Somalia’s lower house of parliament on Monday backed the federal government’s rejection of the Berbera port deal entered into by semi-autonomous Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World.
A Voice of America journalist, Harun Maruf, reported that the lower house had voted to reject the deal through a landslide with 168 of the 170 lawmakers nullifying all agreements between the United Arab Emirates-based company and Somaliland.
DP World have reached agreements with Somaliland over the Berbera and Bosaso ports but with the Monday vote – both deals are “null and void.” If the Upper House reaches a similar decision the President will sign it into law.
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Already President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo and PM Ali Hassan Khayre have stated clearly that the manner in which the deals were reached breached international standards and violates the sovereignty of Somalia.
This is despite Somaliland insisting that it has a right to enter such deals. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi is on record to have described Somalia’s rejection of the deal as a ‘declaration of war’.
Somaliland is internationally recognised as a semi-autonomous state of Somalia. Bihi insists that the state has the freedom to approve this deal that will improve the lives of its people.
The DP World chief executive officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem agrees with Somaliland’s position on the issue stressing that his comapny entered a deal with an “independent” country whose parliament approved the said deal.
Somalia has appealed to the Arab League to intervene in this dispute that risks souring relations with the United Arab Emirates.
Somaliland located in the north of Somalia declared unilateral independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991. It has been under pressure to hold talks with Somalia which have so far been futile.
The region can boast of an army, its own currency and legal system. The territory has been experiencing stability and economic prosperity and has been influential in the fight against piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
26 years of diplomatic isolation has made it difficult for Somaliland to have access to loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
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Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures
Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.
It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.
But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.
These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.
Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.
The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.
The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.
In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey
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