Africa Oil Bleeding Ethiopia

Published on 24th August 2010

The killing and injuring of civilians by the Ethiopian army in Balanbal district, Central Somalia is believed to be connected to gas and oil exploration by Melez Zenawi’s government in the Ogaden and border of Somalia. A similar incident in the town several months ago saw the Ethiopian Army murder and maim more than a dozen people including three prominent Marehan clan chiefs.

The action of the Ethiopian government is deeply rooted in their quest to exploit the region’s mineral and oil reserves. As of now, Africa Oil and Cinmax (small mafia operandi organizations) are conducting Seismic tests in the Ogaden and surrounding regions.

In Ogadenia, in 2006, the rebel group ONLF in an ambush, attacked Chinese staffers who were drilling gas wells in the region. Nine Chinese and many Ethiopians were killed in the attack. However, unreported, the illegal mineral and oil exploitation undertaken by small unpopular corporations under the pretext of economic development, cause civilians in those regions to suffer. In the Balanbal situation, the Ethiopian Army is engaged in active war in the reserve area (Somalia-Ethiopia border) with the border inhabitants to displace thousands of people in order to steal natural resources of the people of Ogaden and neighboring, unprotected reserve area.

On the Africa Oil website, ongoing projects in the Ogaden and Puntland autonomous state are presented. The partners in the deal are the Melez administration in Ethiopia, Puntland Regional Government, African Oil and its subsidiaries. Often, oil schemes involve cash handouts to the willing partners under the guise of operational costs. Masterminds like Africa Oil market their schemes on their website openly, even demonstrating their strategy towards sharing operational costs with external companies just serving them promissory note to ascertain future revenue shares. It is a dangerous undertaking since the civilians in those regions have no say whatsoever. For example, in the Central Africa country of Congo, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been uprooted from their homelands under the curtain of development projects. Africa Oil and the like are out there to scavenge unprotected resources of smaller nations with no legitimate governments present.

Africa Oil has sparked intensive war between Puntland government and the defenders of the Sanaag Natural Resources. In that confrontation alone, 90 people have reportedly been killed and hundreds wounded. Communities’ only food sources–farms and wells–have been set ablaze or poisoned. Africa oil in collaboration with President Abdirahman Farole of Puntland, has delivered its final verdict on these communities. President Farole (Africa Oil Partner) first ordered people to leave their homes or face the impossible, then, gave the army ‘green light’ to invade Galgala some 60km from Bosaso. Although the military initially captured the town, operations have ceazed temporarily after the Puntland Army lost many soldiers. No one knows what will follow.

In the light of the recent displacements of viable communities in Central Africa and the ongoing onslaught in Galgala and Balanbal, the international community has the obligation to step in and protect the civilians in the cross fire and ban the stolen resources and Africa Oil’s trade activities.

Indeed, Africa Oil’s self incriminating reports indicate for the foreseeable future, they will continue hunting for unprotected resources, whilst depriving the people of their God given rights to the resources. If the world does not do anything and continues to watch unprovoked, Nigeria’s Niger Delta region like resistance–unstoppable–will pop up in many places of Africa and Asia.

By Mohamud Ahmed

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