Somalia: Somaliland President in UAE amid row over port deal

Somaliland
ByStaff Reporter , Garowe Online

DUBAI - The President of self-declared Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi has arrived in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates [UAE] amid growing rift over the Berber Port agreement, Garowe Online reports.

The President with a large delegation, including Ministers and the leader of UCID, the opposition part Faysal Ali Warabe left Hargeisa for Dubai on Tuesday after receiving an invitation from the UAE government.

Abdi's trip to UAE came a day after Somalia’s Parliament backed the Federal government’s rejection of the tripartite Berbera port deal signed by Somaliland, Dubai-owned DP World, and Ethiopia and declared it as “null and void”.

Hours before the President departed to Dubai on Tuesday, the House of Representatives of Somaliland hit back at Somali Parliament’s decision to nullify port deal with DP World, describing the move as “belligerent and illegal”.

The members of state assembly reiterated their support for the deal, which they passed on August 9, 2016. As per the agreement, Ethiopia takes a 19 percent stake in the port, DP World a 51% stake while Somaliland gets 30%.

Speaking at International Women’s Day event held in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital on 8th March, President Abdi accused Somalia’s Federal government of declaring war on the breakaway republic.

Ethiopia will invest to construct a corridor linking Berbera to its border.

The deadlock comes as Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is expected to pay an official visit to Qatar next week. Doha is in a severe diplomatic rift with UAE-Saudi led Gulf countries since last June.

GAROWE ONLINE