Somaliland:A Special Paramilitary Unit known as the “oil protection unit” Formed to Guard oil installations



By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Minister of Energy and Minerals Hon Hussein Abdi Dualeh has stunned many by announcing the formation of as private army known as the oil protection unit during a press briefing at the same announcing he has the sole authority over oil deals.

“The introduction of the special trained and equipped units whose mission is to guard and protect oil installations and Genel personnel in order to fulfill our shared aims”, stated the Energy minister.

The Government of Somaliland has taken bold steps to protect and take full ownership to ensure the success of the exploration effort and we shall work with our partners we shall embark on a major public awareness and engagement with the community and to establish a security protective force known (oil protection unit) as the to protect to ensure the safety of Genel employees while performing their job before any major operation begins.

The establishment of private unit or armies, coupled with increased surveillance capability that could easily transfer to more militaristic capability (i.e., UAV’s role changing from protective surveillance to spying or attack) deserves monitoring hence the need for the current government to clarify who has jurisdiction over this unit.

The Minister of Energy went on to say, “To date there are no laws or regulations which state that the national assembly or the Guurti( House of Elders)have the oversight governing the exploration and drilling if at oil hence granting  the sole authority to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals”,

Are the Somaliland parliaments and house elders aware of this issue?  If so do they have oversights and regulations, governing the exploration and drilling if at all oil is found what is the fate of those communities that regards these lands and their communal grazing lands.

This and many other valid questions are being asked yet there is no clear answer forthcoming from their elected government. The current administration that prior to assuming powers promised transparency and accountability.