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Somalia: Somaliland responds to Somali PM's rejection of Berbera port deal

By GO + Agencies
Somaliland's Minister of Information Abdirahman Abdullahi Farah refutes claims by Somali PM

HARGEISA, Somaliland - The self-proclaimed state of Somaliland has on Saturday refuted decision by Somali PM Hassan Ali Khaire nullifying an agreement signed between the UAE ports operator DP World and the Ethiopian Government to acquire a 19 percent stake in Berbera Port, Garowe Online reports.

The Somaliland Minister of Information, Abdirahman Abdullahi Farah, known as [Guri Barwaqo], said in a statement that the government of President Musa Bihi Abdi worked to conclude the agreement with DP World and the Government of Ethiopia.

Farah has added that the Republic of Somaliland is a “sovereign and independent and does not allow others to prejudice its sovereignty”. "Somaliland has right to enter agreements, Berbera port deal was signed while Somali PM was in UAE," he said.

Last Friday, Somalia's Federal Government has denounced the port deal, terming the agreement "unconstitutional, null, and void."

The Somali Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport said in a statement released on Friday that the government was not a party to the "so-called agreement" which it termed as defective.

"This so-called agreement is both defective and detrimental to the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the unity of the country," the Ministry said.

DP World’s sale would provide Ethiopia with a 19 percent stake in Somaliland’s Port of Berbera while the port operator said it would retain a 51 percent stake and Somaliland would retain 30 percent.

Financial details were not disclosed but the statement said the Ethiopian government would invest to develop the Berbera Corridor, a road from the border with Ethiopia to Berbera.

“Having the government of Ethiopia as a partner will enable DP World to support the government in achieving its impressive development plans,” said DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.