Somalia: We do not recognize the Berbera Port deal-Somali PM

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Dead on arrival. PM Hassan Khaire has said of the Berbera Port deal unveiled in Dubai Thursday reiterating an earlier position by the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport.

Speaking upon arrival from UAE where he, coincidentally was when the signing happened, Khaire distanced Mogadishu from the deal noting the parties involved did not have the authority of the Federal Government.

The statement which now throws off balance the tripartite shareholding among Somaliland, DP World and Ethiopia came a day after the three parties said they would now proceed with the reconstruction and management of the port. Somaliland parliament endorsed the 30 year concession in 2016 in an initial 65%-35% shareholding with the Emirati ports operator taking the lion share.

“I  want to make one thing clear to Somali citizens that the Federal Government didn’t have any knowledge of the Berbera port,” said Khaire .As you have seen in the previous press statement  the Minister of Port has released under the permission of the Prime Minister, the position of the Somali government is clear in that statement.”

NULL AND VOID

The Ports Ministry Friday declared the agreement null and void. “The Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport is declaring the deal is null and void and also warns such agreements are totally against the constitution and international law.”

“This so-called agreement is both defective and detrimental to the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the unity of the country.”

Khaire said the country was open for business but that all the legal procedures must be followed adding only the Federal Government and Parliament can authorise such agreements.

DP World said in a statement Thursday it had agreed with Somaliland to give Ethiopia 19% shareholding under the concession.

“DP World will hold a 51% stake in the project, Somaliland 30% and Ethiopia the remaining 19%,” the statement read in part. “Ethiopia will also invest in infrastructure to develop the Berbera Corridor as a trade gateway for the inland country, which is one of the fastest growing countries in the world.”

A subsidiary of DP World, P&O Ports secured a 30 year concession last year to manage Bosaso port in Puntland. The deal whose details remained scanty is billed at 339 million with the initial $136 million to cover phase one of the project and a further $200 million for phase 2.