The Somaliland Government has refuted claims by Somalia nullifying an agreement signed between the UAE ports operator DP World and the Ethiopian Government to acquire a 19 percent stake in Berbera Port.

The Somaliland Minister of Information, Abdirahman Abdillahi Farah, said in a statement that the government of President Musa Behi Abdi worked to conclude the agreement with DP World and the Government of Ethiopia. and added that the Republic of Somaliland is a “sovereign and independent and does not allow others to prejudice its sovereignty”.

On Friday, Somalia denounced the port deal, terming the agreement unconstitutional.

The Somali Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport said in a statement that the government was not party to the agreement which it termed as defective.

“This so-called agreement is both defective and detrimental to the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the unity of the country,” the Ministry said.

Abdillahi Farah said that Somaliland has been independent and sovereign for 28 years and does not allow anyone to infringe on its sovereignty.

DP World’s sale would provide Ethiopia with a 19 percent stake in Somaliland’s Port of Berbera while the port operator said it would retain a 51 percent stake and Somaliland would retain 30 percent.

Financial details were not disclosed but the statement said the Ethiopian government would invest to develop the Berbera Corridor, a road from the border with Ethiopia to Berbera.

“Having the government of Ethiopia as a partner will enable DP World to support the government in achieving its impressive development plans,” said DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

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