Somalia-Kenya maritime row deepens: the issue to be sorted out by the ICJ despite Kenya’s claims.

The diplomatic fallout between Somalia and Kenya intensifies. Both countries are not determined to make any concessions until the International Cort of Justice arbitrates on maritime disputes which mar the relations between Somalia and Kenya.

THE BIG PICTURE: Somalia has been recently embroiled in a row over a maritime dispute with Kenya. The dispute between Somalia and Kenya is over oil and gas. The Kenyan Government accused Somalia of auctioning off oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territory. Kenya has called Somalia’s actions as an ‘act of aggression’.

Following this diplomatic fallout, Somalia and Kenya displayed kind of ‘show of force’; Somalia expelling all Kenyans, and Kenya recalling ambassador to Somalia and expelling Somali envoys out of Kenya.

In a Foreign ministry of Somalia’ statement, Somalia has responded to the Feb 21 statement by Kenya FM Monica Juma where it rejects claims of Kenya that Somalia has auctioned off oil and gas in the maritime territory of both countries, which Kenya claims they belong to it.

In a letter dated Feb 25, Somalia rejected Juma’s characterization of the maritime dispute. Somalia told Kenya the case will be decided by the International Court of Justice, ICJ.

Somalia has urged all parties to exercise restraint from actions that may aggravate dispute.

‘Somalia has no plans for concessions’.

Nevertheless, Somalia has indicated that Kenya bases its claims on ‘misunderstandings’. “The government of Somalia observes that Juma’s statement appears to be based on misunderstandings of the facts….”.

Somalia is not now offering, nor does it have plans to offer, any blocks of the disputed maritime area until the Parties maritime boundary is decided by the International Court of Justice(ICJ)“, reads the Somalia Foreign Ministry statement.

Somalia, in its statement, says that it is not undertaking any ‘unilateral activities’ until the International Court of Justice sits on this simmering issue between Somalia and Kenya.

Somali indicates that the dossier is now before the International Court of Justice, thus indicating that this is not the time of ‘addressing these issues…they are to be addressed in due course according to international law’.

Somalia ends the statement by saying that it is ready to abide by the ICJ’s judgment on this issue and that It hopes that Kenya will do the same by abiding by the International Court of Justice’s decision regarding this diplomatic fallout between them on the maritime disputes.



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