MPs Now Want Govt To Use Military Force To Resolve Maritime Row With Somalia

President Uhuru Kenyatta when he paid KDF soldiers a visit [Courtesy]

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and his Minority counterpart John Mbadi have tabled a motion before the House listing five possible mechanisms that the government can use to resolve the Kenya-Somalia maritime row.

Among the proposed interventions include deploying the Kenya Defence Forces in the disputed area.

“…this House resolves that the Government of the Republic of Kenya explores other lawful and constitutional mechanisms for protecting the territory of the Republic, including deploying the Kenya Defence Forces to the subject boundary to undertake the responsibility of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic as contemplated under Article 241(3) of the Constitution,” reads part of the motion signed by the two House leaders.

While giving the motion notice, Duale urged the MPs to approve it when it comes up for debate as that the KDF can perform its responsibility provided under the Constitution.

However, before deploying the military, Duale and Mbadi want the boundary dispute to be resolved through diplomacy and dispute resolution mechanisms available under various international treaties including the AU, IGAD and EAC.

“As a first and most preferred option, engage the Federal Government of Somalia to resolve the boundary dispute for the benefit of both countries and the region, through diplomacy and dispute resolution mechanisms available under African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and East African Community (EAC),” reads the motion.

Read: 15 Kenyan Fishermen Stuck In Somali Vessel, Forced To Work At Gunpoint Without Pay

Another proposed intervention is Kenya directly engaging the Federal Republic of Somalia to see if the issue at hand can be ironed out.

“Express to the United Nations, the Republic of Kenya’s protest against the assertion of jurisdiction by the International Court of Justice over the maritime boundary conflict between the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Republic of Kenya, noting Kenya’s express reservation to jurisdiction made in 1965 and the provisions of Kenya’s Maritime Zones Act to delimit the maritime boundary through agreement envisaged by UNCLOS.”

Somalia government has already filed a case at the ICJ. The hearing is set for September 9.

The country seeks to redraw the maritime boundary from the current eastwards flow from the land border south of Kiunga, to a diagonal flow.

Read Also: Kenya-Somalia Maritime Border Wars Escalate As Arab Parliament Issues Warning To Kenya

However, Kenya has maintained that he marine boundary is determined by a parallel line of latitude to the east, as per the standards set by the colonial powers, which were adopted in the marine borders between Kenya and Tanzania, Tanzania and Mozambique and Mozambique and South Africa.

Last month, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said the case is an unfortunate dispute fuelled by “commercial interests” which could break down security cooperation.

Speaking in London, the CS said foreign entities interested in oil and natural gas are taking advantage of Somalia’s weaknesses, a circumstance she warned could force the region off focus in the fight against terror and sea piracy.

She alluded that the dispute was triggered by Somalia’s move to market oil blocks in the contested territory.

Here is the motion:

The motion tabled before the National Assembly

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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