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Kenya Loses Big Chunk Of Disputed Area As International Court of Justice Rules On Somalia Maritime Border Row

Kenya-somalia Maritime border
Disputed Kenya-somalia Maritime border. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

There is no evidence to show Somalia submitted to Kenya’s use of latitude and longitude to determine maritime borders, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled.

As a result, the ICJ ruled that there is no “de facto” maritime border between Kenya and Somalia, therefore setting a new border that cuts through the disputed area.

However, most of the disputed maritime territory has been given to Somalia, setting the ground for a renewed dispute between the two nations.

Kenya had argued that the border should run parallel to the equator just like in other nations bordering the Indian Ocean, while Somalia wanted the border to run diagonally against the Equator.

Read: PS Kamau Says Gov’t Won’t Recognise ICJ Ruling on Kenya-Somalia Maritime Case

ICJ held that using Kenya’s method would not result in an equitable determination of the maritime borders with Somalia.

As a consequence, ICJ proposed a new border running through the disputed area, with a bigger chunk of the area given to Somalia.

Kenya-somalia border
A sketch of the new Kenya-Somalia maritime border as determined by ICJ. [Photo/ Courtesy]
Kenya and Somalia have both been claiming 62,000 sq miles (160,000 sq km) in the Indian Ocean thought to be rich in oil and gas.

This comes days after Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said that Kenya won’t recognise the ruling by the ICJ.

The PS argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to determine the matter.

According to Kamau, the court has shown open bias in the matter hence unsuitable to resolve the conflict.

The PS was flanked by his Defence counterpart Ibrahim Mohamed, Vice Chief of Defence Forces Ogola and Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto.

In March this year, Kenya pulled out the case after ICJ declined its request to postpone the case for a fourth time.

Kenya had in January petitioned the Court to postpone the public hearings as it protested a missing map crucial to its case.

In 2009, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding, certified by the United Nations, to negotiate their boundaries.

In 2014, Somalia decided to settle the matter at the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

 

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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