Bloomberg Corespondance With Anglo Somaliland Resources - Anglo Somaliland Resources Ltd

Bloomberg Corespondance With Anglo Somaliland Resources

Bloomberg Corespondance With Anglo Somaliland Resources

27th October 2015
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From: Ilya Gridneff Date: 7 October 2015

Hi Sir Tony, This is my third email to you. I’m a Bloomberg journalist based in Nairobi who is interested in your Anglo Somaliland Resources fisheries agreement with the Somaliland Fisheries ministry. Can you please answer these questions.

1) how did this fisheries deal come about?

2) the agreement sees Somaliland receiving $500 for permission to fish its waters. Then for the next ten years your company gives $2000 for ever year. How does this benefit the people of Somaliland ?

3)considering the fish stocks off Somaliland, why did the government agree to such a small amount ?

4)any subsequent license Anglo Somaliland Resources sells is 60/40 in the company’s favour. Why not the other way around?

5) how does Somaliland benefit from this agreement ?

6) what do you offer Somaliland to get such a good deal ?

7) do you fear this will upset local fisherman ?

8) did you get support from the British Ambassador to Somalia or the Foreign Office ?

9) are you an honorary Somali citizen ?

10) do you have any other business interests in Somalia/ Somaliland ? Thanks. Ig

 

From: Tony Baldry : Date: 26 October 2015

I am afraid that both you and it would appear the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group have completely misunderstood the nature and the meaning of the contract between ASR and the Government of Somaliland. It would have been helpful if the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group, if it had concerns, had taken the trouble to raise those concerns with us directly, so that we could have responded to them. I am today writing to the Foreign Office on this specific point and I will send you a copy of my letter. But to make it clear, as I had hoped I had done now on numerous occasions, there is no, and never has been, any question or suggestion of ASR running or controlling Somaliland’s fisheries. That is a matter for the Government of Somaliland. What ASR is doing is a marketing and promotion exercise on behalf of the Government of Somaliland and as you will see from para.5 under the “Whereas” part of the contract, it very clearly states that ASR will be permitted to grant Sub Licences and this is set out further in paragraph 3 which clearly states the company ability to grant Sub Licences but even then we are only able to grant Sub Licences with the express consent of the Government of Somaliland. So the only thing that we have been granted which is in any way exclusive is the right to grant Sub Licences where licences have been negotiated and agreed between fishing companies and the Government of Somaliland through our marketing efforts. I think it is a great pity that in all the various questions you have been putting to us over the weeks, that you have never raised this point before so it could be explained to you. I think it is a great pity, and indeed sloppy, that if they had concerns, that the Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group made absolutely no effort to raise this point with us and I think it is a great pity that neither you nor the Monitoring Group seem to have spoken to any one the Somaliland Government on this matter so they could also have clarified the situation for you but I suspect that this is as a consequence of the fact that neither you nor the UN SomaliaEritrea Monitoring Group seen to recognise Somaliland’s existence. Yours sincerely, Rt. Hon.

Thank you for your further email. To whom Somaliland issues fishing licences is a matter for the Government of Somaliland. Anglo Somaliland Resources (ASR) controls neither Somaliland’s fisheries nor in any way to whom the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Somaliland choose to issue fishing licences. That is a matter for them. Just as it is a matter for the Government of Somaliland within those licences to determine such issues as quotas and total allowable catches, etc. ASR is involved in marketing and promoting fisheries opportunities in Somaliland and has the right to issue sub licences of licences granted by the Somaliland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. So the relationship between Pontus and the Government of Somaliland is a matter not for us but for the Government of Somaliland. No, of course, Pontus nor any other fisheries company has to get a licence from Anglo Somaliland Resources. If they or any other fisheries company wish to fish in Somaliland’s waters, they need to get a licence from the Government of Somaliland. Nowhere has ASR or the Government of Somaliland ever suggested that companies such as Pontus are obliged to get licences from ASR. When you say this does not bode well for Somalia, you persist in suggesting that Somaliland does not exist which I think will come as something of a surprise to the people of Somaliland. Yours sincerely, Sir Tony Baldry From: Tony Baldry

Further to my last email to you, I was somewhat surprised to have forwarded to me an email that you had sent to the lawyers acting for Anglo Somaliland Resources. I was surprised because in your first email to me, you said you had been prompted to get in touch following “ . . . a contact in the Somali Fisheries industry”. Setting aside that you, surprisingly for a journalist, somewhat cavalierly fail to distinguish between Somaliland and Somalia, the only people in Nairobi – indeed, the only people in the world, apart from ourselves – who knew that Saunders & Co. were acting as lawyers for Anglo Somaliland Resources were the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group, who are also, like you, located in Nairobi. So I think it is a reasonable inference that you were not at any time approached by either Somali or Somalian Fisheries representatives, but I suspect by individuals in the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group. Anglo Somaliland Resources had sent the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group a copy of the contract between Anglo Somaliland Resources and the Government of Somaliland, so as to cooperate fully with them, and to make it clear beyond any doubt that the Agreement between the Government of Somaliland and Anglo Somaliland Resources in no way infringed any UN sanctions regime. I note that somewhat disappointingly the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group in Nairobi did not have the good manners or courtesy to respond to our emails to them, but I feel certain that if there had been any scintilla of a suggestion that Anglo Somaliland Resources was in any way in breach of UN sanctions, that the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group in Nairobi would have pursued that issue. I also find it disappointing that the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group felt it appropriate to disclose to the media, without either reference to Anglo Somaliland Resources or to the Government of Somaliland, a copy of the Agreement entered into by the Government of Somaliland and Anglo Somaliland Resources. This seems to be a UN Agency behaving somewhat contemptuously towards the Government of Somaliland and given that the Government of Somaliland has managed to maintain comparative peace and stability in Somaliland as a de facto country now for nearly a quarter of a century, I think Somaliland deserves better from UN Agencies. Let me answer your specific questions.

1. How did this fisheries deal come about? The fisheries contract came about because the Government of Somaliland and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources wishes to attract responsible fishing companies to purchase licences to fish in Somaliland’s non-coastal waters. Somaliland’s fish stocks are an important resource for Somaliland, but from which at present they receive very little benefit.

2. The Agreement sees Somaliland receiving $500 for permission to fish its waters and then for the next ten years your company gives $2,000 for every year. How does this benefit the people of Somaliland? With respect, I don’t think that you, or those briefing you, have either properly read the Agreement, or if you have read it, have not properly understood the Agreement. All the sums set out in the Agreement are administrative amounts set and determined by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources for any company seeking to acquire fishing licences in Somaliland. The Agreement sets out and states the exact requirements in this respect required by the Somaliland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. You will note that the Agreement between the Government of Somaliland and Anglo Somaliland Resources is not an exclusive Agreement. The Government of Somaliland and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources are still able to issue fishing licences to whomsoever they choose but the Agreement gives the ability and the responsibility to Anglo Somaliland Resources to seek to attract responsible international fishing companies to purchase licences to fish in Somaliland waters. Somaliland will benefit from the licence fees paid by the fishing companies. The agreed division of fees between Anglo Somaliland Resources and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources simply reflects the fact that all of the costs, marketing, promotional, legal and otherwise in securing fishing licences for Somaliland under this Agreement are borne by Anglo Somaliland Resources and no costs are borne by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources or the Government of Somaliland.

3. What do you offer Somaliland to get such a good deal? I think that if you were to take the time and trouble to get in touch with the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, or the Director-General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, they would confirm that they consider this to be a very fair deal in that at no cost or expense to themselves, Anglo Somaliland Resources is seeking to secure responsible fisheries companies to come to Somaliland and with the assistance of Anglo Somaliland Resources to properly acquire fishing licences from the Ministry of Fisheries.

4. Do you fear that this will upset local fishermen? No. If the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources receives licence fees as a consequence of this Agreement, they will have greater funds to apply to supporting and sustaining coastal fishing industries in Somaliland and we would certainly use our best endeavours to encourage any fishing companies licensed to fish in Somaliland’s non coastal waters wherever possible to land portions of their catch at Berbera and we share with the Government of Somaliland the ambition and the intention that in due course there will be regular transit of refrigerated lorries from Berbera to the fish market at Hargeisa, and in due course a significant enhancement and upgrading of the Hargeisa fish market. For a country with a significant length of coastline, it should be possible for people in the capital city and elsewhere to be able to access fresh fish at reasonable cost on a regular basis and this is not the case today.

5. Did you get support from the British Ambassador to Somalia or the Foreign Office? As a matter of courtesy, we have of course kept the British Ambassador and the Foreign Office informed of what we are doing in Somaliland.

6. Are you an honorary Somali citizen? It is a matter of public record that I am an honorary citizen of Somalia, but being an honorary citizen of Somalia does not prevent one from being a good friend to Somaliland.

7. Do you have any other business interests in Somalia/Somaliland? I assume that that question is directed to me personally. As the UN Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group know, I do not have any business interests in Somalia and that is, I would have thought, information that they would have shared with you. So far as Somaliland is concerned, my only interests are through my involvement with Anglo Somaliland Resources. In addition to the fisheries contract, we are in the process of negotiating further projects with the Government of Somaliland, and are intending to discuss these with the President of Somaliland during his current visit to the UK. Anglo Somaliland Resources has a website – www.anglosomaliland.com – and we will clearly seek to update the website if and when Anglo Somaliland Resources enters into any further Agreements with the Government of Somaliland. In the interests of transparency, we intend to post on our website, for the avoidance of any doubt, all the emails that you have sent to Anglo Somaliland Resources and our responses. I find it surprising that a news outlet such as Bloombergs has not managed to make contact with any representative of the Government of Somaliland to discuss this issue. And I sincerely hope this does not reflect disinterest by Bloombergs in Somaliland. But given that you have so far not seemed to have made contact with the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, or the Director-General of the Ministry, or the Government of Somaliland for their comments, I think it would be sensible for me to share our email exchanges with the Office of the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Office of the Director-General of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and the President’s Office so that they are able to send you whatever comments and observations they consider appropriate. Sincerely, Sir Tony Baldry Chairman, Anglo Somaliland Resources Ltd. — Best wishes Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry.

From: ilya gridneff: Date: 26 October 2015

Thanks again Sir Tony for pointing out the difference between Somalia and Somaliland. As ever lots of information in your emails but not addressing what I was raising – I am asking how can all these different fisheries companies that all claim similar access and relationships with relevant governments (Somaliland in Pontus and Somalia in case of Fishguard) each operate independently as they all seem to be offering the same services? Does that mean Pontus has to get a license from Anglo Somaliland Resources? They don’t seem to think so. And Fishguard thinks they have access to Somaliland waters that would not seem correct under your repeated championing of Somaliland as a sovereign state, a state recognised by no other countries, I might add. So does Fishguard have to get a fisheries licence from Anglo Somaliland Resources? All this does not bode well for Somalia, and the story is about your $500 deal with the Somaliland govt. thanks

From: Tony Baldry: Date: 26 October 2015:

Thank you for your further email. To whom Somaliland issues fishing licences is a matter for the Government of Somaliland. Anglo Somaliland Resources (ASR) controls neither Somaliland’s fisheries nor in any way to whom the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Somaliland choose to issue fishing licences. That is a matter for them. Just as it is a matter for the Government of Somaliland within those licences to determine such issues as quotas and total allowable catches, etc. ASR is involved in marketing and promoting fisheries opportunities in Somaliland and has the right to issue sub licences of licences granted by the Somaliland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. So the relationship between Pontus and the Government of Somaliland is a matter not for us but for the Government of Somaliland. No, of course, Pontus nor any other fisheries company has to get a licence from Anglo Somaliland Resources. If they or any other fisheries company wish to fish in Somaliland’s waters, they need to get a licence from the Government of Somaliland. Nowhere has ASR or the Government of Somaliland ever suggested that companies such as Pontus are obliged to get licences from ASR. When you say this does not bode well for Somalia, you persist in suggesting that Somaliland does not exist which I think will come as something of a surprise to the people of Somaliland. Yours sincerely, Sir Tony Baldry

From: ilya gridneff : Date: 21 October 2015 

Hi Sir Tony, story coming together. Should be out soon. I am wondering how your contract fits into Fishguard’s view of their role with the Somali fisheries? If they are controlling what they suggest on their website, isn’t that contrary to your contract?

From: Tony Baldry  Date: 26 October 2015  

Thank you for your recent email. You say “the story is coming together”. It is not clear to me from your emails what actually the story is here! So far as Fishguard is concerned, whatever relationship Fishguard may or may not have with anyone, its relationship would appear to relate to Somalia. Anglo Somaliland Resources has no interests in Somalia. As its name suggests, all Anglo Somaliland Resources’ interests are in Somaliland. The inference of your question would seem to be that Somaliland does not exist, or have legitimate fisheries interests. Last year, the UK Government organised a UK-Somaliland Trade and Investment Forum in London. In the introduction to the Somaliland Investment Report, Neil Wiggin, the then British Ambassador, wrote “I am honoured to welcome His Excellency Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud, President of Somaliland, to the United Kingdom. He heads up a strong Government delegation including some of his most senior Ministers. I hope I speak for those on all sides when I say together we will build on the friendly productive relationship between the people and Governments of the UK and Somaliland”. So it is clear that the UK Government recognises that there is a country called Somaliland with a functioning President and Government. That same Somaliland Investment Report endorsed by the UK Government states “Somaliland has a coastal line that stretches up to 850 km along the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aden”, and has a Somaliland fishing boat photographed on the front cover. Anglo Somaliland Resources has no connection with Pontus Marine. To whom the Government of Somaliland issues fishing licences, and the terms on which they are issued, i.e. the quotas they allocate to any particular licence or any particular entity, are entirely matters for the Government of Somaliland who of course, like any other Government, have to balance the issues of what constitutes sustainable fishing for any particular fish stock in any fishery. Yours sincerely, Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry — Best wishes Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry

 

 

 

 

 

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