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Somalia petitions Arab League over Berbera port deal

Storyline:Business, National News
Somalia has accused DP World and Somaliland of entering into what it termed illegal contracts over the Berbera Port management. File Photo: internet

Somalia has sought the intervention of the Arab League over the controversial Berbera Port Agreement which Somaliland and the Emirati ports operator DP World have maintained has nothing to do with Mogadishu.

A letter seen by Goobjoog News and confirmed by a diplomatic source who sought anonymity makes mention of the recently signed agreement between Somaliland and DP World granting Ethiopia 19% stake in the Berbera Port concession.

“The Federal Government has indicated it is not party to the agreement and neither did it authorize any party to take part in the agreement,” the letter reads in part.

The letter sent by representatives of Somalia to the Arab League also notes the agreement is tantamount to the internal affairs of Somalia and runs counter to the unity of Somalia.

The letter which seeks the attention of the council of ministers of the Arab League meeting Wednesday comes amid a spat between the Federal Government and Somaliland with the latter shrugging off dismissal of the deal as a nullity by Mogadishu. DP World has also told off Mogadishu noting Somaliland was independent country capable of entering into such contracts on its own.

The agreement was signed by official with no authority granting the port to parties which have no right to, the letter notes. We will be submitting a resolution compelling member states, the letter reads.

DP World announced Sunday it signed the last agreement which involves the construction 12 square kilometre a greenfield economic free zone in Somaliland to complement the growth of the Port of Berbera.

The project is also modelled on DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai and aims to attract investments, encourage trade, create new jobs and position Berbera as a gateway port for the region, DP World said in statement.