April 4 2014
Hargeisa has instructed a British lawyer to negotiate with the French group Bolloré to hammer out the details of the agreement to manage Berbera port.
Meetings began about two weeks ago between representatives of Bolloré Africa Logistics and the British law practice McCue & Partners to work on an agreement for the French group to run Berbera port. In fact, several months ago the Somaliland government instructed the firm’s main partner,Jason Daniel McCue, 44, to look for funding to develop the Berbera corridor towards Ethiopia. This is a vast project including an oil pipeline, estimated to cost a total of around $2.5 billion. This mandate was attributed to the Berbera Development Company (BDC) founded by McCue in London in April 2013 to make the Somaliland port into a logistics hub for the whole region.
McCue and BDC have consequently also become Bolloré’s primary contact points for Somaliland. BDC has three directors in addition to McCue, who is interested in security via his MODA Alliance Group. They are the Britons John Richard Moore, 45, who heads John Moore & Co and Ibrahim Ali Yusuf, 41, plus the Canadian Ahmed Mohamed Abokor, 48. The latter lives in Djibouti, where he is in partnership with the businessman Mohamed Said Guedi in the company Afro Shnagai-Djibouti. He is also one of the directors of Pontus Marine Ltd (ION 1359) – an industrial fishing company in Somaliland founded last year in London – alongside the British lawyer from Somaliland, Mohammed Yusef who is moreover the founder of Invicta Capital. Pontus Marine has one heavyweight as a non-executive director: the Conservative MP Henry Bellingham, a former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in charge of African affairs.
Source: Indian Ocean Newsletter