Somaliland backs Dubai’s DP World over Berbera Port

Berbera has become a test case of Somaliland independence. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 March 2018
0

Somaliland backs Dubai’s DP World over Berbera Port

LONDON: The Somaliland government has rejected Somalia’s right to block a deal to allow Dubai’s DP World to make a $440 million investment to help develop Berbera Port, according to Somaliland Press.
The row came about when the Somaliland government allowed Ethiopia a stake in the Berbera investment consortium. Afterwards, the Somalian parliament voted to ban the UAE from investing in Somalia. The issue has become a test case for Somaliland independence.
A report in Somaliland Press said: “The DP World’s investment in Somaliland has, loudly and clearly, proven Somaliland’s independence. The agreement between DP World and Somaliland has shown that Somaliland is an independent country that can engage in international deals without regard to Mogadishu’s government.” It continued: “DP World’s agreement has ended Mogadishu’s claim for controlling Somaliland territory.”
The newspaper cited DP World CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem as saying: “Somaliland is an independent country for the last 28 years. It is a very stable country. It has a vibrant democratic system. Our project won the endorsement of Somaliland’s parliament.”
Somaliland Press said: “Whether we like it or not, Ethiopia is a regional power to reckon with. Since Ethiopia has a share in the port, it will become its sea route which will help both Somaliland’s and Ethiopia’s economic growth. Second, since Ethiopia invested in Somaliland, Ethiopia will assist Somaliland strengthen its peace and stability.
“Ethiopia will not tolerate any regional authorities, Mogadishu’s government, or enemies to sabotage Somaliland’s stability. Lastly, Ethiopia and Dubai will work closely together to ensure Somaliland’s recognition provided that the port attains its intended objectives.”
Muse Behi Abdi Abdi, president of Somaliland, has recently been in Dubai meeting government ministers.


Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

Updated 14 December 2018
0

Libya’s National Oil against paying ‘ransom’ to reopen El Sharara field

  • Ransom payment would set dangerous precedent
  • NOC declared force majeure on exports on Monday

BENGHAZI: Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. (NOC) said it was against paying a ransom to an armed group that has halted crude production at the country’s largest oilfield.
“Any attempt to pay a ransom to the armed militia which shut down El Sharara (oilfield) would set a dangerous precedent that would threaten the recovery of the Libyan economy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement on the company’s website.
NOC on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the 315,000-barrels-per-day oilfield after it was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
The nearby El-Feel oilfield, which uses the same power supply as El Sharara, was still producing normally, a spokesman for NOC said, without giving an output figure. The field usually pumps around 70,000 bpd.
Since 2013 Libya has faced a wave of blockages of oilfields and export terminals by armed groups and civilians trying to press the country’s weak state into concessions.
Officials have tended to end such action by paying off protesters who demand to be added to the public payroll.
At El Sharara, in southern Libya, a mix of state-paid guards, civilians and tribesmen have occupied the field, camping there since Saturday, protesters and oil workers said. The protesters work in shifts, with some going home at night.
NOC has evacuated some staff by plane, engineers at the oilfield said. A number of sub-stations away from the main field have been vacated and equipment removed.
The occupiers are divided, with members of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) indicating they would end the blockade in return for a quick cash payment, oil workers say. The PFG has demanded more men be added to the public payroll.
The tribesmen have asked for long-term development funds, which might take time.
Libya is run by two competing, weak governments. Armed groups, tribesmen and normal Libyans tend to vent their anger about high inflation and a lack of infrastructure on the NOC, which they see as a cash cow booking billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues annually.