Monday, September 17, 2018

Djibouti- Pressure for the return of DP World to Doraleh

‘We will continue to exploit every legal avenue to defend our rights as the shareholder and  concession holder of the Doraleh Container Terminal.’

This was the message sent to Djibouti by the government in Dubai - on behalf of DP World - on 11 September, coming two days after Ismail Omar Guelleh transferred to the government of Djibouti the
shares owned by Port de Djibouti (PDSA) in the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) company.
This fresh berating of IOG comes at a time when the Emirati vice is squeezing ever tighter around him. The United Arab Emirates is now drawing on the support of all of its allies and isolating Djibouti to secure the return of DP World as the manager of the DCT. These allies include its new acolyte, the Somalian president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, with the emphasis on the
future potential of the port de Berbera ( ION 1480), and the president of Eritrea and implacable adversary of IOG, Issayas Afeworki, where the focus is on the ports of Massawa and ultimately
Assab. But above and beyond the future competition from these Somalian and Eritrean ports, Ethiopia’s emancipation from its logistical reliance on the port of Djibouti has hit this country, which
had dreams of becoming the Singapore of Africa, the hardest. Behind the facade of harmony between the EthiopianEritrean-Somalian axis and Djibouti projected on 6 September during the gathering of the foreign ministers of these countries in Djibouti, Abiy Ahmed Ali’s visit to the Eritrean port of Massawa for the docking of the Mekele, a cargo ship that transports Ethiopian goods to China, sent out a much more tangible (and symbolic) message.
According to our sources, the Ethiopian authorities have warned the Djiboutian government and the head of the Djibouti Port & Free Zone Authority (DPFZA), Aboubaker Omar Hadi, that they are
intending in future to transit only a third of the current volume of merchandise in and out of Ethiopia via Djibouti (a drop in value from $1.5 billion to $500 million).
And the Ethiopians have issued one more warning, announcing to the DPFZA that they want to withdraw from the Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port and resume activities at the old port. How long is IOG going to be able to weather such pressure?
(Africa Intelligence )