Somalia has asked Kenya to respect the “rule of law” following a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday.
ICJ handed Mogadishu a huge chunk of the disputed tract of sea that is believed to be oil and gas rich.
In a televised address, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed aka Farmajo asked Kenya to “see the decision of the court as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship of the two countries”.
“Since the day I was elected, we have faced political, diplomatic, security and economic pressure by the Kenyan leadership,” Farmajo said.
“The verdict was a fair indication of the transparency of the International Court of Justice.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta on the other hand rejected the court’s decision, stating that the state would not recognize the ruling.
“At the outset, Kenya wishes to indicate that it rejects in totality and does not recognize the findings in the decision. The decision embodies a perpetuation of the ICJ’s jurisdictional overreach and raises a fundamental question on the respect of the sovereignty and consent of States to international judicial processes,” said Kenyatta.
In his view, the head of state said, the ruling will strain the relationship between the two States.
“This decision is, in the circumstances, a zero-sum game, which will strain the relations between the two countries. It will also reverse the social, political and economic gains; and potentially aggravate the peace and security situation in the fragile Horn of Africa Region,” he continued.
While accusing the Hague-based court of not exhausting regional dispute resolution mechanisms, Kenyatta said Kenya will seek to resolve the dispute through the institutions of the African Union.
“…I will do everything possible as President and Commander-in-Chief, to preserve the territory of this our great Republic and bequeath the same, intact and unencumbered, to the next President when my term expires in less than a year’s time,” he stated.
Somalia dragged Kenya to court over the 100,000 square-kilometre tract in 2014.