By T. Roble
Somalia has taken its campaign against the UAE over the DP World controversy to the global arena seeking the intervention of the UN Security Council as it maintains it would vigorously defend its territorial integrity.
Somali ambassador to the UN Abukar Osman told the Security Council Tuesday the actions of UAE in Somalia constituted a violation of international law and infringed on Somalia’s sovereignty.
“These actions by the UAE in Somalia are in clear violation of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international cooperation,” Osman said.
The envoy also cited the naval base agreement between Somaliland and DP World in 2015 which according to the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea would constitute a violation of the existing arms embargo in Somalia as it would involve transfer of military materials into Somalia.
Referring to Somaliland as the Northwestern Regional Authority, Osman said the Federal Government will not abide by decisions by the break-away region ‘since such actions would undermine the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia, which are all guaranteed under our Constitution’.
“Therefore, the Federal Government of Somalia calls on the Security Council to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its mandate to maintain international peace and security to out an end to these actions and ensure the resolution of its resolution concerning Somalia,” the envoy noted.
The move by Somalia to rope in the global body delivers another deadly blow to DP World’s prospects of actualizing the 30 year concession it had secured from Somaliland. The statement to the UNSC follows a resolution by the Federal Parliament early this month declaring the agreement unconstitutional. Parliament also banned DP World from operating in Somalia.
Two others actors in the DP World contracts find themselves in an awkward position as the Federal Government pursues robust international campaign against the Emirati company. One is Ethiopia which has kept mute in the ongoing debacle leaving Hargeisa and DP World to fend off accusations from Mogadishu.
Addis Ababa acquired a 19% stake in the revised contract signed March 4. By accusing UAE of engaging with a province of its own against the laid down procedures and subsequently impugning on its territorial integrity, Mogadishu is also firing shots at Ethiopia. The southwestern neighbor’s efforts reduce overreliance on Djibouti by acquiring control in Berbera port appear thwarted.
The fate of the Bosaso concession granted by Puntland to P&O Ports, a subsidiary of DP World now hangs in the balance more than ever. The ports operator secured the $336 million deal last April to upgrade and manage the port for 30 years but the robust move by Mogadishu to quash DP World’s deals in Somalia spells doom to the project.