Somaliland: The Berbera Port Deal Simmers On & Other News

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Cup of tea for Djiboutian tycoon Abdirahman Boreh

by Ahmed Kheyre

The agreement between the Somaliland government and Dubai World Ports, which is yet to be ratified by the parliament, continues to make the headlines. The deal which is intended to expand the port and create a Free Zone, along with proposed infrastructure improvements in Sahil region, as well as, Somaliland has the support and blessings of many.

However, the agreement which is clouded in miss-information and a lack of clarity, also has many opponents. Recently, several journalists in Berbera were illegally incarcerated by the Mayor of that city without warrants or due process. A despicable action, reminiscent of the dark days tyranny.

These reporters were incarcerated for obtaining confidential documents pertaining to the agreement between Somaliland and DWP. According to these documents, allegedly, the deal is split 65% – 35% in favour of DWP. The new port authority will have a board, chair and deputised by a DWP staffers based in Dubai. The board will have 7 members, 5 from DWP, 2 from Somaliland. The quorum for the board will be 3 DWP members and one Somalilander. Other unverified reports, allegedly, indicate that the President’s family and Djibouti tycoon Abdourahman Boreh, will share 15% of Somaliland’s 35%.

Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Sa’ad Ali Shire who signed the deal on behalf of the administration recently implored the people of Somaliland to back the agreement at a press conference to welcome DWP chief Ahmed Bin Suleyman.

In local news, Wadani chair and Speaker of Parliament Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi “Cirro” returned from, by all accounts, a successful trip to the United States and Canada. Speaker Cirro met with senior officials from US and Canada, and took part in 18th May celebrations held in Toronto.

The voter registration drive in Marodi Jeex region comes to its conclusion, and the Somaliland National Elections Commission (NEC) begins preparations in the eastern regions of the country. The NEC has hired 600 new workers and the registration is expected to commence after Ramadan.

Its now Nairobi leading legislature honchos for Somaliland speaker Abdirahman Irro after successful North American tour
However, delegations from the local residents in that part of the country arrived in Hargeisa to hold meetings with the government, parliamentarians, national party officials and the NEC, to discuss the proposed voter registration programme and the need to encourage the local people to register in large numbers.

Meanwhile, the “10 year” parliament, which will hopefully expire in March 2017, is still struggling to pass its election bill. It would seem the current 82 members, aware that they are on borrowed time, are reluctant to face reality and do their duty. It is hoped that the election bill will take into consideration the creation of new regions since 2005, and the increase in the population.

Somaliland students sit for their final examination all across the country. With the exception of few schools, where the exams were delayed or rescheduled, everything seems to have gone well, according to the Somaliland ministry of Education.

Finally, the struggle between Jamal Ali Hussien and Faisal Ali Warabe, for the leadership of UCID will reach its conclusion when the Oversight Committee for Party Registrations sits down to render its judgement on June 12th. Presumptive presidential candidate, Jamal Ali Hussein, appears to have the legal points on his side, whilst Faisal Ali Warabe, appears to have joined Kulmiye!.

Allaa Mahad Leh

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