Somalia thankless, AG says over maritime boundary row

October 8, 2015 9:14 am
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Once the outer Limits of the Continental Shelf were established, Muigai added, the two countries could then move forward to "amicably" work out the maritime boundary.
Once the outer Limits of the Continental Shelf were established, Muigai added, the two countries could then move forward to “amicably” work out the maritime boundary.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Attorney General Githu Muigai says Somalia’s decision to take Kenya to court over the two countries’ maritime boundary shows that the former is not fully appreciative of the “exceptional sacrifices” the latter has made on its behalf.

Making a preliminary objection to the case Somalia has filed before the International Court of Justice, Muigai argued that it’s inadmissible.

He submitted that the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear Somalia’s case and argued that it’s in violation of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into in 2009.

“The Governments of Kenya and Somalia had agreed, first, to consent to consideration of their respective submissions by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Second, to delimit the maritime boundary only after the commission established the outer limits of the continental shelf,” Muigai submitted to the court on Wednesday.

Once the outer Limits of the Continental Shelf were established, Muigai added, the two countries could then move forward to “amicably” work out the maritime boundary.

“Somalia’s aggressive conduct,” Muigai said of the case Somali brought to the International Court of Justice on August 28, 2014, “has violated all three of these conditions in direct disregard of its fundamental obligation to perform international agreements in good faith.”

A state of affairs he described as regrettable, given Kenya’s efforts at restoring stability to the nation whose development has been stifled by decades of civil strife.

“Kenya’s soldiers have fought Al Shabaab. Kenyan citizens have been victims of terrorist attacks. Kenya has also been hosting over half a million Somali refugees for almost 25 years. The least Kenya can expect from Somalia is that it will honour its bilateral agreements,” Muigai submitted to the Hague-based court.

The MoU which the two countries entered into in 2009 under the auspices of the Norwegian government, Muigai further submitted, therefore made Somalia’s application to the court, “invalid.”

Somalia will have the opportunity to challenge Muigai’s submissions in the coming months before the court takes a decision on the question of jurisdiction and admissibility next year once an oral hearing has been given.

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