DP World has said it will pursue legal action against the Djibouti government after the part nationalisation of a port part-owned by the Dubai-based company.
A Dubai port operator has said it will take legal action against Djibouti after the government nationalised a shipping terminal, part-owned by the UAE company.
DP World threatened to take the Djibouti government to court, after the government took ownership of the Doraleh Container Terminal, which is one-third owned by the Dubai port operator.
The port operator said in a statement it would pursue all “legal means” to defend its claim to the port.
Djibouti’s decision on Sunday to nationalise the terminal comes after it scrapped a 50-year concession contract with DP World.
Last week, a UK court ruled in favour of DP World and ordered Port de Djibouti to freeze its plans to terminate the 50-year deal with the port operator.
The Horn of Africa country then transferred ownership of the Doraleh Container Terminal from Port de Djibouti to the government, in a bid to circumvent the London court’s decision.
DP World slammed the move, accusing the Djibouti government of failing to “recognise the international rule of the law”.
Djibouti fired back accusing the Dubai shipping giant of waging a judicial and media “guerrilla” war against the East African state.
It has also accused DP World of effectively controlling the port, leaving the government sidelined on a key infrastucture project that is vital for the country’s future prosperity.
Djibouti occupies a key location between the Horn of Africa and Arabian Peninsula, and near the Bab al-Mandeb strait, where much of the world’s oil exports pass through.
The Red Sea country has also attracted world powers due to its geostrategic position with Saudi Arabia, China, France and the US all operating, or planning the build, military bases in Djibouti.
Despite revenues pouring in from the foreign military bases it hosts and becoming a regional commercial hub, most Djiboutian citizens still live in poverty.
Yemen and the Horn of Africa has seen major outreach from the UAE, which has established a number of military bases and infrastructure in the region.
Aden, in southern Yemen and the government’s seat of power, and Socotra – a Yemeni island – have both fallen under de-facto control of the UAE.
Somalia, perhaps mindful of the UAE’s growing regional power, with the government reportedly expelling Emirati trainers for a military base in the country.
Agencies contributed to this story.