Somalia: Somaliland denies tycoon’s role in deal with DP World
HARGEISA, Somaliland-Somaliland government in northwestern Somalia has dismissed reports alleging that critical Djiboutian tycoon Abdirahman Boreh was part of a deal signed between the breakaway State and Dubai-based giant firm, DP World, Garowe Online reports.
On May 12, Boreh photo while accompanying high ranking Somaliland officials in a crucial Dubai meeting went viral, prompting questions over his role in the agreement.
State Minister for Presidency Mohamud Hashi Abdi scotched the accuracy of the report widely circulated in the media, but admitted that Boreh paid a courtesy visit on President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo during his stay in the United Arab Emirates.
Abdi has also denied inviting former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Puntland ex-President Abdirahman Farole and the controversial businessman Boreh to May 18 celebrations for self-declared independence.
“We don’t maintain any links with Boreh, and we did not enter into agreement with him. We inked the agreement with DP World. He called on us in good faith, not at the expense of our brotherly Djibouti,” the presidential aide told reporters in Hargeisa.
Boreh reportedly worked with Somaliland representative in Dubai Bashe Awil Omar behind the scenes, and convinced the shipping and port operator to invest in Berbera port in a USD 442 million joint venture.
The Djiboutian businessman tweeted on May 11: “Today is not about political parties differences. The development of Berbera port is a top national priority, and should unite all Somaliland.”
Somaliland high level delegation led by Foreign Affairs Minister Sad Ali Shire clinched the agreement with DP World 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 despite growing opposition to the move.
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.