Senators of Somali Upper House have voted to declare a contract with the United Arab Emirates null and void – endangering plans to develop a port in the breakaway region of Somaliland.
Dubai-based shipping giant DP World wants to enlarge the port of Berberra in the breakaway state of Somaliland.
The lower house of Somalia’s parliament also voted Monday to ban a United Arab Emirates’ state-owned ports operator from the African country, declaring it a threat to Somalia’s sovereignty, independence, and unity.
It is unclear how Somalia’s federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland’s semi-autonomous status. 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 neighboring Ethiopia, a landlocked country that has friendly relations with the breakaway region.
Last month neighboring Djibouti ended its contract with DP World to run its Doraleh Container Terminal, citing failure to resolve a dispute that began in 2012.