Djibouti - A court in London has awarded global ports operator DP World $385 million in compensation for the government of Djibouti’s decision to shut it out of previously-agreed development opportunities. When adding in unpaid royalties, the total award comes to $533 million. Last February, Djibouti’s government unilaterally terminated DP World’s lease for the operation of DCT, the small African nation’s primary container terminal.
The two parties had fought for years over the terms of the lease and allegations of impropriety in its signing; at the time, the office of president Ismail Omar Guelleh said that the move was intended to serve “the higher interests of the nation, in particular those relating to the sovereignty of the state and the economic independence of the country.” The government-controlled company Port de Djibouti SA (PDSA) took over its operation, and DP World sued in a London court to regain control of its assets.
On August 31, the High Court of England & Wales issued an injunction against PDSA, ordering that it must not act as though its JV with DP World had been terminated, must not remove any DP World board members, and must not use London-based Standard Chartered Bank to transfer funds to Djibouti.