Somali parliament votes against UAE port deal


The Federal Parliament of Somalia Monday overwhelmingly voted against the Dubai Port Operator (DP World) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operating in the country.

The vote followed a controversial agreement signed between the breakaway Republic of Somaliland and DP World on March 1 in Dubai. The agreement involved the port of Berbera, whose operations are shared between DP World, 51 per cent, Somaliland, 30 per cent and Ethiopia, 19 per cent.

The majority

The third session of parliament was opened by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on Sunday. The assembly’s first meeting on Monday had the issue of DP World as one of its agendas.

After debate, the majority of the MPs voted to nullify the said tri-partite agreement.

Some 168 out of 171 MPs in the Peoples’ Hall voted in favour of the ban. However, the legislation will be enforceable only once it is approved by the Upper House of Parliament and eventually signed by President Farmajo into a law.

Somaliland, which unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, albeit unrecognised by the international community, insists that the Mogadishu- based government has nothing to do with its agreement with DP World.

The sovereignty

Berbera is Somaliland's main port and is located in the Gulf of Aden.

Somalia's Ports and Marine Transport ministry on March 2 issued a statement in Mogadishu against the tripartite agreement.

“The so-called agreement is both defective and detrimental to the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia. The ministry, therefore, considering the above, declares this deal as non-existent null and void,” the ministerial statement read.

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