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Dubai’s DP World to upgrade, maintain Eritrean ports

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UAE has been in Eritrea for more than 2 years now.

Asab is their base for the war in Yemen.

They will not invest much unless they want to abandon Berbera or to be used for Somalia and limited volume for Ethiopia., since almost all Ethiopian business prefer 1. Djibouti 2. Berbera 3. Bassaso (but now there is already a concertium raising money to build another port in Puntland closer to Somaliland so as to use same roads for most part)

 

Djibouti is guaranteed for minimum of 65% for decades. If Berbera takes 20% according to plan when the deal was signed. Eritrea can only compete for 15% out of which Sudan will have definitely a share, Kenya Puntland and rest of Somalia. Kismayu was high on the prospectus at one time around 2006.

 

Whatch out Berbera. This is africa. Dictators and Arabs are best for snap decisions.

 

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Oodweyne   

Old_Observer,

Let me ask you this straight and say how confident are you that the current Mr Abby Ahmed wants to maintain the 65% of the Ethiopians's trading-volume that comes through Djibouti's ports currently on annual basis? You know it's not closely held secret that Abby Ahmed and Mr IOG are not the "best of buddies" as the case was between Mr Zenawi and Mr IOG.

And for that matter it's not secret also that Mr Abby Ahmed actually prefers Eritrea to Djibouti, if by a drop of the hand, he can have the "sole power" to award the country (whether it should be Eritrea or whether it should be Djibouti) that should handles the bulk of the Ethiopian's trading volumes with the outside world, through its ports.  

Hence, couldn't it be said that there could be a deal in the "offing" in which Mr Abby Ahmed and Mr Afwerki are cooking up and doing it so with the help of DP World (who in turn have their own beef with Djibouti) and with UAE. And the intention behind that kind of a deal is to cut Mr IOG and his State of Djibouti down to size. And thereby reducing the intended tonnage of trading goods that yearly comes through in Djibouti on their way in-or-out of Ethiopia, which at the moment stand at the 65% figure in which you have quoted to us now. 

Furthermore, considering the open hostility in which the Yanks have for the idea of seeing Mr IOG "leaning" on China (like so much of a mountain to which one could lean on, as the old Somali proverb had it), and considering the fact that the likes of Mr Mike Pompeo (i.e., the US's Secretary of State) is very openly critical of Djibouti falling into Chinese's sphere of influence, how confident are you then that Mr Abby Ahmed will not be given his "marching orders" by the same Yanks to pull the "rug" underneath the feet of Mr IOG and Djibouti by way of incrementally and gradually decreasing the Ethiopian's trading good that comes through Djibouti?

After all, there are no love lost now between the Yanks (who are spooked off from the very idea of what the Chinese are doing in Africa, which is why they are so gung-ho in their strategical support of the SFG just to ensure that she in turn doesn't fall into the Chinese's sphere of influence) on one hand, and Mr IOG, on the other hand, who openly in each passing month is coming out to be in the Chinese's strategical column in Africa. And he seems to be doing that with all the help in which the PRC (i.e., China) is now showering onto him and to his little State.

Why don't you weigh in on these sort of issues, and give us your beady eye view of these things (as it were). 

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Oodweyne,

You have raised questions that are the basis for any decion maker, thus beyond me, but let me give it a go from what is known instead of attempting projections and assumptions which I will definitely fail.

1. For America anyone is an alternative to Djibouti. Eritrea, Sudan, Somaliland..etc the difference is only a degree. America can move to Yemen as well and if they choose that will be solving Yemen in less than 6 months. But regardless, America will not leave Djibouti for Chinese and even French and others.

2. If UAE plan is to use Berbera and Assab to kill Djibouti, then they are getting into uncharted territory. Eritrea does not want Assab more than Massawa. 90% of their population is near Massawa and half of Ethiopia even part of Sudan and South Sudan can use Massawa far more economically than Assab. For UAE Massawa will need atleast 15 Billion to make it port for 21st century level. Assab may need half of it.
Fundamentally Berbera and Assab have the same problem. Political status and questions of uncertainty.In Eritrea its one old man and Somaliland all neighbors do not want it to be independent. For Somalia Puntland will follow. For Ethiopia Kililka will follow and for Djibouti its simply life threatening among brothers.
Instability in Ethiopia is also very critical. Ethiopia has made 4 revolutions/drastic change in one century. The next one is around the corner. One draught season, one Ethnic conflict..away.

3. Abiy would have wanted to kill Djibouti, but will be pipe dream. He can only move Ethiopian business from Djibouti to Berbera. Businessmen would rather pay more in Djibouti rather than cheaper Assab. Never forget that Ethiopia has used Djibouti through 4 revolutions, through 2 world wars without a single failure. Imagine that in Africa. That is unique. Ethiopia used Djibouti even when it had Eritrea for 40 years. Some kind of connection there.

4. China has invested a lot on Djibouti Ethiopia "silk" road most of it is Ethiopian debt, since Ethiopia has to guarantee business for certain time for all that development to go on. The west has no money to invest, Arabs have no techology to give. China has both if they recover from this Coronavirus attack fairly OK.

5. Iran US war seems to be ON. America is increasing its force, Israel and Turkey are weakening Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Egypt is trying to survive and suez is key. That can change everything in a heart bit, consequences of which I can't even understand let alone to guess what would happen to HoA and Yemen.

Somaliland is on correct path.
1. 20% of Ethiopian business is more than enough for a decade. Just make that happen and do not throw away a guaranteed income looking for possibilities fraught with danger. Djibouti would be elated if Somaliland takes everything rather than Eritrea. That you can take to the bank. There may be some unhappy Somali businessmen, but this interest for Djibouti is cast in stone. This was determined and is well accepted from the Days of Meles. IOG never hesitated on this, whether in love or hate mode with Somaliland.


Somaliland nneds to convert Farmaajo or who ever comes to the likes of Ahmed Shiek and Abdulahi Yusuf. Both understood and strictly followed the priciple of live and let live. Ghelleh had good influence on both. No war in that part of the Horn. Somaliland has to make sure there is no war around it. War is an easy way for foreigners to influence and also war is unpredictable.

Abiy will not be successful to achieve the control that the likes of Meles had. If every Somali is to accept and speak truth, Somaliland is the only one that never gets to close to any dictator or "democracy" around. Both Djibouti and Ethiopian officials can testify to this. Even Illey found this out very early. Now you can see how Somaliland dealt better with British than others and why Puntland went to war with Italy. Both achieved the same result..an autonomous way of life, but both achieved it by different means and methods.

Abiy maybe trying to get Somaliland and Eritrea together, but you and I know that is impossible. Afwerki would never ever accept Somaliland. Somaliland formally recognized or not, will never be enemy with Djibouti in your or my life time.

Faarmajo has not much to offer to anybody. He spoiled the little thing he had and used it against Djibouti. He will pay a price for that and he is not going to know it or see it coming.

Afwerki has very little to offer to anybody as well. No economy. He can offer some soldiers as its very cheap and easy to do in Africa.

Never forget that:
Eritrea is in the red sea only and not in the two critical gates directly. Somaliland is on the red sea and gulf to Indian ocean both open. If suez or Bab el Mendeb closed Eritrea is useless, Somaliland is not. That is very crucial.

The reason the Tigray chose Djibouti/Somaliland/Puntland is that 1. They have forever enmity with Egypt 2. Since their economic future was to the east, better have something that Arabs cannot fully control and is open to east.


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Oodweyne   

Old_Observer,

Very perceptive Geo-Political analysis, indeed. I like this sort of layered take of things. Especially when it's this richly patterned version of it, whereby analysis begins from the strength of each Nation-State or Regional entity of the whole of the Horn-of-Africa (HoA). And it ends with the detail analysis of the weakness (or perceived weakness) of the said Nation-State or Regional entity in question.

Which means, no trolls are needed here. Given that serious argument is going on. Hence, let all the sniffling trolls of SOL take a day off from their usual cheap stunts around here. 

However, having said that, let me then clear the deck and stately say where I agree with you though I will come to the part of where I will disagree with you. And in that context, the part I agree with you (which is the first part) are these points that follows below:

1 - I agree on the whole, that, Mr Farmaajo, shot and wasted his best chance to actually amounting to something, at least politically, in the Horn-Of-Africa (HoA). And he missed it his aim badly. Specially when he decided that the best he can hope to be is to be a "glorified version" of a "retained woman" for the likes of Mr Abby Ahmed and for Mr Afwerki. Instead of actually becoming the nearest "political concubine" in which Turkey's strong man has in the HoA, at least in strategical sense of that word, if that is he had wished from the get-go to became a mere "political mistress" to some other third power in the world, which seems to be his intention from the get-go.

But I guess the fact that Ethiopia's seductive talk to his ears was all about how they can make him to "over-power" and become the ultimate leader of his federal member states in Somalia was, indeed, too tempting for him to see clearly what was the long term interest of Somalia.

In other words, the question that should be posed to him will be: was it good idea to be beholden to Abby/Afwerki, or would it have been better for Somalia to get the likes of Mr Erdogan to start "owning" the whole nine yard of Somalia? Particularly, if at the end of the day, you, as Somalia's president, were in the "slave market" (strategically speaking) whilst looking around you and were looking for someone (anyone, really) to "purchase" you and to own you and buy-up your country future's political loyalty. For these sort of things can be "arranged", politely and diplomatically, without disrobing the dignity of both parties in any public way along the time where such "transaction" is taking place. 

2 - I agree that Mr Abby Ahmed may not have much power to change the internal dynamics of Ethiopia. And since he is coming to a crucial election in August of this year, his hands are much tied up behind his back when it comes to shuffling the deck, or the "economical cards" of Ethiopia that are already on the table. And in specifically how much of the volume of the Ethiopian's trading goods he can "allocate" to this country, or how much he can do so to allocate to this other country. All of that would have to wait till after the election and we shall see whether he has a clear "political mandate" to "re-jig" the economical direction of his country into how sees fit. And to see as to whatever "behind the scene deal" he has so far struck up with Mr Afwerki of Eritrea, can be put into place. All that I agree with you, at least in-terms of Ethiopia's internal dynamics. 

3 - I also agree that Djibouti has a room to maneuver (strategically speaking), particularly in-terms of keeping the Chinese in a good mood, whilst at the same time ensuring the Yanks are not scolding at them at all. If on the other hand they are not in the "smiling easy category" take of things when it comes Yanks ascertaining the conduct of Mr IOG vis-a-vis his relationship with the Chinese or whether that is a threat to them as the Yanks sees it. And so far Mr IOG is walking in a fine tight rope. Hence, any false move on his part could be really dire and would be fatal for him politically. And by that I mean to say that the Yanks will still love to stay put and in-situ in Djibouti. Provided the "strategical exposure" of the place to the Chinese's influence do not get any further heightened sense of it than what they already are. Which is why you keep on hearing about all this talk of "debt-trap diplomacy", presumably done to the likes of Djibouti by the Chinese. And these sort of talks are usually coming from certain beltway's strategical think-tanks in Washington, who in turn are tasked to spread the "good word" of the American's Geo-political interests around the world.

4 - On Eritrea, I agree with you entirely. Since it's one man show, from top to bottom, and from beginning to an end. Moreover, he, Mr Afwerki, is essentially the sort of man who really is not more dignified than a "two-dollar-hustler" working on the street's corner, who in turn is shaking down anything and everybody that comes his way. And by that I mean, today he may be a good friend of the UAE, because they have showered money onto him. However, if that sort of largess were to runs out, and if Qatar's ruling Amir were to somehow say that I am open to the proposition of "sponsoring" you in the same way UAE used to do before they stopped doing that, then I can assure you, Mr Afwerki, will be in Doha in a heart-beat with no sense of shame that could restrain him along the way. 

All this I agree with you. However, where I disagree with you are as these points that follows:

5 -  I disagree with you that Mr IOG is out of the woods yet. Particularly with the current outfit in Mr Trump's administration with their "America First mantra". And by that I mean in the sense of observing the open hostility in which men like Mr Mike Pompeo is saying everyday about China, and her growing influence in Africa, particularly in Djibouti. As well as the not so subtle take away from all of these which is the fact that US's Geo-Strategists would love nothing better than to see the sight of someone else other than Mr IOG running the show in Djibouti (in the political sense of that word). If on the other hand they couldn't get the said Mr IOG to change "cause" strategically in mid-stream (as it were) and start "leaning" on the Yanks, as he used to do ever since the War-on-Terror (WoT) got going in the world after 9/11, and therefore give up his current "dalliance" with the Chinese.

Of course, granted, Mr IOG, will not be throwing the Chinese out of the door in favor of the Yanks. Or throwing the Chinese under the bus (as it were) at the behest of the Yanks. Not while he is so economically dependent on them, anyway. But the point is that as he increases his "dependency" on the Chinese on a year-by-year incremental sense of that "patronage" he has under the PRC, the more US's strategists will be sharpening their knifes out for him and doing it so with the intention of doing him in to a serious and grievous bodily harm sort of thing, at least in the political sense of that word (as it were). 

6 - Where I also disagree (or at least half agree and half disagree with you) is the notion of Somaliland and her strategical prospect. And in here what I mean is that now that we in Somaliland are "clear winner" against the fight in which Mr Farmaajo started on us back in 2017 which was a fight to "isolate" us diplomatically and economically, and given that he failed on every attempt he made on that score, it ought to mean that now is our turn to take a clear political fight against him and make use of the "advantageous" position we have now in-order to press onward onto our clear path that is before us. Which means that time has come for us to start "boosting" and "helping", financially and politically, his domestic opposition within Somalia. Particularly with the view of playing a "decisive role" in the upcoming presidential (s)election in Somalia in 2021 And I think Somaliland should do that discreetly and surreptitiously, indeed.

And the reason I say that is because of this: 

Since 2017 we were in a pitch diplomatic and political battle with Villa Somalia, and after three (3) years of a hands to hands diplomatic warfare we have come to assess the terrain. And in that terrain what we found out is that Mr Farmaajo was never in any way successful in his attempt in undermining Somaliland, in-terms of economically, diplomatically and politically. And to boot, the rest of the world did not side with him against us. Also remember he was trying to use the "borrowed muscles" of the international community (IC) to actually wage his war against us.

And so far the IC refused to "lend" him those muscles which is why he was told to go talk to UAE when he complained about them at the UNSC in-terns of the DP World investment in Berbera. Which is why he was resoundingly rebuffed by the same IC when he wanted to bring Somaliland Developmental Fund (SDF) under his command in Villa Somalia. And that is the reason, the sole reason in fact, that he is now after the fact, and after the diplomatic battle he wage against us has failed and failed so comprehensively for him, he is "suing for peace". And he is trying to achieve that alleged peace by using through the good offices of Mr Abby Ahmed of Ethiopia.

In other words, with Mr Farmaajo and what he is been doing when it comes to his alleged engagement with Somaliland, the best "fitting analogy" that I can give you in here is like this one:

It's like seeing a man (let say a neighbor of yours) who had asked you to step outside from your own house in one day from the blue. And he seemed to have done that so that you and him can slugged it out outside of your houses and therefore settle some "alleged score" between the two of you in which he thinks he needs you to account to him for it. And after three (3) hours of a closely fought fist-fights, and he in turn became the worse of it along the way with bleeding nose to boot, he seemed to have decided to run the guy who is a neighbor to both of you (i.e., Ethiopia) so that way that guy can make a peace between the two of you.

This is in essence what Mr Farmaajo's silly game of wishing to visit Hargeisa is actually all about, namely, a man (i.e., Mr Farmaajo) who took a calculated fight to another man (i.e., Somaliland), and when he lost and lost in so glaring and so comprehensive of a way, he started to look around just to see as to who will help him "sue for peace". Since he has nothing to show for it from his losing fight other than a bleeding nose on his part.

This is why it's incumbent on Somaliland not to allow him even that sort of "dignified exit" from the foolish fight in which he started on us. And therefore we should say say, in essence, that if he, Mr Farmaajo, wishes to "terminate" his fight in which he stupidly had started it in the first place, then he can easily retreat into his own house, wipe his nose from the blood and forget about this "bad experience" in which he was foolish enough to have started it in the first place. But, all the same, we in Somaliland, are not going to dignify this foolish man with any sense of taking his hands in friendship. Given his "offer of friendship" is an offer that was borne out of "defeated circumstances" on his part. And therefore it has no larger moral judgment of its own standing.

After all, it's one thing to go out of your way and start a foolish fistfight with someone else, and after you had gotten beaten badly to then turn around and say lets be friends. Which in my view a rather contemptible argument and a contemptible conduct. And it's entirely another thing altogether to see a man who says that man and I (meaning Somaliland and Somalia) have been a real and "bitter enemies" for so long that now is the time to be friend again and bury the hatchet (as it were) .

Hence, Mr Farmaajo's offer of friendship to Somaliland is a "desperate offer" borne out of a defeat with no manly morals behinds it other than a coward's way of reasoning away from any defeat in which he has gotten out of it from his troubles, which is the what Mr Farmaajo is all about, really.

Finally, that is how I see things on the round. Sorry about the length of it. It could not have been helped. Besides, once my verbal juices gets going or gets to be opened up because the subject matter under the discussion is heavy or weighty one, then I seldom find it easier to restrain myself from expressing a lengthy and deep analysis towards the said argument...😁

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