoor valley blocks”. http://www.africaoilcorp.com. Retrieved 30 March, fromhttp://www.africaoilcorp.com/s/Nogal.asp

9. SSC region, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:SSC_Somalia/Sandbox1

10. Kelly Gilblom. “Row between Somali regions slows oil exploration”. http://uk.reuters.com. 11 May 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/11/somalia-oil-idUKL5E8GB3LG20120511

11. Jon Kamp. http://www.foxbusiness.com. 21 March 2013.  Retrieved 30 March, fromhttp://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/03/21/royal-dutch-shell-ceo-highlights-somalia-holdings/

12. Political map of Somalia, see: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Somalia_map_states_regions_districts.png

13. For an analysis, see: Markus V. Hoehne. “Puntland and Somaliland Clashing in Northern Somalia: Who Cuts the Gordian Knot?” http://hornofafrica.ssrc.org. 7 November 2007.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://hornofafrica.ssrc.org/Hoehne/

14. Mark Anderson. “Somaliland clashes with secessionists” http://www.reuters.com. 10 February 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/10/somalia-conflict-idUSL2E8D9BN420120210

15. Historic town of Taleh, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taleh

16. “What is Khatumo State”. http://www.somaliareport.com. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2013, from http://www.somaliareport.com/index.php/post/3271/What_is_Khatumo_State

17. Abdinur Elmi Qaaje. Khatumo State of Somalia. “Joint war Waged by Somaliland and Puntland Administrations on Khatumo State of Somalia”. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 30 March, from http://lasanod.com/details.php?wararPage=3&num=7679

18 Osman Hassan. “Somaliland occupying militia gang-rape 13-year old girl in Sool”. http://khatumo.net. 30 December

2012. Retrieved 04 April 2013 from http://khatumo.net/?p=1363. Dalmar Kaahin, a pro Somaliland reports of 13 old being raped. “Somaliland: the Violent Militant, Khatumo’s “Press Release” Back Fires”. http://somalilandpress.com. Retrieved 30 March, from http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-the-violent-militant-khatumo%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cpress-release%E2%80%9D-back-fires-39179

19 “Warlord Siilaanyo & His Somaliland Killing KHaatumo Civilians”. http://www.dhanbaal.com. 26 January 2012.

Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.dhanbaal.com/main/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=1571

20 Matt Bryden, Coordinator Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea. “Letter dated 20 June 2011 from the members of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea addressed to the Chairman of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea”. Page 130. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2011/433

21 Yusuf M Hasan. “Somaliland: UK Trained Resistant Reaction Police Unit Graduate”. http://www.somalilandsun.com. 15 March 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://index.php/politics/402- somaliland-uk-trained-resistant-reaction-police-unit-graduate, Colonel S. R. Roberts. “Conference on capacity- building to Counter Piracy off the coast of Somalia”. 15 May 2012.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.imo.org/MediaCentre/HotTopics/piracy/Documents/UNPOS.pdf

22 “UNDP donates vehicles to Somaliland police, judiciary”. Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.mareeg.com/fidsan.php?sid=6272&tirsan=3

23 Alex Milan Tracy. “Somali’s demonstrate against Somaliland’s war on SSC people”. http://www.demotix.com. 5

March 2011.  Retrieved 30 March, from http://www.demotix.com/news/612059/somalis-demonstrate-against- somalilands-war-ssc-people#media-612064

24 “UK increases aid to Somalia”. http://somalilandpress.com. Retrieved 30 March, from http://somalilandpress.com/uk-increases-aid-to-somalia-20537

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Hands Off Somalia! – a campaign article printed in FRFI April/May

(The following article was first published in the newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 226 April/May 2012. see www.frfi.co.uk for more information)

Hands Off Somalia (HOS) was initiated by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism in January 2012. The campaign was then set up by both Somali and non-Somali activists, who understand what western intervention means and the destruction that it imposes on its victims. It was a response to David Cameron’s speech in November 2011 at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, in which he claimed ‘Somalia is a failed state that directly threatens British interests’ and that ‘young British minds are being poisoned by radicalism’.

The campaign aims to highlight the corporate, political and economic interest that Britain has in Somalia and the tactics that are being used to achieve this outcome. We oppose all military and political intervention in Somalia by the British government. We agree with those who label the sudden call by Cameron and others for intervention in Somalia as part of the new scramble for Africa and its resources. The campaign aims to draw attention to ‘British interest’ in this scramble. We also hope to name and shame the western companies that have been dumping toxic waste on Somalia’s unprotected shores and to hold them accountable for their crimes.

The issue of criminalisation is also important to the campaign. Cameron’s speech targeted the Somali community in relation to extremism; this can only lead to yet greater use of stop and search and racial profiling, heightening the already extremely Islamophobic climate.

Together with Voice 4 Somalia, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and other organisations, Hands Off Somalia held a successful demonstration on 23 February outside the London Conference at Lancaster House (see article above). Hundreds of protesters attended to oppose the talks. The campaign is continuing to work with a number of different groups to raise awareness about the situation in Somalia, by attending and organising public meetings and other events and making
documentaries and short films to underline the contributing factors to the civil unrest in Somalia and Britain’s role in it.

by Muna Hassan

 


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