Oil corporations rush to carve up Somalia

When in December 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron described Somalia as ‘a failed state that directly threatens British interests’ he was signalling Britain’s intention to secure its economic interests in the oil-rich and strategically important Horn of Africa. It has little to do with pirates, Islamists, terrorists or the famine in the country. The continent has become a battleground for imperialists scrambling to control energy sources. The oil in East Africa is historically underexplored. British firms BG Group, Tullow Oil, Premier Oil and Cove Energy, have acquired oil interests in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania since 2010. Puntland in northern Somalia can yield 5-10bn barrels of oil, and drilling has begun there. With political instability in the Middle East, African oil has grown in strategic importance to the imperialist parasites. This is the reality behind the increasing military attacks and interventionist rhetoric against Somalia.


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Somalia: Imperialists scramble for oil

Between 8 and 10 January 2007 the US bombed villages in the Lower Juba region of southern Somalia near the Kenyan border, killing almost 100 civilians including many children, some burned beyond recognition. The bombings were launched from neighbouring Djibouti by the Joint Combined Task Force Horn of Africa, comprising US Marines, Special Operations Forces and a naval task force whose primary mission has been training regional East African armies ostensibly to fight ‘Islamist terrorist groups’. British PM Blair supported the bombing.

The assault continued US imperialism’s policy in the oil-rich and strategically important Horn of Africa. The US claimed it was targeting the Al Qaida leadership in the region, including three men said to have masterminded the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. On 11 January, the US confirmed that all three suspects had survived. The US has never provided any credible evidence of Al Qaida’s presence in Somalia – the ‘Islamic terrorists’ story is a cover for its real goals – to prevent an Islamic government and to obtain a foothold in a highly strategic area of the world via a client regime.


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