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Signaling Rift, Djibouti Seizes UAE-Run Port

Signaling Rift, Djibouti Seizes  UAE-Run PortSignaling Rift, Djibouti Seizes  UAE-Run Port

The government of Djibouti has seized control of a container terminal operated by United Arab Emirates-based DP World, saying that the contract between the two parties was damaging the sovereignty of Djibouti. The government announced the nationalization of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) in Djibouti on Thursday, placing the blame for the termination of its contract with DP World—the world’s fourth largest port operator—on the Dubai-owned company’s refusal to “settle amicably”, Al Jazeera reported. A statement on behalf of President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s office said the government had “decided to proceed with the unilateral termination of the concession contract ... awarded to DP World”. DP World won a 30-year concession in 2006 to operate the DCT, which opened in 2009. The Doraleh port is particularly crucial to its landlocked-neighbor Ethiopia. More than 95% of the country’s imports come through Djibouti, authorities say. Despite being a tiny country, Djibouti has become a major strategic player because of its position on the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, the key shipping lane to Europe from the Persian Gulf and Asia beyond.

 

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