14 Oct. 2021 07:33
There has been a dispute between Kenya and Somalia over the course of the sea border since at least 2009. There are oil and gas deposits in the affected area. Now the International Court of Justice in The Hague has handed down a judgment on the matter after a seven-year trial.
On October 12, the International Court of Justice in The Hague announced its decision on Somalia’s August 2014 complaint regarding the sea border with Kenya. The two African states are in conflict over this area. On the one hand, there are rich fish stocks there, and on the other, an oil and gas field that both countries would like to exploit. Kenya has already signed production contracts in this approximately 100,000 square kilometer area.
In its decision, the International Court of Justice largely followed Somalia’s demand to draw the sea border as an extension of the land border. This decision is also unfavorable for Kenya because Kenya’s other maritime border with Tanzania does not extend the land border, but runs at the same height as the latitude. As a result of the decision of the International Court of Justice, Kenya was awarded a sea area that is very small in relation to the coastline.
Even before the decision was made, the Kenyan government withdrew its participation in the process and has since declared that it does not feel bound by it. She accused the court of exceeding its powers.
Somali Information Minister Osman Dubbe welcomed the court’s decision. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the decision would “put a strain on relations between the two countries.”
Somalia’s lawsuit came after negotiations on the course of the border that had begun in 2009 failed.
According to a BBC correspondent, Kenya has already expanded a naval base near the Somali border into a full military base and it is possible that there will be military clashes between the two countries. This has already been the case several times in the past few decades.
Probably the next thing to do is the UN Security Council, chaired by Kenya this month.
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