Somaliland: DP World The Road To Re-Recognition

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By Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi

The latest UN Report on Somalia (Ex-South Somali Republic), highlighted that Mogadishu administration needs at least another ten years to go out of current chaos. The international community spent about $7 billion on stabilizing ‘Somalia’ until now, and many peacekeepers lost their lives.

Despite the world support, Somalia remains a failed state for a quarter century. The people are not willing to build a dignified nation, as they adjusted living without government. The chaos is irreversible because the people who profit from an instable situation is increasing including businessmen, warlords, politicians with foreign passports and tribe chiefs.

The current federal government in Mogadishu is using the international support to sabotage Somaliland by training Somaliland-born militant.  Somalia knows that Somaliland got all legal rights to be an independent country, which is forcing Mogadishu administration to sponsor illegal factor to disrupt Somaliland.

This led the international community to bring both Somaliland and Somalia on to the negotiation table over their future political relations, and how the two countries will reverse the 1st July 1960 unity. One year after the unity, Somaliland rejected the referendum and demanded the restoration of Somaliland.

The former military Dictator of Somalia (1969 – 1991) aka AFWEYNE led campaign exterminating the people of Republic of Somaliland (Ex-Northern Somalia) in today’s Syria style killing; more than 65,000 civilians were killed in less than three months, and cities bombed to the ground.

AFWEYNE imported millions of his tribesmen into Somaliland from Ethiopia, as refugees and armed them to the teeth, in an attempt to give the refugees a chance to take over Somaliland regions by force, but SNM (Somali National Movement) failed his plans after defeating Somalia military and refugees were sent back to their homes.

Somaliland is a victim of ethnic cleansing, and there is no international law that can force victims to reunite with the destroyer, especially while killers are considered heroes in Somalia today.

The people of Somaliland closed the black history with Somalia and recreated the Democratic Republic of Somaliland on 18th May 1991.

DP World and Berbera, Somaliland

Today, Republic of Somaliland is exploring its natural and geographical resources including oil and commercializing its main port, Berbera. The elected government of Somaliland signed an agreement with Dubai based DP World, which manages more than 40 ports around the world.  The agreement will help the people of Somaliland in job creation, infrastructure development, and Berbera Port will get state-of-art heavy equipment and experience.

DP World is planning to inject $400 million worth investment into Somaliland, which will transform the port into world class. Djiboutian businessman Abdulrahman Boreh, who has conflicts with President of Djibouti Ismail Guelleh, brokered the deal. This agreement angered Guelleh. Djibouti, a tiny country in the horn of Africa with the population less than one million.

Swiftly, Guelleh’s Djibouti ordered the DP World, who was managing ports in Djibouti, to leave the country without prior notice, and is using the government in Mogadishu to block the agreement between DP World and Somaliland, without Mogadishu regime having legal rights to do so.

Unethically, Guelleh regime used the military to overtake the management of the port. The DP World filed a case against Guelleh regime in a court in London. DP World spokesman highlighted that Guelleh lost temper after DP World rejected his request of canceling the company’s agreement with Berbera Port, Somaliland.

Unfortunately, the Guelleh regime misbelieves that developing Berbera port will reduce the profit of Djibouti port, as the strategic port of Berbera is a competitor.

Guelleh regime waylaid many development projects which was directed to Somaliland including the undersea internet cable line that supposed to be supplied through Berbera Port. In order to block such cable project, the regime of Djibouti established an internet provider company in Somaliland which eventually pulled the internet cable from Djibouti.

This could have made Berbera an international hub of ICT for eastern Africa due to its strategic location.

Guelleh, whose revenue is based on renting his tiny country to foreign forces, is influencing the Mogadishu administration against Somaliland because he does not want strong and independent Somaliland around the corner. He misbelieves that his renting business will get impact if Somaliland comes on the market, as a contestant.

DP World has transformed Djibouti from tiny fishing port to a world-class port with largest container corridor in Africa. Thanks to DP World who invested millions of dollars because Guelleh barely avoids the salaries of the government employees.

Guelleh failed to understand that prosperous Somaliland could benefit the region, in general, and Djibouti, in particular, because ports of both countries will support each other to flourish with cash.

Today, Djibouti, Somalia, Qatar, and Turkey are campaigning against Somaliland because the latter allied with United Arab Emirates (UAE). Djibouti allies are using the weak government in Mogadishu to block the deal of Berbera Corridor by seeking the support of Arab League and African Union.

Somalia’s old enmity against Ethiopia

The Mogadishu regime is attacking Somaliland after Ethiopia received 19% share of DP World Berbera Company, which will manage the services of the port. The regime is using the old bad-feelings of Somalians towards Ethiopia, as an enemy state, by adding insults to old injuries, instead of promoting peaceful coexistence.

It’s true that majority of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Somalia consider Ethiopia as a traditional foe, while Ethiopian forces are hardheartedly battling Al-Shabaab to liberate Somalia from the terrorist group.

Today, the parliament of Somalia in Mogadishu demanded cancelation of the triangle agreement between Somaliland, Ethiopia, and UAE. Such demand comes only after 19% of the company was granted to Ethiopia.    Somaliland signed the agreement with UAE in 2016 and Somalia had no major concern until Ethiopia entered into the agreement.

Surprisingly, the President of Mogadishu Administration Somalia Mohamed Farmajo, who was chosen by the so-called parliament of 400 tribesmen in Feb 2017, accused the President of Republic of Somaliland Muse Bihi, who was elected by 800,000 citizens in one-man-one-vote, for selling the Berbera Port to foreign countries. Such accusations is to disturb Somaliland development and the region.

Farmajo knows that the triangle deal is to manage the Berbera port facility and does not transfer the ownership of the port. He knows that Somaliland has the final call on Berbera Port.

Conclusion

In an interview with HCTV, the elected President of Somaliland Muse Bihi underscored that faith of Berbera Port rests on the hands of the people of Somaliland. He went on saying that Farmajo and his henchmen in Mogadishu cannot even visit Berbera.

The government of UAE and Saudi Arabia should support Somaliland in getting an international recognition plus economic prosperity by opening up the markets of both countries to the skilled labor of Somaliland and livestock business.   The skilled and educated youth of Somaliland are English speaking with Arabic culture knowledge and would be useful in the job markets of both countries.

Today more than ten countries accept Somaliland passport, and it is time for UAE and Saudi Arabia to consider allowing the citizens of Somaliland use their passports while entering in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Today, Somaliland citizens cannot perform Hajj without Somalia passport and the regime in Mogadishu is politicizing the matter, also, the businessmen and health service seekers are forced to hold Somalia passport.

The passport of Somaliland is controlled through centralized database under the watchful of the Somaliland Immigration Department (SID). In other hands, the passport of Somalia can be obtained easily because the government of Somalia is shaky and in a chaos with very limited capacity to control the passport.

The Houthis are threatening Somaliland after the latter joined the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and UAE in Yemen, and allowed the UAE to build a military base at Berbera Airport.  The people of Somaliland have a historical trade relationship with the Arabian Gulf particularly the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The livestock exports from Somaliland should immediately open to Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Finally, it is very important that UAE leads the campaign of recognizing Somaliland globally by recognizing as the first step.  DP World Chairman Mr. Sultan highlighted during his latest speech that Somaliland was an independent country from 28 years, which received a warm public welcome, and the government in Dubai and Abu Dhabi should follow the example of Mr. Sultan.

Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi

Email: az.almutairi@yahoo.com

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