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The Significance Of The Berbera Corridor

ISSUE 200
Front Page
Index

Headlines

Somalilanders And Ethiopians Celebrate ‎Berbera Corridor's Inauguration

SOOYAAL Trains Returnees To Build Their Own Houses‎

The EU Gives Geedi $11.7 With A Further $57.3 ‎Million In The Pipeline

Three Killed As Vehicle Hits Landmine In Somaliland

Thirteen Die Of Measles In Awdal Region

Alleged Thieving Affects Pulse, ‎Oil Seed Export Via Djibouti

Local & Regional Affairs

Somaliland: CIIR Partners Appeal For Women To ‎Be More Involved In Politics‎

The EU Will Shortly Appoint Special ‎Envoy For Somalia in Jowhar

The EU Expressed Concern To Somaliland‎

African Businesses Hit Hard; Tourists Scared Off ‎By Pirates‎

Two More Ethiopian Journalists Detained In ‎Growing Crackdown‎‎‎

Cinema Clashes End In Mogadishu

New Somali Regime Overwhelmed By ‎Violence, Hunger‎

Editorial

International News

The Pirates of Somalia

North South Prize of the Council of ‎Europe for Geldof and Gebre

Leader Of Area Mosque Arrested By U.S. Agents

Somali Refugee Petitions UK Govt

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

How Illegal Fishing Feeds Somali Piracy

Taking A Punt On Puntland

The Isaq Somali Diaspora And‎ Poll-Tax Agitation In Kenya, 1936-41

Special coverage  of UK couple killers murder trail in Somaliland

Awdalnews Editorial: Fairness Knows No Enemies

From African Bush To Scotland Yard - ‎The Murder Trail That Led To Al-Qaida

Four Face Death For Murder Of Two UK Aid ‎Workers

Death For Somaliland Aid Killers

Sentenced To Death

Opinions

Another Diplomatic Gaffe

THE EMPEROR WITHOUT CLOTHES

'My Husband Refused To Operate His 3rd Eye,'‎Said Dahabo

Open Letter To Ahmed Mohamed Hashi Dhimbiil

A Reply To Shoon Omar

KULMIYE Is The Alternative, Dear Dhimbiil


EDITORIAL

Last week's arrival of Ethiopia bound cargo at the Somaliland Red Sea port of Berbera had signaled ‎that the hither-to much talked about Berbera corridor has finally become functional. By inaugurating ‎this trade route linking Addis-Ababa with Berbera, both Somaliland and Ethiopian officials have ‎taken one major step toward the formalization and enhancement of trade relations between the two ‎countries.

Since both sides have shown a genuine interest in achieving a sustainable growth in their bilateral ‎trade in the future, however it is vitally important that authorities in the two respective countries ‎take the necessary measures for harmonization of policies with regard to customs and free ‎movement of goods and services.‎

The removal of trade barriers will create an enabling environment for development oriented cross-‎border trade and business investment. This would greatly encourage the private sector in both ‎countries to dramatically increase their use of the Berbera corridor thereby generating substantial ‎levels of revenues for both the Somaliland and Ethiopian authorities and contributing to the ‎economic integration of the two countries.‎

However, restrictive practices from the old era, such as the Somaliland government's refusal to ‎make the terms of the trade protocols signed with Ethiopia available to the public, are not going to ‎be helpful in stimulating an increased demand for use of the Berbera corridor from potential ‎business community members here and in Ethiopia as well.‎

The Somaliland government has nothing to worry about in regard its trade deals with Ethiopia as far ‎as the people of Somaliland are concerned. The people of Somaliland overwhelmingly support ‎peace and cooperation with Ethiopia. This stance didn't emerge out of nowhere but was nurtured ‎and solidified by the heat of the armed struggle that had been for the liberation of Somaliland from ‎Somalia's dictatorial rule.‎

Being the only country in this region where over one and a half million Somalilanders could take ‎refuge in the face of an imminent genocide in the eighties, Ethiopia definitely enjoys a popular deep ‎sympathy in this country, an immense attitudinal change when viewed against Hargeysa's position ‎in the past as the bastion of Somali irredentism.‎

This is not to say that the emerging era ushered in by the trade ties between Ethiopia and ‎Somaliland will have no enemies. Some governments are bent not to let it work. But most notably in ‎this respect are the fundamentalist terrorists who hate Somaliland simply because of its following of ‎two policies: maintaining peaceful relations with Ethiopia and pursuing democratization at the ‎internal domestic front.‎

Apart from its potentiality for generating jobs, services, investment opportunities and revenues, the ‎Berbera corridor could serve as a regional model for development through expanded private sector ‎activities. The international community, particularly the EU, has a crucial role to play in making this ‎regional trade link successful. There is an urgent need for resurfacing the tarmac road and ‎improving the rest of the accessibility route.‎

This should be coupled with upgrading the infrastructure and technical capacity of Berbera port and ‎airport and the Hargeysa airport as well. The EU has earmarked €59 million to help Somalia's TFG ‎improve security in that country.‎

As a project intended to promote the livelihood security of people through economic self-reliance in ‎both Somaliland and Ethiopia, the Berbera corridor deserves to be given the full and timely support ‎of the international community particularly the EU.‎


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