Kenya to ignore court judgment on maritime border dispute with Somalia


Foreign Affairs PS Amb. Macharia Kamau. PHOTO|COURTESY
Foreign Affairs PS Amb. Macharia Kamau. PHOTO|COURTESY

The Kenyan government says it will not accept the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the maritime border dispute with Somalia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ruling set for Tuesday next week will be “a culmination of a flawed judicial process that Kenya has had reservations with.”

“The delivery of the Judgment will be the culmination of a flawed judicial process that Kenya has had reservations with, and withdrawn from, on account not just of its obvious and inherent bias but also of its unsuitability to resolve the dispute at hand,” said Foreign Affairs PS Amb. Macharia Kamau in a press briefing.

Kenya insists that the matter should only be resolved through amicable negotiations.

“Kenya has been and continues to thrive as a beacon of peace and stability in the region and beyond… It is in this context that Kenya had maintained – even before Somalia filed the current case – that any dispute between the two countries regarding their maritime boundary should be resolved through amicable negotiations. In fact, in 2009, the two countries entered into an agreement on how and when to amicably address matters concerning the maritime boundary,” the Ministry added.

Kenya maintains that the International Court of Justice assumed jurisdiction over the matter by ignoring Kenya’s 1965 reservation that excluded disputes such as the present one from the Court’s jurisdiction.

“Ironically, while the Court declared our 2009 agreement with Somalia on how and when to address matters concerning the maritime boundary valid, it proceeded to ignore the same,” it adds.

On September 24 this year, Kenya joined other United Nations member countries in withdrawing its recognition of the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction.

“As a sovereign nation, Kenya shall no longer be subjected to an international court or tribunal without its express consent,” said the Ministry.

The maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia revolves around a 160,000 sq kilometre triangle in the Indian Ocean.

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