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Somalia’s PM owns stake in UAE port deal

April 20, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Hassan Ali, Somalia’s prime minister [FlickR]

Somalia’s prime minister owns shares in a controversial port currently at the centre of a crisis with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Garowe Online reported today.

An investigation conducted by members of Somaliland’s parliamentary team on corruption uncovered that Hassan Ali Khaire, Somalia’s prime minister, continues to have personal interests at Soma Oil and Gas Company. Khaire stepped down as executive director of Soma Oil and gas in February 2017 to take on the role as Somalia’s prime minister. Khaire has previously said he will “crusade” those involved in corruption, but sentiments are now at confusion over his resolve amid an ongoing crisis with the UAE.

“Our investigation findings found that Soma Oil and Gas, which Somali [prime minister] holds a share has contracted firms running the field tanker stores at Berbera city… it’s a big threat to Somaliland,” Nasir Ali Shire, member of the Somaliland parliamentary team on corruption.

The Berbera oil group, a local company that operates Berbera port, failed to cooperate with the inquiry team and refused to disclose data on the owner of the group, according to Garowe Online.

The federal government of Somalia rejected a tripartite agreement between UAE’s logistic company DP World, Somaliland and Ethiopia, claiming that it undermines its unity, sovereignty and is a violation of its constitution. Somalia was not invited or consulted over the regeneration port deal, which it later outlawed through a parliamentary vote. Since then, Somalia has been at odds with the UAE for the past month.

Last month, Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo, president of Somalia, warned of corruption in his country, claiming that “it’s undeniable that there is occupation in the government committed by some of us. It obvious there is a lack of trust”.

Transparency International claimed in a report late February that Somalia is one of the worst performing countries. Somalia suffers from weak public institutions and instability, which allow corruption to thrive.

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