File photo: Containers at a port in Djibouti. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: DP World on Wednesday called a decision to be taken later this week by the government of Djibouti, which would ask the country’s high court to rule all previous international adjudications null and void, “a complete disregard for and contravention of the global legal system and existing contracts.”

DP World called the move “proof of Djibouti’s complete disregard for recognised legal practice and respect for contracts, which calls into question any investment in the country both now and in the future.”

As stake is the Doraleh Container Terminal, a major port facility in the Port of Doraleh. In 2018, Djibouti attempted to nationalised the port, which is owned 33.34 per cent by DP World Group, and 66.66 per cent by Port de Djibouti S.A., an entity of the Republic of Djibouti.

The London Court for International Arbitration in London and the High Court of England and Wales has ruled in favour of DP World claims that its 2006 Concession Agreement to develop a container terminal at Doraleh is valid in five previous substantial rulings over the last three years.

DP World said on its statement that those rulings have been ignored by Djibouti.

The Tribunal ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $385.7 million plus interest for breach of DCT’s exclusivity by development of container facilities at Doraleh Multipurpose Terminal, with further damages possible if Djibouti develops a planned Doraleh International Container Terminal (DICT) with any other operator without the consent of DP World.

The Tribunal also ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $88 million for historic non-payment of royalties for container traffic not transferred to DCT once it became operational. Djibouti is also ordered to pay DCT’s legal costs.