Protests rock Somalia oil and gas licensing bid in London
Protest have rocked the opening of the planned Somalia Oil and Gas conference supposed to take place in London. Protestors carrying placards stormed the venue of the meeting, accusing the government of trying to illegally sell off the oil blocks. The government has maintained that they were unveiling a legal framework for the oil and gas sector, an explanation which drew more questions than answers. Critics questioned why the government would launch laws which had not been passed by the parliament in a foreign country. The upper house boycotted the event. Yusuf Hussein Mohamed who chairs the Somalia Parliamentary Resource Committee turned down an invitation to attend the conference. Mr Hussein warned that those interested on the auction of Somalia oil blocks in London had no legal grounds to do so as there was no petroleum bill passed and a resource sharing law. Among the issues that have been discussed behind the scenes are disputes between the Federal Government of Somalia and the regional states and lack of petroleum law regulating resource sharing. Wadajir party through Abdirahamn Abdishakur said “Wadjir Party calls on the Federal Government to cease the licensing of Somalia oil until transparent contracting systems and revenue sharing agreements have been implemented. In London, there were fears that Somalia living in the UK were planning to organise a demonstrations on the sidelines of the conference.