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Maritime expert laughs off Kenya’s claim of maritime border


KEnya-Somalia-Border_2A former admiral and marine expert Khalif Idris Osman talked ahis voice against Kenyan Government’s attempts to grab large swaths of Somali territorial waters.

Speaking to Goobjoog News the admiral said “in my expertise this territory should not be a disputed area at the first place, the Kenyan claim is big-joke and therefore Somali Government should handle this case seriously and should not be banana republic”

Somali government officially filed 150-page case against Kenya on maritime border dispute at the International Court of Justice on the 14th of this month contrary to Kenya which prefers outside ICJ settlement.

There is nationwide pressure on Somali Government to handle this case firmly and not to give up any inch that belongs to Somalia.

Somali government has officially filed 150-page court filing on Somalia’s maritime border dispute with Kenya at the International Court of Justice at The Hague earlier this month.

Out of court settlement

Kenya on its part has always talked of out of court settlement with the latest brief to the Kenyan parliament by the Foreign Affairs minister Amina Mohamed that Somalia had agreed to withdraw its case and opted for out of court settlement, an assertion vehemently refuted by Somalia.

Somalia in its application is requesting the ICJ 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 Indian Ocean, including the continental shelf beyond 200 [nautical miles].” It also asks the ICJ “to determine the precise geographical coordinates of the single maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean.”

Oil companies

This portion of the sea is reportedly rich in gas and petroleum deposits and Kenya has already contracted foreign companies to explore the resource. However all but one company have pulled out of the contracts for fear of the judicial ramifications. Attorney General Ahmed Dahir says his office had warned oil companies in question to withdraw from the contracts as they were not legitimate but the Italian oil explorer ENI is still conducting exploration in the contested areas.

According to the ICJ rules, Kenya has up to eight months to file its response meaning that the case may start as from March 2016.

ICJ is a United Nations court tasked with arbitrating disputes between states and has on a number of occasions ruled on boundary issues between many countries including the long time contested Bakassi Peninsula between Nigeria and Cameroon in 1999. The court ruled in favour of Cameroon and the territory was transferred to Cameroon in August 14, 2008.