* Offshore blocks located in disputed seas [N.B.: This sea-territory is only disputed by Kenya - not by the international law, UNCLOS]
* Border row threatens [N.B.: ... the illegal ...] exploration in new hotspot [N.B.: ... by Kenya.]
* Kenya's plans to extend continental shelf stalled [N.B.: ... which is Kenya's own fault.]
Reuters summarized an article published by the wire-service under the headline:
Somalia's government accused Kenya on Friday of awarding offshore oil and gas exploration blocks illegally to multinationals Total and Eni because the concessions lie in waters claimed by Somalia. [N.B.: Well, according to UNCLOS - the United Nation Common Law on the Sea, the law to which Kenya as well as Somalia are signatories -these waters belong to Somalia and only a biased or ignorant journalist can interpret a delineated and definite right as a "claim".]
The spat between Kenya and its war-ruined neighbour could complicate the hunt for resources along a part of the East African coastline, rapidly emerging as one of the world's hottest oil exploration prospects.
Somalia's deputy energy minister, Abdullahi Dool, said contracts awarded for four blocks in deep waters were invalid and the government planned to complain to the United Nations, which oversees maritime border laws.
"We are concerned about the lease of these blocks," Dool told Reuters. "I am sure we will lodge complaints."
The blocks are among seven awarded by Kenya last week, three of them to Italy's Eni and one to France's Total.
They lie in an area long contested by Kenya, East Africa's biggest economy, and Somalia, wrecked by more than two decades of civil war, split between an interim government and Islamist rebels and serving as the main base for Indian Ocean pirates.
Kenya rejected the accusation that ownership of the blocks was contested and said there was no need to hold up exploration.
Kenya's first major oil discovery in March [N.B.: Far inland, west of Lake Turkana] has raised expectations of more to come.
"Saying these are not Kenyan blocks is like saying we don't have a full-fledged government, like we are a banana republic," petroleum commissioner Martin Heya said.
[N.B.: Well, obviously only an official of a Banana-Republic couldn't read or wouldn't recognize international law to which his own government has subscribed - as it is the case here . But like Kenya has now intentions to withdraw from the Rome statutes, because the International Criminal Court, which is based on this convention, has indicted some of their folks from their higher echelons, who stand accused to be mass-murderers and war-criminals, Kenyan officials always want to bail out when the international law is applied against them themselves. The petroleum commissioner and his ministry better care for the promised reduction of fuel prices in Kenya and in this context most Kenyan's not only feel that they are taken for a ride but also that the Government has no backbone, having just backed out from a signed and sealed MoU with Iran for the import of cheap petroleum products. Kenyans feel their government listens too much to their former colonial master from Britain, who together with Europe lined up and gave in to the U.S.American demand for a full oil trading ban and economic boycott targeting Iran.]
An Eni spokesman said the company would not comment on the challenge to its rights to blocks L21, L23 and L24. Total, awarded block 122, did not respond to requests for comment. [N.B.: The blocks in question - all in what was called before the Block L5 - had already earlier been dished out to risk-capital venture and oil-explorer Andarko. All against hard cash and getting additional revenues from the ongoing "research". Kenyans are advised to follow the money and they will find their Energy Minister and at least one of their principals are involved.]
Kenya says the maritime boundary, over which there is no formal agreement [N.B. with Somalia], should run due east from the point at which the land border meets the coast, like the maritime boundaries of other countries along the coast. [N.B.: Is an international law to which both states subscribed not a "formal agreement". There are no "latitude oriented boundaries" according to UNCLOS. That there would be borders following the latitude is a not correct Reuters statement, because the boundaries have to follow UNCLOS and not some hand-drawn maps imagined during colonial days. Kenya has the same problem also with Tanzania and simply is voraciously wanting more than it had been awarded when Kenya accepted and signed UNCLOS.]
Somalia says the boundary should extend perpendicular to the coastline [N.B.: - as per UNCLOS], giving it a big chunk of the waters claimed by Kenya. [N.B.: Well, it does not mean "giving the area", because the "big chunk" always has been indisputably Somali waters since the times when both countries had signed and ratified UNCLOS. Much of the "piracy"- and now the land-war has its root-causes based on these issues.]
The dispute mirrors those in other parts of Africa where resources straddle boundaries that were first drawn only vaguely by colonial era map makers. [N.B.: This is one of the reasons why UNCLOS was created and then clarified these issues.]
Kenya and Somalia signed [N.B.: ... in a totally illegal way instigated and most likely bribed for by Norway and Norway's oil- and fishfarming-kings] a memorandum of understanding in 2009 that the border would run east along the line of latitude, but Somalia, which has lacked an effective central government since 1991, then rejected the agreement in parliament. [N.B.: The UN has withdrawn that fraudulent "agreement" between Kenya and a not legitimized Somali from the list of official documents and declared it nil and void.]
The quarrel over the oil blocks strains otherwise close ties between Kenya and the [N.B.: UN-mastered, transitional] Somali government. In fact, Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to hunt down the Islamist al-Shabaab rebels who control swathes of the country. [N.B.: Well, that is the explanation for the rather uninformed general public.]
Joshua Brien, a legal adviser with the Commonwealth Secretariat who is advising Kenya on the matter, said no legal boundary can be established until both governments sign a U.N.-approved agreement or move the issue to an international court. [N.B.: Somalia doesn't have to clarify, because UNCLOS is clear, but if Kenya violates the international law, then the International Court of the Law of the Sea in Hamburg will have to rule and determinate the compensation to be paid for any violation of these rights. It is obvious that Kenya would loose that case.]
"It's not impossible they could come to a [N.B.; ... again bribed and corrupted ???] resolution, but the situation in Somalia is so uncertain," Brien told Reuters by phone from London.
An added frustration for Kenya is that it cannot extend its claim to the continental shelf beyond its 200 nautical miles (370 km) of territorial waters until the border spat is resolved. That holds up the award of more exploration licenses.
- By Kelly Gilblom (Reuters) (Editing by Richard Lough and Matthew Tostevin)
N.B.:Apart from the fact that REUTERS has to please its subscribers in the economic capitals of Europe and the U.S.A., there is little reason to have published such an obviously biased and poorly researched article. Reuters could and should have done better.
The long anticipated move by the French TOTAL and the Italian ENI - both infamous oil-grabbing conglomerate/multinational corporations (TOTAL in the past even lied to their own French head of state in the MT ERIKA affair, which spilled toxins not only into the Atlantic off France and Portugal but also into the trust one can have in them) - provides proof to the already earlier aired assumptions that they financed the establishment of the so-called Azania regional state bordering these Somali waters in order to have a free hand either way. The self-styled "president" of Azania is the French citizen of Ethiopian-Somali origin Prof. Gandi.Already the Somali WaGosha have sworn to wage war against that plan - and they mean it.
Can the so-called international community quietly watch that yet another war-front is opened in Somalia ? Already the oil-war between Puntland and Somaliland in the north continues now for over 20 years and spoils any and all attempts to bring peace to the country.
As for ENI, they seem not to have realized that the times of Silvio Berlusconi have ended. Or do they still dwell in the days of Craxi, who was the secret post-colonial governor of the Somali Republic. However they still can feel safe, since the Italian Mafia networks also along the Kenyan coast will backstop them in their endeavors.
Can it get more obvious that Linda Nchi, the initially totally illegal and only now somehow sanctioned (legally still not unchallengeable) invasion of Somalia by the Kenyan Armed Forces, is actually a resource war instigated by foreign and local oil- as well as agricultural land-grabbing interests and the ever present interest in the living marine resources too, be it tuna fishing or caged fish- as well as shrimp-farming etc. .
The issue also concerns the indigenous peoples rights of the Bajuni people, safeguarded by international conventions, because the coastal stretch in Somalia and the adjacent waters are theirs. Though the sovereignty of Somalia is violated every day the international community will have difficulties to strafe the proven peaceful Bajunis as aggressors in order to rob them of their resources.
1. Somalia has since inception internationally respected (incl. AU) 200nm territorial waters based on Law No. 37 of 1972. The Somali lawmakers are advised to not step back one millimeter but to enshrine this now in the new constitution, like Peru wisely did already many years ago.
2. Somalia has a 200nm Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) since it signed and ratified UNCLOS, congruent with the 200nm of its territorial sea and under the injunction as well as exception that UNCLOS was ratified notwithstanding Law no. 37. Already since 1988 an endless stream of foreign delegations with pure self-interest came to Mogadishu to pressurize Somalia to abolish its firm stand on its maritime rights and stewardship. Until today these representatives of foreign taker-societies and -states have not given up and, with an ever weaker Somali governance represented by more and more corrupt Somali politicians being a fact of the sad Somali history, they believe they still stand a chance to collude with Somali traitors to rob the sovereign Somali people as a whole of their maritime territory together with its rights and its resources as well as the compensation claims for the crimes committed in these waters over the last 21 years - be it toxic and nuclear waste dumping or illegal fishing by foreign fleets.
3. Somalia had just in time registered its claim within the newly outlined regime of the 350nm Continental Shelf Zone under the International Seabed Agreement and thereby (like Kenya) averted that the exploitation management rights would have gone to the international Seabed Authority. Thereby nobody can explore or exploit these areas until the people of Somalia are really ready to wisely use these rights and resources for the benefit of all Somali people.
Already on 8. October 2011, the T.F.P. acted on treacherous attempts, passing its ban on discussion of the E.E.Z. by any of the transitional institutions. The six-point directive also affirmed the Somali Law of the Sea (Law No. 37 on the Territorial Sea and Ports), nullified all adversary agreements and memoranda of understanding signed by Somali officials since 1991 concerning the country’s territorial waters (countering Kenya’s claims), declared that any attempt to reduce Somalia’s territorial waters would constitute an act of war, ordered the T.F.G. to transmit the T.F.P.’s directive to regional and international states and organizations, and declared: “Anyone who violates this decision commits high treason.”
On October 11, the T.F.G.’s cabinet accepted the T.F.P.’s decision and moved to reject any references to Somalia’s E.E.Z. in the Roadmap. A cabinet press release said that a panel of experts led by fisheries minister Ibrahim had presented a report to the cabinet on the E.E.Z. issue, that the report had been discussed fully, and that the cabinet had decided to “remove from all documents, such as the National Security and Stabilization Plan and the Roadmap, issues concerning the sea, such as the E.E.Z.”
But with the Kampala accord the international community/coalition has again attempted to create an interlocking set of bodies under its control to capture the transitional institutions and bend them to its will – disguised trusteeship - and reintroduced even the E.E.Z. issue into the roadmap.
The farce becomes obvious even to the most stupefied, if one sees that the same coalition which twisted the arms of their "principals of the TFG" to abolish the T.F.P., which had sacked former speaker Sharif Hassan Seikh Adan and elected as new speaker Hon. Nuunow in January 2012, continues to address deposed Sharif Hassan as "speaker" of the house - a house which they themselves had abolished by that coup-attempt in Kampala. That the real parliamentarians just said "these guys must be crazy" and continued with their stately duties is obviously of no concern - neither to the internal oversight of the United Nations nor to those responsible for the acts of the key representatives of the International Community like EU, US, AU etc. who finance these illegal acts. And the corporate main-stream media seem to be so much streamlined that they continue to just copycat-report what false information they are presented with. "Switch off brains and keep your mouth shut!" , seems to be the directive given by the media-twisters and spin-doctors of the stick-holders to the corporate scribes and broadcasters - and "don't tell the taxpayers in the western world what fun we have over here misusing their money" to give the Somalis a rough ride.
The Somali Ocean waters hold the key to the future prosperity of the Somali people, if they remain wise and steadfastly don't give up their rights, or - on the other hand - it could lead to their total annihilation, if they would give in to the greedy desires of outsiders or a few corrupt Somalis who solely want to exploit the wealth of Somalia's marine and maritime world and territory for themselves, give in to the demands of foreign interest holders and give up the rights of Somalia and the Somali people as a whole.
The real spoilers of the Somali way to peace, unity and prosperity for all Somali people are therefore those war-criminals, who twist the arms of a few Somalis to in turn become the henchmen and strangle their own people to death for the benefit of voracious foreign interests - and they are the ones, who - by definition of the UN, AU as well as IGAD - must be targeted with sanctions, arrested and prosecuted with first and highest priority.
Before even thinking to apply for candidacy to the presidential election, Sheikh Sharif must clarify if he instructed his former minister Abdirahman Abdishakur to sign the fraudulent memorandum with Kenya - as the former official has stated. The interim president also should come clear with answers to the questions which fishing deals he made (e.g with Turkey) and which deals he already cut concerning the Somali oil. The transparency of his political office and personal affairs is as important for all Somalis as for state donors and their taxpayers.
- HORN NEWS collective