Whom did Musa Bihi Abdi meet about the DP World contract?
The Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh has endorsed the opposition party candidate, Mr. Cirro in Somaliland’s upcoming election and cut the cord to Musa Bihi, the candidate that the regional powers in Horn of Africa and international community have an eye on it. The former Somali National Movement leader Musa Bihi, who was tested through a difficult times in its struggle to liberate Somaliland, is viewed a man who introduces an element of stability and peace in the region. Ethiopia is on the side of Musa Bihi. Musa Bihi has made clear to the actors namely Saudi, Turkey, France, US, and Germany that Somaliland will be a country that will fight with terrorist and will really have a vested interested in the peace, democracy and rule of law in Horn of Africa.
This week, the Federal government of Ethiopia has sent a high level delegation to Somaliland that was led by Ambassador Mohamud Dirrir to sort out the recent skirmishes of border dispute among Oromo and Somalis inhabiting in Ethiopia. The dispute has claimed the lives 18 Somalilander traders. Additionally, the Federal government of Ethiopia has released a press to condemn the killing of innocent khat trader.
In the same vein, the well known khat agent in Jijjiga, Ethiopia Suhur, has complained to the federal that the plot has been orchestrated and masterminded by the President of Somali Region , Abdi Eily and as a result of this event , the federal has been obliged to launch an investigation. In the meantime, federal army has escorted the goods coming from Ethiopia to the Somaliland border. It seems that Somaliland has been getting some attacks from many actors such Djibouti, Turkey and the failed state of Somalia after Somaliland had signed a DP World Accord and military base by the United Arab Emirates.
It has to be noted that what has made the matter worse is the tension of Qadar that the biggest actor has fighting on it. The country Turkey has been supporting Mohgadishu to undermine the existence of Somaliland; however, the Saudi Arabia has open all its doors to Somaliland trade and other diplomatic relation.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) already had a naval base in Eritrea, it will have its second one in Somaliland. The Parliament of republic of Somaliland has given its green light a few months, in any case. Ethiopia has reacted cautiously to the news saying that it will have no problem with the development. Ethiopia’s Representative to the Somaliland, Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye was quoted as saying that the decision solely belongs to the citizens of Somaliland and that Ethiopia has no say over the county’s political affairs.
The base will certainly strengthen UAE’s dream to be a powerful actor in the horn of Africa. The UAE and Somaliland are about to sign a 25-year lease in order to transform this scheme into reality. According to the agreement, in 2042 the naval and air base will become the property of the government of the self-proclaimed republic.
In return, Dubai’s DP World would manage the Somaliland Port of Berbera for 30 years, in an investment of up to $442 million. The project offers an opportunity for the development of Somaliland, which is not recognised by the international community despite 25 years of de facto independence from the rest of war-torn Somalia. For the UAE, it would be an ideal base to move around its warships to attack Shia Houthi fighters fighting the government in Yemen.
It is not clear how this could be in the long-term strategic interests of Ethiopia but the Ethiopian military general says his country’s interest is to have secure access to Berbera port and Somalia’s government is responsible for providing that security.
Ethiopia last year signed an accord with Somaliland to boost trade through Berbera port amid congestion at a facility in neighboring Djibouti, according to Bloomberg news.
UAE, which supporting ongoing activities in Yemen, is already using the Assab port in Eritrea to deploy Mirage, a jet aircraft designed by a French company. For Assab’s base, it is a give and take affair too. To repay for the right to use the base, the Gulf States promised to provide aid packages to Eritrea and modernize the Asmara airport.
To conclude, the election of Musa Bihi will be the right option to bring peace, tranquility and prosperity to Somaliland and region.