People Daily

Kenya-Somalia ocean case begins at Hague

Attorney General Githu Muigai yesterday kicked off a legal battle at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where the government of Somalia has sued Kenya for carving away part of its oil-rich territory in the Indian Ocean.

In preliminary objections at The Hague-based court, Muigai questioned the court’s competence to determine all the maritime boundaries between the two countries. The AG said that, while Kenya holds the court in high regard, it is not competent to handle the case.

The AG said that Kenya objects to the jurisdiction of the ICJ to hear the matter as well as the admissibility of the suit because, according to a 2009 MoU between Kenya and Somalia, the parties agreed to delimit the maritime boundary by negotiation.

Muigai also enumerated the role Kenya has played in stabilising Somalia from the vagaries of war by providing humanitarian support to nearly a half-a-million refugees and the war on terror since the collapse of the State in 1991.

“Kenya played a decisive role in defeating al-Shabaab and capturing Mogadishu. It has made significant contributions to both the civilian and military components of the UN mandated African Union Mission in Somalia,” the AG said.

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