Ruling on Kenya-Somalia boundary dispute due Thursday

February 2, 2017 9:21 am
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Attorney-General Githu Muigai is already in The Hague leading a legal team defending the Kenyan case in which the government wants the Somalia application thrown out in favour of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two neighboring countries to settle the dispute/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on Thursday rule on a case filed by Kenya in its maritime border dispute with Somalia.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai is already in The Hague leading a legal team defending the Kenyan case in which the government wants Somalia’s application thrown out in favour of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two neighboring countries to settle the dispute.

If the ruling favours Kenya, the two countries will get back to discussions as contained in the MoU signed in 2009, but if it loses, Kenya is expected to file a petition and have the matter handled by the international court.

Kenya is questioning the jurisdiction of the ICJ to hear the case in the face of negotiations, which had been going on between the two countries based on an agreement deposited at the United Nations in 2011.

However, in the event that the court rules in favour of Somalia and upholds its jurisdiction, it means that Kenya will have to file a response to the petition filed by Somalia in 2014, and the matter will proceed before the court.

Kenya’s legal defence team includes Muigai, Ambassador Makena Muchiri, Kenya’s High Commissioner to The Netherlands, experts in Maritime and International Law, Justa Nkoroi, who is also the Head of Kenya International Boundaries Office (KIBO), as well as Njeri Wachira, who heads the International Law Division at the Attorney General’s Office.

The international counsel assisting the Kenyan legal team includes Prof. Payam Akhavan (American), Prof Vaughan Lowe QC (British), Prof Alan Boyle (British), Prof Mathias Forteau (French), Karim A. A. Khan (British) and Amy Sanders (British).

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