Dubai - Somalia has banned Dubai ports operator DP World from operating in Somalia, saying that a contract that the company signed last year with the breakaway Somaliland region to develop an economic zone is null and void. It is unclear how Somalia’s federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland’s semi-autonomous status.
But parliament’s unanimous passing of the resolution banning DP World from working in the country underscored growing rivalries in the strategic Horn of Africa region over the Dubai state-owned port operator’s investments: “Any agreement signed with DP World is null and void since it opposes the constitution, the rule of foreign investment in Somalia, and other rules of the country,” read the resolution, which was approved late on Monday and published by Somalia’s state new agency. “DP World openly violated the independence and unity of Somalia and so DP World is banned from Somalia,” it said. A spokesman for DP World did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Somaliland’s small port of Berbera exports camels to the Middle East and imports food and other items. It also provides some transport links for neighbouring Ethiopia, a landlocked country that has friendly relations with the breakaway region.