Djibouti’s attempts to regain control of its Doraleh Container Terminal hit a snag this past week after a London Court stayed the injunction issued last month calling on President Ismail Guelleh’s administration to cease interference until a determination by a London Tribunal is concluded.
The High Court of England and Wales ruled on the 14th of this month that an injunction by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) shall ‘continue until it makes a further order or an award of the arbitration tribunal at the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) that will be formed imminently to consider the shareholding dispute with DP World.’
In the ruling August 31, the LCIA warned Port de Djibouti S.A. (“PDSA”), the government port company against acting ‘as if the joint venture agreement with DP World has been terminated’. The court also restrained PDSA from appointing new directors or removing DP World’s directors without consent.
The Court further ordered that PDSA must ensure that any transferee of DCT shares is legally bound by the Joint Venture Agreement and Articles of Association in the same way as PDSA. The ruling means neither the Government nor PDSA can control DCT or give valid instructions to third parties on behalf of DCT without DP World’s consent.
President Guelleh issued a decree September 9 to transfer the private entity Port of Djibouti’s shareholding in the Doraleh terminal to the government forcing DP World to seek further restraining orders until the conclusion of the LCIA hearings.
China Merchants Port Holdings Company Ltd of Hong Kong owns 23% of PDSA.
DP World entered into a concession agreement with the government of Djibouti in 2006.