We, concerned Puntlanders both inside and outside the country, wish to write this open letter to urge both Horn Petroleum and Range Resources to carefully consider the negative and adverse implications that moving to the Nugal Region to start a new drilling program for petroleum in that region might have for all the sides that have (or think they do) a stake in the place, including the petroleum companies, who have so far enjoyed wide popular support in their endeavour to drill oil in the State.
The Nugal Region in Puntland is in highly unsettled state as three different administrations (Puntland. Somaliland and Khatumo) claim to have right of sovereignty and as such to control and administer.
Over the past 10 years, that area of Somalia has been in constant state of attrition that one could easily conclude that no group has real overall control.
We are concerned that by establishing base in the region to start a new drilling program even in the Puntland administered part of the region is going to become a catalyst for new and more volatile state of war that could destabilise the whole region.
It is also be worth noting that your own employees and staff’s safety and security would definitely be in the balance, as one or the other sides in the dispute might conclude that you are siding with one group against the rest.
For all the reasons cited above, we strongly suggest to both Range Resources and Horn Petroleum to give much more consideration and time before moving anytime soon to this region; at least until a national Federal Government is in place to arbiter the claims and counter claims of the warring sides.
We would also like to take this opportunity that this should not be seen by any party, least of all by the foreign companies as threat, but a constructive dialogue to give you a friendly warning that might to save lives and resources in the longer term.
Needless to say, we would be concerned and unhappy should not heed our suggestion to give it a time before you move in haste to a troubled spot, as we would both pay a hefty price with dire consequences.
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation in keeping the region a safer place for all concerned.
Mr. M I Musse
(On behalf of Puntlander, prominent among them some from both sides of Nugal region, inside and outside Somalia.)