Today, in Mogadishu, the Federal Parliament of Somalia approved on absolute majority a motion denying the United Arab Emirates’ DP World to operate in Somalia soils.
In fact, what they wished to achieve by submitting a DP-World-related motion to the floor was to highlight Mogadishu’s displeasure of the ground-breaking re-affirmation of an agreement to rehabilitate and modernize Berbera port which the Somaliland government entered with DP World on May 9, 2016. Only 11 members of parliament, led by professor Ibbi, cautioned moderation in the issue, proposing that the motion be struck out of today’s agenda points deliberation.
Out of 170 members present, 151 voted for inclusion, 17 voted against it and 2 abstained.
Following a brief, emotion-ridden discussion of the issue, 168 voted for a blanket ban of DP World stay in ‘Somali’ soils, denying it all forms of involvement in trading in and/or with ‘Somalia’ ports. One MP abstained where another voted against the decision.
Today’s motion which the FPS passed against DP World, effectively, highlights several points all in favour of Somaliland.
For one, as Somalia had no jurisdiction, influence or power over Somaliland governance since 1991, there is nothing it can do to reverse the Somaliland-Ethiopia-DP World Agreement on Berbera port development. Secondly, P&O Ports of DP World has entered a similar agreement with the Puntland Federal State of Somalia, and a rejection of this administration of the FPS motion would further score the feeble hold of Mogadishu over its own satellite states let alone its former, much more democratically developed the Republic of Somaliland. Thirdly, the Somalia motion will further cement Somaliland unity as it would certainly re-train international attention on a Somaliland it has largely ignored diplomatically for the past 28 years, thus opening a gateway for a renewed discussion on the inalienable rights of the former British Protectorate to restore its 196 sovereignty which was temporarily lost to an illegal, ill-consummated political union with the Italian Trusteeship of Somalia.
Lastly, the FPS hammered the last nail on a casket it interred the last remains of the tottering Somalia-Somaliland talks since the motion it passed starkly manifests the deep, unrealistic animosity Somalia holds for Somalilanders, their successful trail-blazing development initiatives and blossoming democracy.
Somaliland has always maintained Somalia short-changed Somaliland interest since day one, hence the rigged up referendum and an attempted coup de tat in, respectively, 1963 and 1961.; and that any semblance of unity was legally brought to an end by the military takeover of 1969.
The agreement with DP World opens a wide vista of opportunities for Somaliland, especially in the economic and diplomatic/political forums.
It is now up to Ethiopia and the Emirates to hit Somalia where it hurts most by diplomatically recognizing the Republic of Somaliland and by pulling out of their costly contribution to Somalia’s failing security.