Somali renounces Kenya’s MOU on maritime boundary

By Rose Welimo/KBC Reporter

The Somali Government has now disowned a memorandum of understanding signed with Kenya on a maritime boundary dispute.

Somalia maintains that the International Criminal Court of Justice should hear and determine the case it has filed at The Hague in spite of Kenya’s objection that the matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the court.

The Somalia versus Kenya maritime delimitation in the Indian Ocean case entered its second day with the federal republic of Somalia requesting the International Court of Justice to dismiss the Kenyan Government preliminary objections saying they lack merit.

Through its legal counsel, the Somalia Government disowned the 2009 memorandum of understanding between the two countries dismissing it as an attempt by Kenya to pro-long a process that is already deadlocked.

They argue that Kenya is relying on an MOU that has nothing to do with boundary delimitation and that deliberately denies Somalia an equal platform on the dispute.

They now want the Court to proceed with the matter saying Kenya’s questioning of its jurisdiction is as a result of the weakness of its primary argument.

Kenya’s Attorney General Githu Muigai has described the accusations by Somalia as disrespectful saying the Country has sacrificed so much for Somalia and that the boundary dispute can only be solved once its neighbor achieves stability.

On Monday, Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai has told the International Criminal Court of Justice that Somalia jumped the gun when it filed a case before the ICC as it had signed an agreement in April 2009 to resolve a maritime boundary dispute between Kenya and Somalia through diplomatic channels.

In the initial submissions presented to the court, the AG termed the accusations against Kenya by Somalia as unfair and absurd.

He said since  the  collapse  of  the  Somali  State  in  1991,  Kenya  has  provided humanitarian  relief to almost  half  a  million Somali refugees and played a decisive role in defeating Al Shabaab forces and recapturing Mogadishu.

He further said that hundreds of Kenyan soldiers have lost their lives defending the  Somali  Government.

He also cited the Al Shabaab terrorist attacks in retaliation for Kenya’s support for the Somali Government where 150 students were killed and 700 held hostage at Garissa University College in April 2015.

He dismissed the assertion by Somalia that Kenya has been scheming to take advantage of its insecurity, to steal its sea and oil terming the claims hurtful.

Muigai told the court that Kenya faces a very real security threat by reason of Al Shabaab weapons smuggling and infiltration at sea adding that Somalia has no maritime enforcement capacity, and will have none in the foreseeable future to enforce security at the sea.

Kenya is represented at the court by International Law Experts including, Professor Payam Akhavan, Mr. Karim Khan, QC, Professor Mathias Forteau and Professor Vaughan Lowe, QC.



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