Tag Archives: Oil

Abdulkadir Suleiman: The London Somalia Conference

The London Somalia Conference: Expectations and Reality

The London plan which was concluded on 23rd February had met with great expectations: it created euphoria for its participants, despair for its opponents and skepticism for the Somali masses. Prime Minister of Somalia Abdiwali Mohamed Ali optimistically termed the Conference as highly successful and its outcome beyond his expectation. However, for Somalians the event did not pave the way for the resolution of their problems.

For me as a Somali, this was the 15th luxurious assembly for the cause of Somalia, a poor country where lawlessness is rampant, and ended in vain. People wonder how calculations made miles away from the place of havoc could match the hard realities we Somalians are faced with. This view is fully supported by a report, made by the Guardian journalist Jamal Osman, which revealed the wide difference of opinion existing between the people of Somalia and the policymakers with a certain mindset. For example, they failed to figure out why al-Shabaab, militarily much stronger than the Somali governments or the attendees at the consultation, was excluded from the scope of the discussion.

Despite facing some setbacks recently, al-Shabaab are still powerful enough to pose a challenge to the national, and regional, security and would not support any initiative that does not address their concerns. Although President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed said that “we are scared of tomorrow”, the US Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Clinton vowed to keep al-Shabab “on the run”. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Africa, Discussion, Energy, Pakistan Horizon, Politics

Umair Khalil: Iran and the Strait – Prospects and Implications

Consider this question: if you were the policymaker of a country on the verge of an economic catastrophe and involved in a complex political imbroglio with the world’s foremost power, would you attempt to close down ‘the world’s most important oil chokepoint’ (which – according to international law – belongs to no one in particular)? For the sake of peace, personally I would avoid doing so.

I ask the question because Iran has threatened to shut off the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important shipping passage which links major oil-rich Gulf States to the rest of the world and through which almost one-fifth of the world’s oil passes. According to various analysts, if Iran blocks the Strait entirely, the global oil prices could increase by 50 percent or more in a matter of days. The Iranian decision of obstructing the strategically vital sea route may arise as a result of the latest US sanctions against Iran and mounting European pressure which might lead to the possibility of an oil embargo. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Discussion, Energy, Iran, Sanctions, Shipping, The Middle East