Somalia's federal state of Puntland challenged an oil exploration agreement between the federal government and global oil firms ExxonMobil and Shell, contesting the government's authority to enter such agreements without Puntland's consent, Africa Review reported Sunday (June 22nd).
"Puntland rejects any such agreement entered [by the Federal Government of Somalia] because we were not consulted on the matter," Director General of the Puntland Ministry for Mineral Resources and Petrol Issa Mohamoud Farah said in an interview with the BBC Somali Service.
"[The federal government] made a mistake by solely entering into an accord on matters dealing with natural resources," Farah said. "The Federal Government of Somalia does not govern over Puntland and all accords should be postponed until all states agree on how to share the country's natural resources."
The Somali constitution prohibits the federal government from entering into agreements on matters of natural resources without the consent of the regional states concerned, according to Farah.
Farah made his statement one day after the director general of Somalia's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Farah Abdi Hassan, announced the agreement.