Somalia: Canadian oil company showes disgust about Puntland leader's relative

Published on Monday 7th July 2008

Somalia: Officials working for a Canadian oil company which has a contested exploration agreement in a northern region of Somalia have expressed their distaste with an individual playing a key role in the saga, inside sources tell Garowe Online.

Gen. Adde Muse, leader of the Puntland State of Somalia, urgently traveled to the port city of Bossaso on the evening of July 2 to help resolve the growing dispute between Africa Oil and a man named Liban Muse Bogor.

Mr. Bogor's unofficial role in Puntland oil deals has been well-known since 2005, when he helped negotiate the agreement between the Puntland regional government and Australia-based Range Resources, Ltd., Africa Oil's joint-venture partner.

He is on the Board of Directors of Range Resources and is a relative of Gen. Muse, the Puntland president.

But inside sources tell Garowe Online that employees of IMC – a company contracted by Africa Oil for the Puntland project – requested Mr. Bogor to stop his role in the exploration effort after the contractor "received complaints" from locals.

Mr. Bogor reportedly rejected the request, although representatives from Africa Oil and IMC pressured President Muse to unseat Mr. Bogor.

Sources close to the Puntland leadership said President Muse originally sent his oil minister, Mr. Hassan "Allore" Osman, to handle the crisis between Mr. Bogor and IMC but that effort ended in failure.

Mr. Allore himself is reported to have personal conflict with Mr. Bogor, who is widely seen as the de facto Puntland oil minister.

Critics have long accused the Puntland leader of neglecting the region's development during his term, while focusing on the exploration for oil led by relatively small foreign companies.