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Oil and troubled waters

Plagued by piracy, Islamic extremism and endless civil war, surely it can't get any worse for Somalia? It might if they find oil in the province of Puntland

By Derek Brower   January 2009

“In 20 years it will look like Dubai,” said Liban Bogor from the front seat. We were bumping over the rubble in a Toyota land cruiser at 10mph, returning from a feedlot on the outskirts of Bosaso, a port town on the Horn of Africa. Bogor is an influential local “businessman,” and around here that usually means a warlord, but I struggled to share his optimism. We passed youths carrying Kalashnikovs and children playing on trucks with mounted .50-calibre machine guns. Dubai it is not.

Bosaso is a hardscrabble Somalian town. The economy, such as it is, depends on the…

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