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Somaliland Says Ethiopia to Benefit 19% Share of the Berbera Port Services

Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland has confirmed that it has accepted a demand by the Ethiopian government to get the right to access of the Berbera Port in Somaliland, Presidential spokesman said.

UAE’s Dubai Ports World or DP World Port is contracted to manage the operation of the Berbera Port for 30 years in a controversial leasing agreement.

“We have not decided on our side. It is the DP World that gave the Ethiopian Government to have 19% of access and usage of the port.” Somaliland Presidential Spokesman, Hussein Ige Dayr said in a press conference in Hargeisa on Saturday.

He said Somaliland administration will maintain its role as supervising the managerial system of the port while Ethiopia will be the main consumer of the port services.

In Mid last year, the global ports operator company managed to secure a landmark controversial deal which gives it the access to manage and control the operation of Somalia’s Red Sea Port of Berbera for 30 years by investing $442 during that period.

The deal immediately faced challenges after Somaliland lawmakers questioned the motive of the agreement and bringing a suspicion on how DP World attempts to cease the competitiveness of the Berbera Port since DP World also manages the Doralleh Port in Djibouti.
But in a press statement in May last year, DP World Group chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan Ahmed bin Suleyman said its deal with Somaliland compliments the company’s investments in Djibouti and will also serve landlocked countries in East Africa.
Ethiopia is a landlocked country which in the past relied on its usage of the Djibouti ports following the Eritrea-Ethiopia war which forced Ethiopia to look for alternative ports in the region.

Somaliland Presidential Spokesman, Hussein Ige Dayr says Somaliland will have 35% of the management role of the port operation.
“The Somaliland Government has not changed its 35% management role.” He adds.

In April last year, Somaliland said it signed an agreement with Ethiopia to boost trade through Somaliland’s Berbera port amid congestion at a facility in neighboring Djibouti.

According to Sharmarke Jama, then an economy and trade adviser for the foreign ministry in Somaliland, tariffs have been revised and a committee established to manage joint operations as part of the agreement signed on March 31, 2016.
Source: Somali Update Online

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