Hargeisa(Horn)- The uproar raising announcement that Ethiopia Owns 19% of the Berbera port is an arrangement between Addis Ababa, DP World and Somaliland.
This was informed by the Somaliland foreign minister Dr Saad Ali Shire during an interview with our sister paper Geeska Afrika.
According to the FM shareholders in the Berbera Port management and operations contract worth $422m spanning
30 years conceded to the Emiratis firm are DP World as well as the governments of Somaliland and Ethiopia.
Verbatim excerpts of the interview
Geeska Afrika: Minister as you are aware a recent revelation by your colleague at the commerce portfolio subsequently confirmed by presidential spokesperson, to the effect that Ethiopia owns 19% of the Berbera port management contract awarded DP World? Is it true and if so can you elaborate on this?
Foreign Minister: It is true that Ethiopian Federal authorities have a stake in the Berbera port concession awarded DP World, a global port management firm owned by the Emirati government.
Initially the principal shareholder of the Berbera port contract was DP World at 65% and Somaliland with the balance of 35% that a total of 100%.
Being it so it became imperative that Ethiopia, which is among major port utilizers be involved in the DP World concession thence awarded 19% of the shares availed from 14% and 5% deducted from those of DP World and Somaliland respectively.
That being so and as par status now, DP World is still the principal shareholder with 51%, Somaliland 30% and Ethiopia with 19%.
To clear the air on the misconstrued notion that this translates to Ethiopia earning 19% of profits accrued from the 30 year contract.
According to the final communique from the just London conference on Somalia, the international community recommends that talks between in Hargeisa and Mogadishu resume immediately after Somaliland presidential elections slated for November this year.
Having seen numerous postponements what is your take, if the presidential elections are not held as planned?
A- Elections or no elections Somaliland is always ready for the talks whenever Somalia is ready.
Q- What is the impact on Somaliland from the 2017 London conference on Somalia?Somaliland had nothing to do with this conference which was entirely one concerning Somalia and as you are aware the only mention of our country in the final communique was on the issue relating to talks resumption.
So in a nutshell the impact to Somaliland is, Zilch!
Q- Are there any negative changes in Somaliland’s international relations
Apart from enhancement of this relations with our international partners am not appraised of any deterioration
Q- According to the UN secretary General Antonio Guterres continued delays in presidential and parliamentary elections
Quote “is steadily eroding the promise of increased credibility that Somaliland held internationally” unquote
Minister What is your take on the UNSGs allegations?
Q- While acknowledging that we have postponed elections due to circumstances beyond anybody’s control, the democratization process that has seen Somaliland hold five successful transparent and fair elections is not only thriving but a model for many African countries.