The docks of the port of Doraleh in Djibouti, May 5, 2017. © AFP

The Djibouti government has canceled the agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates on the management of the Doraleh container terminal for 50 years.

The concession agreement was signed in 2006 with the UAE port operator, DP World. With the cancellation of the agreement, Djibouti took over the management of this terminal “in the name of the sovereignty of the State and the interests of the nation. ”

Hassan Issa Sultan, the Inspector General of Djibouti State and responsible for the negotiations with DP World, said the decision was final and irreversible.

“Djibouti has decided to cancel the contract after failing in its efforts to restore its rights,” said Hassan Issa Sultan, recalling that the rights of the Djiboutian nation has been stolen, with trickery and illegal procedures.

Djiboutian officials said the cancellation of the agreement did not affect the navigation programs in Doraleh port.

“The movement of boats and the unloading of goods are done as usual. Rumors about the activity freeze at Doraleh port are all wrong, “they said.

The director of the ports of Djibouti affirmed at the microphone of Al-Jazeera that his country had resumed, from Thursday, the management of the port of Doraleh, within the framework of the restitution of the rights of this country.

“Djibouti is ready to buy back the 33% share of DP World, we do not understand why they refuse to sell it. This is a commercial and not a political affair, “he said, noting that only 5 of the 1,000 people working in this port are linked to DP World.

Djibouti’s media adviser, Najib Ali Tahar, stressed that the agreement had neglected the rights of the nation and the sovereignty of the state. “Several years after the conclusion of the agreement, we realized the oppression imposed on us. When we decided to develop the port by adding new facilities, we were told that we do not have the right to do so, because the agreement did not allow it, “he said.

“One third of the shares belong to DP World and two thirds belong to Djibouti. And yet the Emiratis have two representatives on the board of directors of the port of Doraleh while we, we have only one “he continued recalling that the decision made by the government was absolutely not political, but commercial. “We are able to take over the management of this port ourselves,” he concluded.

The port of Doraleh is one of the major ports for transit between Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Djibouti is placed in the Horn of Africa, at the entrance of the Red Sea.

 

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