Somalilandsun- Recently an uproar was raised in Mogadishu by officials of the Somalia Federal Government after Somaliland, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates signed a tripartite agreement for the development and management of Berbera port by Emirati global port operator DP World.
In the deal the UAE gets 51% and Ethiopia 19% of Shares at the port while Somaliland retains the remaining 30% during the lifetime of the over $400m and 30 years Contract
Ethiopia’s ambitions for Berbera have been hampered by two problems. Firstly the Republic of Somaliland – a de-facto independent state since 1991 – still isn’t recognized internationally. This makes engagement a political and legal headache. Secondly, Ethiopia, doesn’t have the critical resources needed to invest and build a port.
Ethiopia had been trying to get Abu Dhabi and Dubai interested in the Berbera Port for years. It’s latest push was assisted by a number of factors. These included a shift in the UAE’s military focus in Yemen and Ethiopian assurances of more trade and some financing to upgrade the port.
According to Brendon J. Cannon an Assistant Professor of International Security, Department of Humanities & Social Science at Khalifa University of Science & Technology (Abu Dhabi, UAE), “The deal means that Somaliland has partially broken the glass ceiling of international recognition by entering into substantive deals with viable business partners and states operating on the global stage. Mogadishu can no longer pretend it controls the government in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa”
Continue reading How Ethiopia-backed port is changing power dynamics in the Horn of Africa