DP World urged to reconsider Berbera deal

Port of Berbera Somalia's foreign minister has said DP World should reconsider its Berbera port development deal with Somaliland. Image courtesy of Lakmi00/ Wikimedia
Industry Database

Somalia's foreign minister has said DP World should reconsider its contract with Somaliland and work with Somalia’s federal authorities so the country’s sovereignty is not violated.

Ahmed Isse Awad told Reuters that DP World's agreement to develop an economic zone and port in Somaliland's Berbera "bypassed the legitimate authority" of Somalia, triggering "misunderstanding and disagreement" that remained unresolved.

Mr Award said: "We are asking DP World to reconsider these agreements, particularly the one in Berbera port since Somaliland is claiming to be a state independent from Somalia," reported Reuters.

In 2016, DP World won a 30-year concession with an automatic 10-year extension for the management and development of a multipurpose US$400m port project at Berbera, but in March, the Federal Government of Somalia declared the deal “non-existent, null and void”.

Ethiopia was due to take a 19% stake in the port, with the Somaliland Port Authority holding 30% and the remaining 51% held by DP World.

Last month Saad Ali Shire, Somaliland’s foreign affairs minister, claimed that the dispute risked destabilising the Horn of Africa region.

Somaliland’s declaration of autonomy from Somalia has not been formally recognised.

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