Dubai accuses Djibouti of seizing DP World port

DP World's Djibouti contract scrapped

DP World's Djibouti contract scrapped

DP World has accused the government of Djibouti of illegally seizing control of the Doraleh Container Terminal hours after the Djibouti government said it was terminating the concession with DP World.

In a strongly worded statement, DP World said: "The illegal seizure of the terminal is the culmination the government's campaign to force the DP World to renegotiate the terms of the concession". DP World says it is the largest employer and biggest source of revenue in the country and this is a cynical move following extensive global court action.

The latest move comes a year after a London Court of International Arbitration tribunal threw out the government's claims that the agreement was unfair, fully exonerating DP World and ordering the government to pay arbitration and other costs.

As part of an agreement between the two parties, DP World designed, built and operated the terminal since 2006, which resulted in creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the East African nation.

At 18 metres Doraleh is said to be the deepest port in Africa and other stakeholders in the terminal include Chinese investors the China Merchants Group with the Port of Djibouti having strong, and expanding links with Chinese trade, a Chinese Naval base is now under construction adjacent to the Port itself.

That date having passed, the contract was unilaterally terminated by Presidential decree the following day with all assets of Doraleh Container Terminal SA appropriated by the state.

The government made this decision "in application of the law of November 8, 2017" which "aims to protect, in the context of strategic infrastructure contracts, the best interests of the nation", "especially those relating to the sovereignty of the state and the economic independence of the country", the statement said.

After this, Djibouti claimed DP World's actions had been unfair, however DP World has been cleared of any wrongdoing in an global court. The terminal is now the largest employer and biggest source of revenue in the country.

The global ports operator DP World asked the government of Djibouti to cease its unlawful conduct and continue to work as partners in the same spirit of cooperation that has been in place for the last 18 years.

DP World operates multiple related businesses from marine and inland terminals to maritime services across several continents.