Somalia: Federal Govt urges Chinese firm to cease illegal mining
MOGADISHU, Somalia Jan 7, 2015 (Garowe Online)-Federal Government of Somalia has called on Chinese firm, ARC to cease illegal mining activities as the country’s nascent oil industry continues to attract international attention, Garowe Online reports.
In a press statement sent to GO by Ministry of Petroleum and Mines on Wednesday, Somalia government said the illegal mining operations at Simodi Mountain Ranges in Awdal region of southwestern Somalia violate territorial integrity.
“These activities are also a threat and an immediate danger to the fragile but improving political situation in Somalia,” read the statement, adding that the mining activities also sparked tensions among local communities.
“ARC’s illegal activities have already caused civil turmoil and tensions among communities in the region following the company’s introduction of armed militia to protect its illegally obtained mining acreage,” Ministry of mines unveiled.
Mogadishu-based central government requested People’s Republic of China to assist Somalia in suspending ARC’s operations in breakaway Somaliland.
Continuing, the statement noted: “The Somali Federal Government, represented herein by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, provides a stern warning to all companies operating illegally in Somalia on the basis of suspect, invalid, and illegal agreements and contracts with individuals and organizations”.
Chinese embassy in Mogadishu and officials from the ministries of Petroleum and Foreign Affairs more recently discussed issues pertaining to the firm activities.
On December 21, 2014, Federal Government of Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Somaliland’s separatist administration leader Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (Silanyo) struck Djibouti-brokered deal.
The two emphasized the need for continued cooperation and to refrain from comments that could undercut hope for future dialogues.
Earlier on Saturday, The northeastern state of Puntland expressed interest in the resumption of Gas and oil exploration activities.
Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia declared its independence from the rest of the country as de facto sovereign state in 1991 but it has not been recognized internationally yet.