Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Port and Logistics Executive Murdered in Puntland Region of Somalia by al-Shabaab

Manager Working for DP World Subsidiary Killed by Militant
Shipping News Feature
SOMALIA – A senior representative of Dubai-based port and logistics operator DP World, has been killed in the port town of Bosaso in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Monday 4 February. Paul Anthony Formosa, a Maltese national working in the country as the Construction Project Manager for P&O Ports, a subsidiary of DP World, was reportedly shot and killed by an al-Shabaab militant disguised as a fisherman, who was subsequently shot and killed by one of Formosa's bodyguards.

Three other employees, reportedly also Mr Formosa's bodyguards, were also injured during the incident, which took place at a fish market as the P&O man made his way to the port. According to reports, Al-Shabaab said it carried out the attack, accusing DP World of looting Somalia's resources and accusing Formosa of being in Somalia illegally. The BBC quoted al-Shabaab’s spokesman as saying:

"We are behind the operation... we had warned him but he turned [a] deaf ear. He was illegally in Somalia.”

Puntland, an arid region of north-east Somalia, declared itself an autonomous state in 1998, in part to avoid the clan warfare in southern Somalia.

P&O Ports won a 30-year concession worth $336 million, for the management and development of a multi-purpose port project at Bosaso in April 2017. Work on the project involves building a 450 metre quay and a 5 hectare back up area, dredging to a depth of 12 metres with reclamation work using dredge spoil. There will also be major investment in an IT and Terminal Operating System (TOS), mobile harbour cranes and container handling equipment.

The deal apparently led to protests from residents opposing the acquisition partly over fears that the deal would increase taxes at the port.

Photo: Paul Anthony Formosa