Geopolitik Energi

April 25, 2007

OIL HOPES HINGE ON NORTH SOMALIA

Squabbles

The new rulers in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), and EPLF in Eritrea, say their first priority is to tackle famine relief and food shortages. But whatever stability exists, it is threatened by continued squabbling between factions divided on ethnic, religious and ideological lines. Notwithstanding public rhetoric about dumping their various Marxist ideologies, the EPRDF and the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front, which has been enjoying a measure of US support, remain dominated by former university students still committed to the notion of a centralised, command economy.

In this climate, it is unlikely that there will be any quick decision about oil company contracts, even if the stability holds. And if a decision does materialise, it is unlikely to be very favourable to the foreign companies. However, the most recent reports indicate that some Somali and Oromo groups within Ethiopia, which have embraced the same pro-market policies as the SNM in Somaliland, are emerging as power brokers. They may hold the balance between religious and ethnic divisions in the country.

(http://www.somaliawatch.org/archivejuly/000922601.htm)

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