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Operation uncover* oil ? or a waste import?

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Below is an article which clearly identifies the motives behind the American intervention to Somalia. There were many theories that came into light when America's operation embarrassingly failed.


Here i'd like to gather some of the more useful articles, case studies and books that deal with Somalia's issues more directly, with evidence to proof it.




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The Los Angeles Times, January 18, 1993




By Mark Fineman


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Far beneath the surface of the tragic drama of

Somalia, four major U.S. oil companies are sitting on a prospective fortune

in exclusive concessions to explore and exploit tens of millions of acres

of the Somali countryside.

That land, in the opinion of geologists and industry sources, could

yield significant amounts of oil and natural gas if the U.S.-led military

mission can restore peace to the impoverished East African nation.

According to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times, nearly

two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco,

Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before Somalia's pro-U.S.

President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into

chaos in January 1991. Industry sources said the companies holding the

rights to the most promising concessions are hoping that the Bush

administration's decision to send U.S. troops to safeguard aid shipments to

Somalia will also help protect their multimillion-dollar investments there.

Officially, the administration and the State Department insist that

the U.S. military mission in Somalia is strictly humanitarian. Oil industry

spokesmen dismissed as "absurd" and "nonsense" allegations by aid experts,

veteran East Africa analysts and several prominent Somalis that President

Bush, a former Texas oilman, was moved to act in Somalia at least in part

by the U.S. corporate oil stake.

But corporate and scientific documents disclose that the American

companies are well-positioned to pursue Somalia's most promising potential

oil reserves the moment the nation is pacified. And the State Department

and U.S. military officials acknowledge that one of those oil companies has

done more than simply sit back and hope for peace.

Conoco Inc., the only major multinational corporation to maintain a

functioning office in Mogadishu throughout the past two years of nationwide

anarchy, has been directly involved in the U.S. government's role in the

U.N.-sponsored humanitarian military effort.

Conoco, whose tireless exploration efforts in north-central Somalia

reportedly had yielded the most encouraging prospects just before Siad

Barre's fall, permitted its Mogadishu corporate compound to be transformed

into a de facto American embassy a few days before the U.S. Marines landed

in the capital, with President Bush's special envoy using it as his

temporary headquarters. In addition, the president of the company's

subsidiary in Somalia won high official praise for serving as the

government's volunteer "facilitator" during the months before and during

the U.S. intervention.

Describing the arrangement as "a business relationship," John

Geybauer, spokesman for Conoco Oil in Houston, said the company was acting

as "a good corporate citizen and neighbor" in granting the U.S.

government's request to be allowed to rent the compound.

But the close relationship between Conoco and the U.S. intervention

force has left many Somalis and foreign development experts deeply troubled

by the blurred line between the U.S. government and the large oil company,

leading many to liken the Somalia operation to a miniature version of

Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led military effort in January 1991 to

drive Iraq from Kuwait and, more broadly, safeguard the world's largest oil


Although most oil experts outside Somalia laugh at the suggestion

that the nation ever could rank among the world's major oil producers - and

most maintain that the international aid mission is intended simply to feed

Somalia's starving masses-no one doubts that there is oil in Somalia. The

only question: How much?

"It's there. There's no doubt there's oil there," said Thomas E.

O'Connor, the principal petroleum engineer for the World Bank who headed an

in-depth, three-year study of oil prospects in the Gulf of Aden off

Somalia's northern coast.

O'Connor, a professional geologist, based his conclusion on the

findings of some of the world's top petroleum geologists. In a 1991 World

Bank-coordinated study, intended to encourage private investment in the

petroleum potential of eight African nations, the geologists put Somalia

and Sudan at the top of the list of prospective commercial oil producers.

Presenting their results during a three-day conference in London in

September 1991, two of those geologists, an American and an Egyptian,

reported that an analysis of nine exploratory wells drilled in Somalia

indicated that the region is "situated within the oil window, and thus are

highly prospective for gas and oil." A report by a third geologist, Z.R.

Beydoun, said offshore sites possess "the geological parameters conducive

to the generation, expulsion and trapping of significant amounts of oil and


Beginning in 1986, Conoco, along with Amoco, Chevron, Phillips and,

briefly, Shell all sought and obtained exploration licenses for northern

Somalia from Siad Barre's government. Somalia was soon carved up into

concessional blocs, with Conoco, Amoco and Chevron winning the right to

explore and exploit the most promising ones.

The companies' interest in Somalia clearly pre-dated the World Bank

study. It was grounded in the findings of another, highly successful

exploration effort by the Texas-based Hunt Oil Corp. across the Gulf of

Aden in the Arabian Peninsula nation of Yemen, where geologists disclosed

in the mid-1980s that the estimated 1 billion barrels of Yemeni oil

reserves were part of a great underground rift, or valley, that arced into

and across northern Somalia. Hunt's Yemeni operation, which is now yielding

nearly 200,000 barrels of oil a day, and their implications for the entire

region were not lost on then-Vice President Bush. In fact, Bush witnessed

it first-hand in April 1986, when he officially dedicated Hunt's new $18

million refinery near the ancient Yemeni town of Marib. In remarks during

the event, Bush emphasized the critical value of supporting U.S. corporate

efforts to develop and safeguard potential oil reserves in the region.

Of the four U.S. companies holding the Siad Barre-era oil

concessions, Conoco is believed to be the only one that negotiated what

spokesman Geybauer called "a standstill agreement" with an interim

government set up by one of Mogadishu's two principal warlords, Ali Mahdi

Mohamed. Industry sources said the other U.S. companies with contracts in

Somalia cited 'force majeure' (superior power), a legal term asserting that

they were forced by the war to abandon their exploration efforts and would

return as soon as peace is restored.

"It's going to be very interesting to see whether these agreements

are still good," said Mohamed Jirdeh, a prominent Somali businessman in

Mogadishu who is familiar with the oil-concession agreements. "Whatever

Siad did, all those records and contracts, all disappeared after he fled.

... And this period has brought with it a deep change of our society.

"Our country is now very weak, and, of course, the American oil

companies are very strong. This has to be handled very diplomatically, and

I think the American government must move out of the oil business, or at

least make clear that there is a definite line separating the two, if they

want to maintain a long-term relationship here."

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Lets just hope and indeed pray that the dirty greedy hands dont make it to the only think that could make a prosperous somali future if and probabely when peace n stability returns to all the somali regions. The U.N, W.T.O, I.M.F and of course oil addicted american administrations would of course love to take advantage of our simingly endless weak and pathetic situation, and quite frankly in this current climate the americans are just simply iching to get any excuse to get back into any region that is rich in Oil or gas resources, hence its unsuccesfull attempt to try and broaden its so called war on terrorism (which real is an attempt @ global domination)to somalia n sudan earleir this this year.

Inshallah the will be unsuccessfull in all their attempts to try to continue to oppress the muslim countries the continue to stay in, and their arrogance will back fire on them.

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shujui, you are right....


I was trying to inject something of relevance to the discussion tables of my fellow Nomads. What astonished much me was how the petrolium companies coverted intended aims to look like a humaniterian operation, many people were fooled. It is true that there were some starving Somalis by then but they conducted their operation cleverly like a hollywood movie, quite an interesting approach was the one they employed.


They showed the world dying/starving Somalis and while the world(including American well-wishers) was shock by the images streaming through their tellies, a much more sinister was being plotted under their nose.


We know what America is capable of doing. It can do almost everything thats in the best of their interest, be it kicking a dog in the back side or preffixing their surnames with Gad-damn-it (Gorge Bushie).


But some years back (around 1994) there were some rumours going around of nucleur waste being dumped in some parts of Somalia. It was under-taken under an joint operation wof some un-named American firms and a wing of the italian mafia. I dont know much about the story but it could well so that you have heard more about it?


Cerntainly, one of my friends went back to southern Somalia and told me of how there had been an atmospheric change resulted suspectedly by these hazardous dumpings of nucleur waste. In the north, i was listening to a radio broadcast by the BBC describing a scene of thousands upon thousands of dead fish floating in the sea shores.


No one really knows what had caused the death of these fish, but is claimed to have something to do with pirate fishermen using sophisticated explossives to kill and trap all kinds of fish. We surely don't know.


On the other hand, deforestion of many wood-lands or forests in Somalia continiues at an alarming rate, the question is whats behind it? who is encouraging these mass deforestations?


SEPADO, which is a non-governmental organisation that is concerned with the environment compiled a report about Somalia, and from the information they've gathered, it is possible that some of the well-known plants that we use to familiar with as kids could disapear in few years time. Soon, we might not find "mareer" or even the "dhalool" which is burnt for charcoal and transported to the gulf countries.


The cut-downs or deforestations has brought with it soil erosion, the upper fertile land is being blown away by dusty winds, resulted by failures of sessional rains. I know it is hard to imagine fighting for the invironment when even humanity itself isn't in safe hands, but the environment has no voice of its own. I just dont wonna go back to Somalia with my kids and fail to see or find "sagaaro" or even "qurac". It is a hunting thought that keeps getting in my way everytime i think of Somalia.


Lets speak and save the environment.

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Asalaamu Caleykum Waraxmatulaahi Wabarakaatuh


Oh Yaa Illaahi! this's a very disturbing news walaahi N it's the last thing our beloved country needs.


My knowledge's very limited when it comes to politics, stil I couldn't help but to acknowledge this matter. One thing's 4 sure, if ur own causing u harm what do u expect from a foreigner?


The agony's the feeling of helplessness where one should know what to do in order to help....Let's pray N hope 4 the best

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Mandeeq, i know it can be difficult but it takes a personal effort to contribute to safe-guarding our beloved land. Ofcourse we can all sit back and hope things to change but change has to come from us(Somalis), no one will come from another world to help us protect our eco-system. I hate to go into politics, coz some times evironment and politics can be involved with each other.


No one seems to care about anything nowadays. After 12 years of a brutal civil war, it now looks like the apitite ti fight and kill is getting stronger. Wars in every part of Somalia these days and that makes it even harder.


Insha-allaah everything is gonna be alright.

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Oh! Was that the reason why Americans went into Somalia? If thats true then i think it will be a good idea to have them as our guests, coz we need the oil ;)


JamaaL-11 whats the address of sepado?

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CASE NAME: Somalia Waste Imports from Italy




1. The Issue


During the Somali civil war hazardous waste was dumped in this

African nation by industrialized countries. The alleged

perpetrators were Italian and Swiss firms who supposedly entered

into a contract with the Somali government to dump waste in the war

ravaged African nation. The issue of dumping in Somalia is two

fold in that it is both a legal question and a moral question.

First, is there a violation of international treaties in the

export of hazardous waste to Somalia. Second, is it ethically

questionable to negotiate a hazardous waste disposal contract with

a country in the midst of a protracted civil war and with a

government that can best be described as tenuous and factionalized?


2. Description


With the abdication of President Siad Barre in 1989, the

country of Somalia was thrown in a state of anarchy. The country

is currently ruled by a series of warlords each holding a small

section of the country. The rival factions have been at war with

each other since the mid-eighties and a mission by the United

Nations to stabilize the country has now ended in apparent

political failure. The war led to a serious famine that was solved

by the intervention. Less publicized was the exploitation of the

Somalian crisis by firms who specialize in the disposal of

hazardous waste.


In the fall of 1992 reports began to appear in the

international media concerning unnamed European firms that were

illegally dumping waste in Somalia. By most reports, several

thousand tons of waste, mostly processed industrial waste, had

already been dumped there. It was also reported that waste was

seen being dumped off the Somali coast into the Indian Ocean. To

further compound the country's environmental problems, a storage

facility in northern Somalia filled with pesticides had been

destroyed during the war. The spilt chemicals and resulting fire

poisoned one of the few sources of drinking water in the famine

ravaged country.


What caused controversy in 1992, however, was reports of a

contract established between a Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an

Italian firm, Progresso, with Nur Elmy Osman, who claimed to be the

Somali Minister of Health under an interim government headed by Ali

Mahdi Muhammad. Osman had been a health official in the Barre

government, but allegedly was no longer recognized as a government

official by Ali Mahdi. Osman had supposedly entered into an $80

million contract in December of 1991, whereby the two firms would

be allowed to build a 10 million ton storage facility for hazardous

waste. The waste would first be burned in an incinerator to be

built on the same site and then stored in the facility at the rate

of 500,000 tons a year.


Reports of the alleged contract outraged the world community.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) investigated the

matter at the urging of Somalia's neighbors and the Swiss and

Italian governments. What ensued was a period of accusations as

both firms denied entering into any agreement, Osman denied signing

any contract and the Swiss and Italian governments said they had no

knowledge of the two firms activities.


As a result of the UNEP's investigation, the contract was

declared null and the facility was never built. Still it became

apparent to the UNEP's director Dr. Mustafa Tolba that the firms of

Achair Partners and Progresso were set up specifically as

fictitious companies by larger industrial firms to dispose of

hazardous waste. At one point Dr. Tolba declared that the UNEP was

dealing with a mafia.


Beyond the obvious ethical question of trying to coerce a

hazardous waste agreement out of an unstable country like Somalia,

the attempt by Swiss and Italian firms to dump waste in Somalia

violates international treaties to which both countries are

signatories. Switzerland has signed and ratified the Basel

Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous

Wastes and their Disposal (see BASEL case). Somalia and Italy have

not signed the Basel Convention. The Basel Convention prohibits

(among other things) waste trade between countries that have signed

the Convention and countries that have not signed the Convention

unless a bilateral waste agreement has been negotiated. Somalia

and Switzerland had no such bilateral agreement. The Basel

Convention also prohibits shipping hazardous waste to a war zone.


Although not a signatory to the Basel Convention, Italy has

signed the fourth Lome Convention. It is the only country in

Europe to do so. Italy signed the Lome Convention in order to

"prove" its good intentions with regard to the disposal hazardous

waste. No reason is given for Italy's failure to sign the Basel

Convention (see NIGERIA case). Article 39 of the Lome Convention

clearly prohibits the export of waste to Africa as well as the

Caribbean and the Pacific.



Source :

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