SOMALIA: Oil Minister Takes Matters in Hand

Power struggles inside the Somalian government resulted in the last minute cancelling of the Somalia Oil & Gas conference, scheduled in London for 9 June.

Power play at the centre of Somalia oil and gas sector. Will the quest for oil adds fuel to the fire?
Power play at the center of Somalia oil and gas conference. Will the quest for oil add fuel to the fire?

By Africa Intelligence,

ACCORDING to sources in Mogadishu, the cancellation of the London conference enabled the Somalian oil minister, Daud Mohamed Omar, to sideline Abdullahi Haider, advisor on oil matters to the presidency and main promoter of the meeting.

Haider, who holds a doctorate in geology, has imposed himself on oil issues by becoming first the advisor on oil and gas to President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, later principal advisor to the natural resources minister Abdirizak Omar Mohamed and finally oil advisor to the presidency when the new government was formed in January 2014.

Haider chaired the Somalia oil and gas conference in London in October 2013 and has become de facto the privileged interlocutor for international oil organisations.

The current oil minister Daud Mohamed Omar took offence and wanted to prove his authority. He therefore disqualified Haider, accusing him of acting behind the back of the oil ministry, to which he is no longer attached, and of abusing his position. His message is clear: anyone who deals with anyone else but him is wasting his time.

The former natural resources minister, Abdirizak Omar Mohamed, now a consultant with the oil ministry and very close to the present President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, would also seem to have distanced himself from his former right hand man Haider.

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