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The backing London has given the Somalian government is not without mercantile ulterior motives. Among other things, it will allow British consultants and oil companies to be well placed when the country’s security situation improves so that mineral resources can be extracted.
However, in so doing, the British government is caught between its pragmatism which pushes it to take the autonomous regional entities (Somaliland, Puntland and Jubaland) into account and its desire to forge privileged ties with the federal government in Mogadishu which does not recognise these regional states.
A recent British-funded report on the oil sector carried out by the firm Adam Smith International (ASI) brought this contradiction to a head. We go back to look at the events that led to this situation.(Africa Energy Intelligence)