Djibouti Gov’t Rejects London Court Doraleh Decision

Container terminalIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

The Government of the Republic of Djibouti has refused the decision of the London Court which declared Djibouti’s seizure of Doraleh Container Terminal from DP World as illegal.

In February this year, Djibouti terminated the concession of the container terminal which had been given in 2006 to Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT), a company controlled by DP World.

The country’s government claimed that “the concession agreement contained severe irregularities and threatened the national interest and sovereignty of Djibouti”.

As explained by Djibouti, the termination of the concession contract conforms to the international public law and was carried out in a transparent way.

However, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) recently ruled that DCT’s concession agreement “remains valid and binding notwithstanding Law 202 and the 2018 Decrees.” The abovementioned law and decrees were devices enacted by Djibouti to evade contractual obligations.

Following the ruling, the press office of the country’s presidency said in a statement on August 3 that “Djibouti does not accept this sentence which has ruled that the law of a sovereign state cannot be enforced by that state.”

Commenting on the statement issued by Djibouti, DP World said the government “does not recognise the international rule of law.” As Djibouti does not have sovereignty over a contract governed by English law, such contract remains in full force and effect, the port operator stressed.

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