The Berbera port deal is illegal, corrupt, conspiracy against sovereignty of Somaliland, has hidden agenda, based on false information, involve kickbacks and benefit to few pockets in the expanse of the majority.
September 10, 2016 - Written by Berbera Today

he Berbera port investment deal is typically preaching good intention while the reality is bad intentions and the main motive of the deal is self-gain in the expanse of four million population which is like crime committed against four million population. The whole contract is based on false information, vote buying from our so called parliament, involve kickbacks and damaging the independence and sovereignty of Somaliland. The deal involves secret agenda which is not yet expose to our people as this involves individual gains in the expanse of the entire Somaliland. As per the so called document presented by the corrupt government indicates that the so called memo of understanding has legal binding. 

Article no 12 express that, the subject memorandum of understanding does not create rights or obligations for the Governments under international law, but regrettably our elected parliament did pay any attention to this unbinding document as their main objective is to benefit individually the deal as the majority received from the government tens of thousands of dollars collected from our poor tax payers. The corrupt government did not present to the corrupt parliament the memorandum of agreement and as a result our so called parliament have not the terms of the agreement. According the international law, memorandum of Understanding cannot be enforceable in the court of law, but Memorandum of an agreement can be enforceable in the court of law. memorandum of Understanding only binding upon the parties, if the memorandum is signed given details for monetary consideration, but memorandum of agreement binds by default to both parties. Memorandum of Understanding has no collateral rights  according to international law but memorandum of agreement has collateral rights to both parties. Memorandum of Understanding is like an offer for consideration while memorandum of agreement is based an offer as well an acceptance which mean bind to both parties as per the international law. A memorandum of understanding (MOU or MoU) is a formal agreement between two or more parties. Companies and organizations can use MOUs to establish official partnerships. 

MOUs are not legally binding but they carry a degree of seriousness and mutual respect, stronger than a gentlemen’s agreement. Often, MOUs are the first steps towards a legal contract. According to international law, memorandum of understanding is synonymous with a letter of intent (LOI), which is a non-binding written agreement that implies a binding contract is to follow. Above are the key differences between the memorandum of understanding and memorandum of agreement. In view of above, Somaliland parliament has endorsed like a blank bank cheque.  Blank cheque can be extremely dangerous for its owner, because whoever obtains the cheque could write in any amount of money and would be able to cash. Under bank regulations throughout the world, signing blank cheque is illegal.  In practical life, I doubt if anyone of us will issue a blank cheque, but Somaliland parliament has issued blanket.  With regard to 442 million dollars promised by DP world to invest the port, the truth is, DP world will not even one fifth of the promised amount which is 88 million dollars   and simple evidences is, DP world not provide break down amount how these 442 million will be spend. According to reliable sources, the whole investment deal is, a number of cranes, port extension to accommodate a number of container ships, little upgrading the port facility.  Geographically, Somaliland is distant to land locked countries in Africa. 

Kenya and Tanzania who are Geographically close to land locked countries in Africa in contrast with Somaliland have long competed to have the most important port in East Africa and their rivalry is about to become more intense as they compete for the region’s business. The Kenyan port of Mombasa and Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port are the traditional competitors but the Kenyan government is now planning a huge new port at Lamu, while Tanzania is developing Bagamoyo. Both ports will be larger than any other port in sub-Saharan Africa if completed as planned. They will also be at the centre of much bigger developments, with industrial zones being laid out and intensive farming being proposed. According to data obtained from the internet, Tanzanian authorities hope Bagamoyo will handle 20 million containers a year, that is 25 times larger than the port at Dar es Salaam. Kenya’s planned Lamu port is expected to be just as big. They could handle containers travelling to and from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ethiopia, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and parts of Zambia. New life is also being injected into the Tanzanian port of Tanga. The government managed to persuade Uganda to route its planned oil export line through Tanzania to Tanga, rather than through Lamu. In addition, a new railway could run parallel to the pipeline connecting with ferry services on Lake Victoria. The two countries are also looking at boosting their rail infrastructure and as a result, the called investment deal between Somaliland and DP world have zero impact with the Kenya Tanzania ports as explained in the above. With regard to Port of Djibouti port, of Djibouti strategically located at the crossroads of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf. 

The port serves as a key refuelling and transhipment centre, and is the principal maritime outlet for imports to and exports from neighbouring Ethiopia. Djibouti as a main maritime passage and a main trading route between East and West stretches back 3,500 years, the time of maritime explorations of the Red Sea. A strategic meeting point between Northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea was a place of contact and passage used by the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Ptolemaists, the Romans, the Greeks, the Byzantines, the Arabs, and then by the Europeans in search of the Spice route. Its apogee came with the opening of the Suez Canal. In view of above, equally, the called investment deal between Somaliland and DP world have zero impact with the Kenya Tanzania ports as explained in the above.  In the event the 442 million dollars is genuine, we could build container services port twice the size for the total area of Berbera port. Taken into account, the facts and figures explained in the above, the whole port investment deal is illegal, corrupt, conspiracy against sovereignty of Somaliland, has hidden agenda, based on false information, involve kickbacks and benefit to few pockets in the expanse of the majority.


Ismail Lugweyne

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