ICJ to deliver judgment on Kenya’s preliminary objections in maritime dispute



Mogadishu (XeerNews24)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has announced that it will deliver its judgement on the preliminary objections raised by Kenya in it’s Maritime dispute against Somalia.

The court has set a date for Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 at the Peace Palace in the Hague where Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the court will read the court’s decision.

The bone of contention between the two East African neighbours is a 100,000 square km triangle off their respective coasts. Kenya is arguing that the border should be drawn based on the parallel of latitude, meaning it should run parallel to its Easter border. Somalia is arguing that it should stay consistent with international standards and it should be drawn up based on the equidistant line.

The pillar of Kenya’s preliminary argument is a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Somalia whereby both parties would not challenge each other’s claims pending a Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) process of registering borders. That agreement was later rejected by the Somali parliament and have taken the case to the ICJ for arbitration.

The courts decision has sweeping economic and geopolitical implications as oil and gas deposits in three blocks are within the contested areas is at stake. Kenya has already awarded licenses to Total and Anadarko Petroleum to the consternation  of Somalia.