Court to rule on Kenya, Somali sea dispute


Kenya, Somalia in tot Maritime Delimitation dispute

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) THE International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on October 12 deliver its judgment on the maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia.

The neighbouring East African nations have been at loggerheads since 2014 over the boundary in the Indian Ocean.

Somalia instituted proceedings against Kenya before the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).

Somalia requests the court to determine on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the ocean.

It includes the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.

The applicant further asks the ICJ to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the single maritime boundary.

Somalia believes the boundary line in the territorial sea should be “a median line as specified in Article 15 (of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), since there are no special circumstances that would justify departure from such a line.”

Kenya asserts the maritime boundary should be “a straight line emanating from the parties’ land boundary terminus, and extending due east along the parallel of latitude on which the land boundary terminus sits.”

In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, only members of the ICJ and representatives of the parties in dispute will be present in the Great Hall of Justice when the court delivers its judgment.

Relations between Kenya and Somalia have been tense for some time over economic and maritime boundary issues.

In the latest spat, in 2020, Somalia accused Kenya of interfering in its internal affairs.

This after Kenya endorsed the self-declared Somaliland president, Muse Bihi Abdi.

Diplomatic ties were cut.

– CAJ News



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