Somalia’s Black Gold Affair



This special report is part one of three of a series covering the string-pullers behind the marionette that is the Federal Government of Somalia

The Puppet Show, Frye Museum

Walwaal Online; Over the last few decades many expert minds were put to task in order to explain the Somalia question, as to why it’s reputation & presence among internationalist organisations was one that even the dictionary definition of ‘failure’ would fail to define. Most tend to shy away from saying it not until President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma held in June. Trump minced no words as he ranted against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. During this live tirade Trump expressed his opinion (and perhaps the unspoken opinion of most analysts) on Somalia. That Somalia had; “No government, no safety, no police, no nothing, just anarchy.” It appears FGS’s MFA unintentionally revealed a string

There was widespread criticism with regards to the brutal language employed by Trump, but geopolitics and international relations often have little to do with emotional retorts. Indeed, the Federal Government of Somalia’s ministry of foreign affairs responded with “no comment” to the nuclear verbiage that the U.S President directed towards Somalia. Perhaps, this spineless response by Villa Somalia is in actuality a silent admission to the fact, that what we currently know as the Federal Government of Somalia isn’t in reality a government but a marionette whose ownership is claimed by many puppeteers.


But surely this can’t be? One could argue that in 2020 there already is an observable government in Mogadishu that possesses and maintains all the political & institutional paraphernalia that any standard government of any given nation ought to possess. Except that this government in particular isn’t what a given population would expect from an actual government. Everything about it, from its employees, to its “constitution”, and to its very founding can be traced meticulously to the offices of powerful circles that have deep-burrowed economic interests that for some reason have to be met.

This photograph is believed to have been taken during the war

The year is 1979, the aftermath of the Ogaden War of 77-78’ left the nation in confusion, many couldn’t understand how a near military victory quickly turned to defeat, the answer to that however may lie in the failure of the amateur diplomat, foreign minister Abdulrahman Jama Barre [1] a relative of the dictator himself. During this period a important change took place, Barre shifted his top-down imposed scientific socialism (hantiwadaag) to IMF-ism [2]. Significant programs, and agreements were made with the World Bank and the IMF in the years between 1979-1982. A lot of factors that led to the notorious famines can be traced to the capitulation of the Somali economy to the infamous SAPs (structurally adjustment programs), which have been criticised multiple times for its role in imposing poverty-inducing economic policies throughout Sub-Saharan African nations. [3]

The Seven Sisters, regarded as the most powerful of all majors

Crucial to our discussion however, were the contracts being penned between Siad Barre and American majors such as Conoco, Chevron, Amoco and Phillips. According to sensitive documents obtained by the LA Times in 1993 [4] Barre allocated nearly two-thirds of the entire territory of the Somali Republic to the majors. These concessions remained out-of-sight from when they were obtained in 1986[5] up until Barre was toppled in 1991, when the majors supposedly declared force majeure [6] and subsequently postponed its plans until further notice.

However, one of the companies remained in Mogadishu among the chaos and lawlessness. Conoco Inc. was the only major multinational corporation that kept its office open well over two years into the civil war. More importantly, it played a direct role in Operation Restore Hope [7], an elaborate humanitarian campaign which led to nearly 30,000 US marines being deployed to Mogadishu.

The coming together of empire & and corporate multinational oil prospecting was symbolically made manifest when Conoco’s compound in Mogadishu was made into a de facto American embassy, with President Bush’s special envoy temporarily utilising the compound as his headquarters. [8] One year prior to the Bush’s Operation Restore Hope however, something more relevant to our report took place.

Confidential unclassified State Department cable released in 2005-2006

A unclassified confidential cable (released to Keith Yearman by way of the Freedom of Information Act) makes mention of Conoco’s deep operational enterprise in post-Barre Somalia, particularly its role between the warring factions of the Hawiye clans, and its security capabilities in the form of protecting US government employees. Raymand Marchand, Head of Conoco’s activities in Somalia had – according to the cable – “despaired of stability of returning to the capital”, the reason being that warlord Ali Mahdi had accused Conoco of siding with Aideed, as if by right they ought to side with him.[9]

Yet, what most fail to take notice of was the transfer of Conoco’s headquarters from Mogadishu to Garowe, where they had an existing airstrip and camp, and is located by their most prized exploration concession in the Nugaal. It is worth mentioning that Conoco had declared its force majuere later in the mid 90s, yet this does not explain away the significance of its HQ being transferred to the dusty town. Garowe remains crucial as the city was the location of a series of meetings held in 2011-2012. [10] These meetings produced what was called the “Garowe Principles”, and was followed shortly by an official endorsement by British PM David Cameron as being the basis of the state that was going to succeed the core-corrupted TFG (Transitional Federal Government). This endorsement by Cameron itself is indirectly connected to the interests of the majors, especially since one of the original American majors that had obtained concessions from Barre, Amoco, had been acquired by BP (British Petroleum) in 1998 for $48 billion.[11]

With this in mind, one can finally understand then, why a rather infantile oil prospecting company created & registered in London 2013 ( mere months after the creation of the FGS) named Soma Oil & Gas had as its Chief Executive Officer Robert Sheppherd, a former senior executive of BP & Amoco, and more important to our discussion, why its ‘Executive Director for Africa’ since its establishment, was an unknown Norwegian-Somali who would go on to become Prime Minister of the Federal “Government” of Somalia.[12]

Mapping the connection

How real is this FGS? And is this “Government’s” entire purpose anything other than delivering claimed exploration concessions to major oil corporations? More importantly, how long will the people of Somalia be manipulated by hypnotic iconography, passive nostalgia and empty slogans? If you spread this message, and its subsequent continuations, then perhaps not for long.


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