UPDATE 12. October 2021: International court backs Somalia in sea dispute with Kenya + Somalia comes out on top in Kenya sea border judgment

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) chief judge Joan Donoghue. Photo: ICJ. Source: Twitter
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) chief judge Joan Donoghue. Photo: ICJ. Source: Twitter

Warning: Some Fake-News Media like AlJazeera come out with a flawed report that Somalia had just claimed the extension of the inland borderline, which creates a false impression. In reality Somalia follows the basic rule that the boundary between two states is drawn 90 degrees from the straight tangential coastline, which as such is also enshrined since long in the United Nations Common Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) that was signed and ratified by both states. UNCLOS is also the international standard. High time that both countries come finally together in an amicable manner. see below ⇊

UPDATE 18. March 2021: Final submissions of Somalia to be made on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 3 p.m.

UPDATE 17. March 2021: Fake reporting tries to instigate hate between Kenya and Somalia + Kenya Threatens to Lodge Protest at UN over ICJ Maritime Case with Somalia

UPDATE 16. Mach 2021: Kenya: Tullow Woes Scuttle Kenya's Oil Dream

UPDATE 15. March 2021: Kenya announces withdrawal from Kenya-Somali case cites Covid-19 among other reasons + Kenya-Somali dispute: Somalia set to be 1st to submit oral submission at the ICJ at 5PM today + KENYA WON’T GO TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AS MARITIME CASE WITH SOMALIA IS HELD

UPDATE 14. March 2021: Kenya withdraws from ICJ case over Somalia sea border + Shock as Kenya withdraws from Somalia border dispute

UPDATE 09. March 2021: SOMALI LEGAL TEAM ARRIVES AT HAGUE FOR ICJ CASE VS KENYA

The light blue area is the zone which Kenya wants to grab from Somalia - 42,000 square kilometers of Indian Ocean territory. While Kenya's propoal "to UNCLOS" is based on an outdated colonial idea, the Somali claim is based on the UNCLOS regulations, which also Kenya had signed, as well as the Somali Maritime Law and practice since the 1960 independence. 

N.B.: The MoU between Kenya and Somalia cited below was drawn illegally and was signed by unauthorized officials, which is why the UN has withdrawn the fraudulent document from its depository.

Fact is that Somalia has since 1973 (Somali Law on the Sea) territorial waters of 200 nautical miles (like Peru) and since 2014 a continental shelf zone of 350 nautical miles, determined by the International Seabed Authority. In addition Somalia was one of the first signatories to UNCLOS long before Kenya - and had ratified this United Nations Common Law of the Seas - which granted Somalia an overlapping 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles, whose boundary to its neighbours is likewise unmistakeably delineated by UNCLOS.

Therefore the boundary between Kenya and Somalia has to follow the 90 degree line from the coastal tangent at the border. But since 1989 numerous, unsuccessful attempts (incl. by the USA, the EU and Norway, not at least Kenya) have been made to curb Somalia's maritime estate with numerous deceiving and defective actions and false conference and media reports.

The selling of oil-exploration blocks to numerous bidders inside the illegally claimed waters by mainly Kenyan middle-men has let already to numerous Mafia-style wrangles and fraudulent share-sales for these areas.

 

Kenya to defend itself before ICJ on maritime boundary dispute with Somalia

By EMMANUEL WANJALA - TheStar -
 
Attorney General Githu Muigai is leading the Kenyan delegation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to present Kenya’s submissions to the Court on the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean.

The suit against Kenya was filed by the Federal Republic of Somalia on August 28, 2014, requesting the Court to determine the precise geographical boundary dividing all the maritime area between Kenya and Somalia in the Indian Ocean.

Kenya has however held that it has exercised uncontested jurisdiction over the disputed maritime areas since it first proclaimed its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in 1979.

Kenya further considers that the maritime boundary should follow the ‘parallel of latitude’ which has been used as the boundary between itself and Somalia since 1924.

Kenya has also challenged the jurisdiction of the ICJ to hear the matter and the admissibility of the suit by Somalia.

According to the AG’s office, an MOU between Kenya and Somalia signed on April 7, 2009 in Nairobi, the two parties agreed to delimit the maritime boundary by negotiation, and not through Court processes.

The MOU held that an agreement would be finalized only after the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf had established the outer limits of that maritime boundary.

Kenya argues that the Court’s jurisdiction specifically excludes disputes where the parties have agreed to another method of settlement as is with the current case.

The preliminary objection forms the core of the oral proceedings to be held between Monday 19 and Friday 23 September 2016.

Somalia is represented in the suit by Paul Reichler of Foley Hoag LLP, New York and Prof. Allain Pellet, a French International Lawyer.

Kenya’s legal team comprise of Prof. Payam Akhavan (American), Prof Vaughan Lowe QC (British) and Prof Alan Boyle (British.

The others are Prof Mathias Forteau (French), Karim A. A. Khan (British) and Amy Sanders (British).

Kenya remains committed to friendly neighbourly relations and the establishment of peace and security in Somalia, and to the delimitation of the maritime boundary at the appropriate time in accordance with the agreed procedure, said a statement from the AG’s office on Saturday.
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READ ALSO:

Kenya-Somalia dispute over maritime territory

SOMALIA's MARITIME CASE AGAINST KENYA WILL GO AHEAD

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UPDATES:

PROLOGUE: A Warning: Some Fake-News Media like AlJazeera come out with a flawed report that Somalia had just claimed the extension of the inland borderline, which creates a false impression. In reality Somalia follows the basic rule that a maritime boundary between two states is drawn 90 degrees from the straight tangential coastline, which as such is also enshrined since long in the United Nations Common Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) that was signed and ratified by both states. UNCLOS is also the international standard. What all international media reports omit, is the fact that this ruling on the delineation of the maritime boundary between Kenya and Somalia not only affects the 200nm Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - as a matter of fact Somalia has already since 1973 a zone of  200nm teritorial waters like other states (i.a. Peru, which has enshrined that in the constitution) - but it also has implications for the continental shelf zone of 350nm, to which Somalia had secured its rights in the last moment before it would have been grabbed by the International Seabed Authority. Kenya, however, already announced today that it will neither recognize nor accept this final court ruling of the highest international court in the matter. Kenya's stand could now lead to serious conflict. It is therefore high time for both countries to come together in an amicable manner in order to sort out local problems existing due to the maritime boundary - most importantly also the problems for the distinct Bajuni ethnicity, traditional fishermen whose homeland is the coastal stretch on both sides of the Kenya/Somalia boundary. That international boundary has its own sad history and is still cause for conflict and the artificial division of people. Kenya's colonial southern boundary with Tanzania is splitting the homeland of the Maasai Indigenous Nation in two parts, and the northern boundary is splitting the Somali and the Bajuni populations. Kenya has thereby two kind of Berlin Walls and should not add a third perpetual conflict area to the colonial burden, which needs to be solved in peace. Somalia, btw, has three similar colonial 'Berlin-Walls' -the one already mentioned between today's Somalia and Kenya and in addition one with Ethiopia, still cutting off the Ogaden (the so-called Somali-Zone) illegally from Somalia, and then the one with Djibouti - purely imposed by colonial France, but still maintained by its neo-colonial successors. With its divisions nowadays also established internally, Somalia is the number one example of how even today the 'DIVIDE ET IMPERA' (Divide and Rule) Game of the global players works - unfortunately always against the interests of the real people of the land.

Somalia comes out on top in Kenya sea border judgment

Rival claims in the maritime border dispute (AFP/Laurence SAUBADU) [ N.B.: Not shown here is the maritime boundary with Tanzania, which likewise follows UNCLOS - see map at top of page.]

By Jan HENNOP - 12. October 2021

The UN's top court awarded Somalia control of most of a potentially oil and gas-rich chunk of the Indian Ocean on Tuesday after a bitter legal battle with neighbouring Kenya over their sea border.

The International Court of Justice ruled there was "no agreed maritime boundary" and drew a new border close to the one claimed by Somalia, although Kenya kept a part of the 100,000 square-kilometre (38,000-square-mile) area, chief judge Joan Donoghue said.

Kenya, which had claimed the entire area off the East African coast, said last week that it would refuse to recognise the jurisdiction of the "biased" Hague-based court.

The court's decision, which is final, could have far-reaching consequences for the future of relations between two key countries in one of the world's most troubled regions.

Somalia dragged Kenya to the ICJ in 2014 over the disputed patch of sea.

At the heart of the dispute is the direction that the joint maritime boundary should take from the point where the land frontiers meet on the coast.

- Binding judgment -

Somalia insisted the boundary should follow the orientation of its land border and thus head out in a 200 nautical mile line towards the southeast.

But Kenya said its boundary runs in a straight line due east -- a delineation that would have given it a big triangular slice of the sea.

The court in the end drew a line passing closer to the boundary claimed by Somalia.

Nairobi says it has exercised sovereignty over the area since 1979, when it proclaimed the limits of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) -- a maritime territory where a state has the right to exploit resources.

The contested 100,000-square-kilometre (38,000-square-mile) area is believed to contain rich gas and oil deposits, and also has important fishing rights.

Nairobi has already granted exploration permits to Italian energy giant ENI but Somalia is contesting the move.

Rulings by the ICJ, which was set up after World War II to resolve disputes between UN member states, are binding and cannot be appealed.

The court has no overt means of enforcing judgments but can refer violations to the United Nations.

In a similar maritime border dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua, the case went back to court in September after Nicaragua accused Colombia of flouting a 2012 judgment by the court in its favour.

- 'Inherent bias' -

Kenya pulled out of hearings in the Somalia case in March, after unsuccessfully arguing that the court did not have competence over the case.

Just over two weeks ago, Nairobi notified the UN secretary-general that it was withdrawing its 1965 declaration accepting the ICJ's compulsory jurisdiction.

The Kenyan foreign ministry accused the court of "obvious and inherent bias".

"As a sovereign nation, Kenya shall no longer be subjected to an international court or tribunal without its express consent," the Kenyan foreign ministry said.

Somalia and Kenya had agreed in 2009 to settle the squabble through bilateral negotiations but negotiations broke down in 2014.

Somalia then took the matter to the ICJ later the same year, saying diplomatic attempts to resolve the row had led nowhere.

Monday's verdict may further sour diplomatic relations between the two countries after Kenya in 2019 recalled its ambassador in Mogadishu after accusing Somalia of selling off oil and gas blocks in the contested area.

It tartly reminded Somalia of Kenya's sacrifices in the battle against Al-Shabaab jihadists.

Kenya is a major contributor of troops to AMISOM, an African Union military operation fighting Al-Qaeda-linked fighters waging a violent insurgency across Somalia.

burs-dk/ri

READ ALSO:

Kenya-Somalia dispute over maritime territory
Inside the Kenya-Somalia dispute over maritime territory The maritime territorial dispute is threatening relations between the two countries. Somalia's claim is based on the international standard ...
Created on 22 February 2019
 
SOMALIA's MARITIME CASE AGAINST KENYA WILL GO AHEAD
ICJ Decision: The International Court of Justice will begin its deliberations concerning the delimitation of the maritimeboundary between Somalia and Kenya Somali maritime boundary attacked by Kenya -vf- ...
Created on 07 January 2019

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International court backs Somalia in sea dispute with Kenya

The International Court of Justice has sided with Somalia in its dispute with neighboring Kenya over a maritime boundary in a case affecting territory potentially rich in oil and gas

By Associated Press - 12. October 2021

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The International Court of Justice has sided with Somalia in its dispute with neighboring Kenya over a maritime boundary in a case affecting a territory potentially rich in oil and gas.

The ruling on Tuesday by the United Nations’ highest court is legally binding, though the court has no enforcement powers. The court rejected Kenya’s claim of the maritime boundary it sought, saying Kenya had not consistently maintained it. The court instead leaned closer to Somalia’s claim of a straight line into the Indian Ocean from their border.

But the court rejected Somalia’s pursuit of reparations after the country alleged that some of Kenya’s maritime activities had violated its sovereignty.

Kenya last week said it would not recognize the court's judgment, alleging that the judicial process had “obvious and inherent bias.” Its statement acknowledged that the judgment would have “profound security, political, social and economic ramifications in the region and beyond,” while urging Kenyans to remain calm.

Somalia filed the ICJ case over the countries’ maritime boundary in 2014, contributing to their strained relations.

The court based at The Hague noted that it “cannot ignore the context of the civil war” that destabilized Somalia for years and limited its government functions. It also found “no compelling evidence that Somalia has acquiesced” to Kenya’s claim of a maritime boundary along a parallel line of latitude.

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For continuous updates on the case go to:

Somalia ICJ Updates

@SomaliaATICJ

Official Channel of the Federal Republic of Somalia in the ongoing Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya) proceedings.

and the official notes of the ICJ at

Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya)

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Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v. Kenya)

Final submissions of Somalia to be made on Thursday 18 March 2021 at 3 p.m.

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Kenya Threatens to Lodge Protest at UN over ICJ Maritime Case with Somalia

By SG - 

NAIROBI – Kenya has said it is planning to lodge a protest at the United Nations against the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to open maritime boundary case with Somalia, days after it boycotted attending hearing proceedings.

Kenya

The government of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta insists that the move was biased and signaled its plans to lodge a protest against the ICJ at the United Nations Security Council over maritime border row with Somalia.

Kenya protested the presence of Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, a Somali national, who is one of the main judges for the case.

Somalia said it was “deeply concerned” about Kenya’s withdrawal from the maritime dispute case, saying the move was inconsistent with its previous commitments.

Hearings into the Indian Ocean border row between the two neighboring countries have entered the third day with the Somali legal team presenting evidences at the Hague court amid the absence of Kenya.

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Fake reporting tries to instigate hate

The following article is a good example how fake news is trying to seed hatred between Kenyan and Somali communities. At no point of the maritime bounary dispute could "Kenya loose Lamu" island, which is far south of the boundary. Such fake news is just instigating fear and hate. The traditional fishermen, mostly from the Bajuni ethnic group living on both sides of the colonial times divide always managed to co-exist and cooperate peacefully. 

 

Kenya likely to lose Lamu county to Somalia in the ongoing dispute

Kenya likely to lose Lamu county to Somalia in the ongoing dispute
Egypt's president once tried to bring the two leaders of Kenya and Somalia closer (file picture)

 

Kenya is likely to lose Lamu island if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules in favor of Somalia in the ongoing maritime border dispute.

The loss of Lamu island, should it happen, will be a huge loss to Kenya, given that it is a source of revenue for the country, especially through tourism.

Kenya, on March 11, sent a letter to the International Court announcing its decision to pull out of the case.

“Kenya wishes to inform the court, through the Registrar, that it shall not be participating in the hearing in the case herein, should the same proceed from March 15, 2021, as presently scheduled,” the letter read in parts.

Kenya, through Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, argued that its new legal team was still familiarizing itself with the case, following the Covid-19 pandemic that caused many inconveniences.

If Somalia wins the case, residents of Lamu will lose their fishing rights. This means that it will deny them their livelihood, since fishing is their main source of income, which will, in turn, affect the government revenue.

A member of Lamu Beach Management Unit (BMU) Network, Somo bin Somo, raised concerns saying that the disputed boundary touches the preferred fishing ground for the fishermen in the area and also that they should have been involved in the case as it directly affects them.

“Waters around Kiunga area next to the common border with Somalia are our preferred rich fishing grounds. It is this area that is in dispute.”

Documents and maps presented before the ICJ by Kenya show that the equidistant line suggested by Somalia digs into Kenya’s territory.

According to the documents, fishing is the main source of income for most coastal communities, which contributes 80 per cent of their household income.

“If the disputed waters were awarded to Somalia, the restricted access to historic fishing grounds and increased insecurity would be the final nail in the coffin for commercial fishing, with many large boats likely to depart fearing hijackings for ransom as is the current case across the border,” reads the document.

The suggested line by Somalia locks into Kenya’s waters, which includes the continental shelf. This could limit shipping activities in Kenya which could adversely affect the country.

The trade and diplomatic war between Nairobi and Mogadishu began in 2014 when Somalia filed a territorial ownership case at the ICJ accusing Kenya of grabbing some parts of the Indian Ocean.

Kenya responded by dismissing Somalia’s argument saying that if the Hague-based court rules in favor of Somalia, it could lead to social, economical, and political complications.

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PROLOGUE: One of the big drivers behind the attempted sea-grab is BIG OIL. The French company TOTAL some time back went even so far as to install a Somali-French as Minister of Defence in the Somali Government to get their hands on the concessions off the Southern Somali coast. But also Kenya tried hard by illegally selling oil concessions to international bidders. One of them who had been allocated oil exploration blocks inside the Somali waters by Kenya was Tullo Oil, but they have now enough of the games.

Kenya: Tullow Woes Scuttle Kenya's Oil Dream

Oil trucks heading back to Lokichar after they were blocked by residents at Kalemngorok in Turkana County (file photo: Sammy Lutta/Daily Nation).

By Brian Ambani - 16 March 2021

Had everything gone according to plan, Kenya would be reading to begin its commercial export of crude oil on a large scale next year.

This was after success in sale of a consignment in 2019, which was obtained from the pilot phase of the project in the expansive fields in Turkana County.

Instead, Tullow last week announced that it is now shifting attention and over 90 percent of its resources to West Africa, with company chief executive Rahul Dhir saying the firm will be channeling resources to projects it considers to be productive in a bid to cut costs.

"After a year of significant change for Tullow, we are now executing a robust, cash generative business plan, which is focused on our most productive assets," said Mr Dhir.

Tullow also once again watered down the value of its stake in the Kenyan oil project by Sh46.8 billion on low global oil prices, casting doubt over the project's future.

The firm has also reduced capital injections in Kenya, and allocated Sh548 million for the project this year compared to Sh4.4 billion last year and Sh7.6 billion in 2018.

Drill oil

The Africa-focused oil explorer said it is buying time to see if its efforts to drill oil in Kenya would still be worthwhile at low global oil prices as it assesses options on whether it will have to discard the initiative entirely.

Tullow has already disposed of its assets in Uganda to Total for Sh62 billion ($575 million), leaving Kenya as the only country the firm has an interest in outside of West Africa.

Tullow owns a 50 percent stake in two blocks in the oil-rich South Lokichar basin, blocks 10BB and 13T, while French oil firm Total and Canadian-based Africa Oil hold the remaining stake equally.

Tullow and Total were reported to be looking for suitors to buy half of their interests in the project early last year but failed to find a suitor.

Licenses for the joint venture partners were extended by the government until December of this year.

Economist Churchill Ogutu says when the valuation of an asset drops, companies owning it take their time to decide on what to do with it, but that they would be reluctant to dispose of the asset on lower prices and instead wait for the value to rise.

"If they (Tullow) were to sell their stake in the project now, it would mean they would do so at lower prices due to the lower valuation. This means that if they want to bail out and fetch a good price for their assets, they might wait until oil prices recover to do so," Mr Ogutu said last week.

Kenya had identified the South Lokichar basin as the anchor of the onshore oil drilling project, a region Tullow estimates to contain 560 million barrels in oil reserves with a capacity to produce up to 100,000 barrels per day.

The government planned to use the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) to collect technical data that would be used to formulate a Field Development Plan (FDP) and also debut Kenya's oil to the international market.

Tullow planned to get funding to build a crude oil processing facility in the area to process the find, build a Sh120 billion pipeline from Lokichar to Lamu and also acquire land and water access rights before they commit to the project.

Tullow, which is facing liquidity issues even as it records year-on-year losses and mounting debt, termed the pilot scheme a "success" at its end last year despite continually missing targets to make a final investment decision on the project which would secure its future.

Damaged roads

The company has placed blame over tarrying in committing to the project on government's delay in gazetting land for the project, slow progress in giving it access to water from Turkwell Dam and river and delays by the National Environment Management Agency (Nema) to approve the project's Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report.

"Tullow and its joint venture partners expect to complete a revised assessment of the project by the second quarter of 2021. In parallel, the joint venture partners are also working closely with the government of Kenya on securing approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and finalising the commercial framework for the project," Tullow said in its results statement on Wednesday.

Tullow stopped trucking oil from Turkana to Mombasa in November 2019 citing damage of roads in the area by rain. The process has not resumed since.

But the government is still optimistic on the project and plans to sell 1.2 million barrels of oil and drill 75 oil wells in Lokichar by 2023.

Treasury has allocated Sh270 million for oil exploration and distribution this year, while Sh253 million was given for the same last year.

Meanwhile, Sh200 million was used in 2019-2020 for preparatory works on the proposed Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline, while Sh400 million was also allocated for the project this year.

Tullow sought compensation of Sh204 billion from the Ministry of Petroleum last year for exploration costs incurred on the project.

Kenya has gazetted 63 oil blocks with almost half already floated to foreign multinationals while 35 remain up for grabs while the licensees have already dug up 94 oil wells.

Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Munyes and his Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau could not be reached for comment to discuss the merits of the project.

Read the original article on Nation.

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Kenya announces withdrawal from Kenya-Somali case cites Covid-19 among other reasons

•Mar 15, 2021

The United Nations’s highest court, International Court of Justice (ICJ) is due to begin hearings on a maritime boundary dispute between Somalia and Kenya, after years of delays caused by Kenya in a case that has strained the neighbors’ diplomatic relations.

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Kenya boycotts ICJ hearing on Somalia sea boundary row

The dispute is about some 100,000sq km of seafloor, believed to be rich in oil and gas.

Map shows the disputed Kenya-Somalia maritime bounder [Al Jazeera]

By AJ - 15. March 2021

Kenya has refused to participate in hearings at the World Court about a maritime boundary dispute with Somalia over contested parts of the Indian Ocean, in a dispute that has strained the neighbours’ diplomatic relations.

The case was filed in 2014 by Somalia at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)  – the United Nation’s highest court for disputes between states – and a decision could determine rights to exploit oil and gas in the deep waters off the East African coastline.

 

Hearings, when both sides were due to present arguments, were scheduled for this week, but Kenya was not present in the first day on Monday in court or via video link.

“Kenya informed the court by letter, dated March 11 received March 12, that they would not participate,” presiding Judge Joan Donoghue said.

But the court in The Hague would go ahead with hearing Somalia’s case, and would use written evidence provided by Kenya instead, Donoghue said.

On Sunday, Kenyan newspapers reported that the government in Nairobi had decided not to take part, citing “perceived bias and unwillingness” of the ICJ “to accommodate requests for the delaying the hearings” as a result of the pandemic.

The Somali side on Monday criticised Kenya’s move.

“We are deeply concerned that Kenya has decided not to appear at these hearings,” said Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid, opening Somalia’s case. He said it was “inconsistent with the rule of law” and Kenya’s commitment to the court.

Kenya “has no grounds to complain about its treatment by the court” after the ICJ granted three previous requests for delays that held up the case by 18 months, he said.

In its letter, Kenya also reportedly argued that holding the ICJ hearings virtually did not allow it to present its case in the most effective way.

The ICJ on Monday, however, dismissed Kenya’s request for a “30-minute opportunity to orally address the court before the commencement of the actual hearings”.

Oil exploration prospects

The case is supposed to adjudicate a maritime boundary dispute about more than 100,000sq km (nearly 40,000sq miles) of seafloor claimed by both countries.

The spat began after Somalia accused Kenya of illegally awarding exploration rights in the waters to multinationals Total and Eni.

The extent of the hydrocarbon reserves in the disputed waters is unknown, but Kenya awarded the licences at a time when the East African coast was emerging as one of the world’s hottest oil exploration prospects.

Somalia, which lies northeast of Kenya, wants to extend its maritime frontier with Kenya along the line of the land border, in a southeasterly direction. In contrast, Kenya claims the border should take a roughly 45-degree turn at the shoreline and run in a latitudinal line, giving it more territory.

“Roughly, what Somalia is saying is that the law provides for an equidistant line from the two shores (equal distance from both shores) for the territorial sea and that should be projected further for the other zones, so it should follow the course of the land boundary,” Antonios Tzanakopoulos, associate professor of public international law at the University of Oxford, told Al Jazeera.

“Whereas Kenya is basically saying, ‘Look, that might have been the initial position but in our case, we believe that it runs parallel to the latitude (45-degree angle) and that has been our position since 1979 and it has been respected by Somalia since 1979 until 2014,” he said, referring to the year Somalia asked the ICJ to rule on the case after out-of-court negotiations between the two countries aimed at settling the dispute broke down.

“To put it simply,” Tzanakopoulos said, “Kenya’s argument roughly could be, ‘If you haven’t disputed something for 35 years, then it becomes some sort of agreement between the two.

“So the court will have to decide, ‘Do we delimit the boundary on the basis of the Somali claim that we should just apply the relevant provisions of the law … or do we accept the Kenyan position that some sort of tacit agreement has been [reached] between the two states because of the long non-protest over the boundary running another course?'”

Kenyan fishermen on Lamu archipelago protested against the feareJUNId loss of their livelihoods as the ICJ pored over the sea border dispute [Tony Karumba/AFP]

N.B.: That protest was staged by people who pretend to not know that the fishermen on both sides of the land border - mostly BAJUNI PEOPLE - have been living and working together since hundreds of years despite the colonial boundary. All fishermen, however, are against the oil operations since they rightly fear environmental damage and against illegal commercial fishing by foreign or false-flag operations.

Relations between the two neighbours have taken a turn for the worse during the last 10 years.

Kenya recalled its ambassador to Somalia in February 2019 after accusing the government in Mogadishu of selling oil and gas blocks at a London auction despite the pending delineation case before the ICJ.

Kenya also contested the ICJ’s authority to rule in the case, but the court dismissed its objections in 2017.

Al Jazeera’s Catherine Wambua-Soi, reporting from Nairobi, said the lawyers representing Somalia at the ICJ argued that the country “never agreed to any boundary line, demarcation by Kenya as the country is suggesting.

“They said there’s no treaty, no regional agreement and that Kenya has been taking advantage of the political situation in Somalia to use that disputed territory, which Somali lawyers say Kenya is already exploring … [in violation of] international law,” Wambua-Soi said.

Rulings by the ICJ are final. However, the court has no direct means of enforcement and some states have ignored its decisions in the past.

“Non-appearance before the International Court of Justice does happen, on occasion, but it does not affect the power of the court to hear the case, nor does it affect the power of the court to issue a binding judgement,” Tzanakopoulos explained.

SOURCE : AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

KEEP READING

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Kenya-Somali dispute: Somalia set to be 1st to submit oral submission at the ICJ at 5PM today

•Mar 15, 2021

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KENYA WON’T GO TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AS MARITIME CASE WITH SOMALIA IS HELD

•Mar 15, 2021

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Kenya withdraws from ICJ case over Somalia sea border:

By PAN - 14. March 2021

Kenya will not take part in Monday’s hearings over its maritime border dispute with Somalia at the International Court of Justice.

Le Kenya se retire de l’affaire de la CIJ sur la frontière maritime de la Somalie: le Kenya ne participera pas aux audiences de lundi sur son différend frontalier maritime avec la Somalie devant la Cour internationale de justice.

Kenya's claim just wants to follow the latitude and an outdated colonial idea that was shortlived, while Somalia insists to follow the rules set out by UNCLOS and also enshrined in the Somali Maritime Law since independence.

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Shock as Kenya withdraws from Somalia border dispute

•Mar 14, 2021 [N.B.: This report makes a false statement concerning the present day maritime boundary, which is in reality the one that Somalia wants to maintain, while Kenya had made several and some very illegal moves to expand its water territory.]

CBA TV English

Kenya will no longer participate in the international maritime boundary dispute case with Somalia in protest at perceived bias over Somali ICJ judge and unwillingness of the court to accommodate requests for delaying the pandemic/

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SOMALI LEGAL TEAM ARRIVES AT HAGUE FOR ICJ CASE VS KENYA

•Mar 9, 2021

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