Somalia: Federal Govt calls Somaliland-DP World deal “Illegal”
MOGADISHU, Somalia-Somalia’s Auditor General Nur Jumale Farah has called a May agreement signed between Somaliland government and Dubai-based giant firm, DP World “illegal” in remarks that provoked war of words, Garowe Online reports.
Farah said in an interview with VOA Somali Service that the deal was clinched in violation of key laws: “The [Berbera port] deal goes against national laws. It manifests a disregard to the country’s traditional socioeconomic system, especially when we speak of what we call public-private partnership.”
The Auditor General criticized larger concessions made for DP World which will receive some 60 percent of revenues to be generated by the port.
“This deal runs counter to financial management laws. Somalia still has one flag and a single currency,” he added.
Somaliland Planning Minister Ali Hussein Ismael fought off the comments, reiterating his state's bid for independence.
On August 9, lawmakers in Somaliland parliament backed the USD 442 million joint venture, with 69 votes in favor, and 4 against among 73 MPs present at the crucial parliamentary session.
On August 6, the government put forward the deal for debate and parliamentary approval despite domestic criticism of the agreement with DP World.
In mid-May, Somaliland high level delegation clinched the USD 442 million joint venture with the shipping and port operator which manages 65 marine terminals throughout six continents.
The firm will run Somaliland’s Berbera port for 30 years with the disclosed amount over time.
DP World said in statement that the agreement aims to transform Berbera port into a “regional and logistic hub” by providing an additional gateway for land-locked Ethiopia.
Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia declared its independence from the rest of the country as a de facto sovereign state in 1991 but it has not been recognized internationally yet.