Qatar to build new port in Somalia's Hobyo

Qatar to build new port in Somalia's Hobyo
Qatar will build a new port in Somalia’s central town of Hobyo, which lies close to a key international sea crossing point.
2 min read
20 August, 2019
A Qatari state delegation visited Somalia on Monday [Twitter]

Qatar will build a new seaport in the Somalian city of Hobyo, ministers from the two nations announced during a Qatari state visit to the African nation.

Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) will "enter an investment partmentship" with Somalia to build the port, Reuters reported.

Hobyo lies close to a key international sea crossing point, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and is a vital Somali port. 

The Hobyo port will "will contribute to opening new horizons of cooperation between the two countries," Qatar's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Qatari state visit was led by Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who arrived in Somalia on Monday. 

Qatar has strengthened ties with Somalia in recent years. The small Gulf country donated 68 armoured vehicles to the country this year and transported the mayor of Mogadishu to Doha for emergency medical treatment. 

In August, the mayor died of wounds he sustained in a militant bombing attack on his office a month earlier.

Gulf countries have been competing for strategic positions in the Horn of Africa and access to key shipping routes. 

Somalia has not taken sides in the ongoing dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours, which began when Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with Doha and imposed a land, air and sea blockade.

The Saudi-led bloc have demanded Doha accepts a list of 13 conditions, including shutting Al Jazeera and The New Arab, to open a dialogue to resolve the conflict.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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