Friday, April 6, 2012

Controlling the Resources

The Australian mining company, Jacka Resouces has just announced that it will be joining three other international companies: Ophir Energy, Asante Oil and Prime Resources, in setting up camp in Somalia. This announcement comes only a month after the much touted London Conference on Somalia.

The February London Conference was seen by some people as nothing more than another attempt to further carve up Somali resources. Jacka's announcement confirms it.

At the Conference there was little or nothing done to protect the Somalian coastline from either the international IUUs fishing boats or other vessels dumping toxic waste in the region. The focus of the Conference was on making Somalia and the waters around the Horn of Africa safer for international trade. It also focused on strengthening the presence of foreign forces in Somalia itself, building more prisons in Somalia to hold convicted 'pirates' and opening Somalia up to more trade.

Countries represented at the Conference agreed that more money and resources will be poured into expanding the forces already present in the Gulf region; the UN has already agreed that the role of AMISOM (the African Union Mission in Somalia) is to be expanded.

The Conference concluded with the call for 'all countries to coordinate activities against terrorism and piracy and to bring stability to Somalia'. Words that many see as an excuse to control the resources not only off the coast of Somalia, but also the purported reserves of natural gas, iron ore, tin, uranium, copper and other metals present in Somalia.

The Australian company Jacka Resources could be one of the first foreign companies to strike it rich. It would be interesting to see if Jacka is connected with Orica Limited, a publicly-listed Australian company that has been linked with the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of Somalia.