Somaliland President Bihi Rubbishes Somalia Claim Over Berbera Port
Somaliland’s President Musa Bihi Abdi has broken his silence over the diplomatic row that followed the signing of a $1Bn deal to lease Berbera Port to a UAE company and Ethiopia. Bihi warned Somalia that any interference on Somaliland matters would be taken as declaration of war. Speaking at international women’s day ceremony in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa, Mr. Bihi dismissed Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire's recent remarks that the deal is illegal. “What you have shown and announced today saying that you control Somaliland. That you make decisions in Berbera and there can be no agreement without you" Bihi said. "The son has really lied” Bihi added referring to Kheire. Bihi referred to Somalia's history to back his argument over the strategic port city of Berbera. “Aden Adde said, if you the people of northern regions have come to us, the city belongs to us, the Prime Minister belongs to us, the two commanders of the army belongs to us, the Speaker of the parliament belongs to us and we will share the two Ministers with you” Bihi said referring to Somalia's first President Aden Abdulle Adde. In an emotional speech Bihi related alleged persecution of the people of Somaliland by Somalia during the internal conflict that lasted from 1988 to 1991. The women present at the occasion broke down as they were overcome by emotion. Somalia on Thursday sent a protest letter to Arab League and African Union seeking intervention. DP World issued a statement saying it recognises Somaliland as an independent country. The deal has seen Ethiopia get a 19% stake in the port. Somaliland broke away from Somalia at the advent of the civil war in 1991 but has remained unrecognised by the international community.