Somalilandsun- The government of Somalia should come out of its dream of reuniting with Somaliland through coercion.
This was stated by the Somaliland minister of information, culture and national guidance minister Abdirahman Abdilahi Farah ‘Guribarwaqo’ in a press statement released in his capacity as official government spokesperson in Hargeisa
Minister Guribarwaqo who was reacting to utterances through a statement issued by the government of Somalia Prime minister as pertains the three pronged Berbera port management agreed signed between the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Somalia.
In its statement issued by the ministry of ports and marine transport the Somalia federal government said that the deal signed in Dubai and awarding 19% shares of the Berbera port contract to Ethiopia with UAE’s Dubai ports World taking 51% and Somaliland retaining 31% as “NULL and VOID”
In his rejoinder minister Guribarwaqo who upon urging Somali to secure if not all of the country, at the least Mogadishu rather than dream of reunion with Somaliland” said that Somalia should not whine about the lucrative deal since its prime minister Hasan Ali Khaire was in the UAE economic city during signature by the three Berbera port management and development stakeholders.
In the rejoinder statement the Somaliland information minister wrote
“On the 2nd March 2018 the Somalia Federal Government released a press statement castigating and decrying a deal signed in Dubai on the 1st of march 2018 in Dubai between the UAE, Somaliland and Ethiopia for the development of Berbera port by DP World, terming it not only nonexistent but null and void as well”
To this effect let it be clearly known that Somalia erroneously stated that
I. Article 1 of the contract states that the agreement is between DP World and Ethiopia
II. Article 2 of the contract states that Ethiopia entered into agreement with Somaliland, a country it does not recognize
III. Article 3 of the Somalia statement refuses to acknowledge the fact that Somaliland and Somalia are two distinct countries whose union of 1960 was revoked in 1991. This denial is an infringing on the sovereignty of Somaliland
Therefore it is of utmost importance that Somalia federal government authorities be appraised to the fact that
1. Somaliland has been a sovereign country for the last 27 years when it withdrew from the 1960 voluntary union later turned fateful with Somalia
2. An article 90 section 6 of the Somaliland constitution ratified by 97% of its citizens mandates the government with authority to enter agreement with whomever it deems.
3. In December 2014 former presidents of Somaliland and Somalia Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo and Hasan Sheikh Mahmud respectively signed an accord in Djibouti which stipulates that “NEITHER COUNTRY SHALL INTERFERE IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF THE OTHER” more so as pertains projects that shall not only be beneficial to either but of development of the wider horn of Africa region.
4. The 1st March agreement between the three signatories is not a new one but an addendum enhancing and easing DP world contractual agreements as per agreement entered in August 2016.
5. Though Somaliland sovereignty remains unrecognized international it is a poignant and indisputably a country in its own right, in which it has managed and in lieu of non recognition managed to establish a functional government, establish and sustain peace within its secure boundaries as opposed to some claimants of its territorial jurisdiction and
6. Somali should first secure if not all of the country, at the least Mogadishu rather than dream of reunion with Somaliland
what is worrisome is not the attacks on the Berbera ports deal by authorities in Mogadishu but what this portend for the soon to resume internationally sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia, of which the later regularly recants on any agreements reached
In 2016, DP World won a 30-year concession with an automatic 10-year extension for the management and development of a multi-purpose port project at Berbera, Republic of Somaliland. The Port of Berbera opens a new point of access to the Red Sea and will complement DP World’s existing port at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
DP World will set up a joint venture with 65% control together with the government of Somaliland to manage and invest in the Port of Berbera. The investment of up to $442 million will include a first phase of a 400 metre quay and 250,000 square metre yard extension, and gantry cranes and reach stackers to handle containers and cargo. Construction of the quay extension is expected to start 12 months after the satisfaction of the terms and conditions of the agreement and will take 24 months to complete.
Total investment of up to $442 million will be phased over time and be dependent on port volumes, and will create a regional trading hub along with the scope for a freezone. The project will focus on containers with the capability to handle other types of cargo and will be implemented with the government of Somaliland.