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Matsanga now wants ICJ President out of Kenya-Somalia case

The suit was filed Monday by David Matsanga, the Chairperson of the Pan African Forum, who wants the presiding judge in the case, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (pictured), to recuse himself/FILE – ICJ

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 2 – A case has been filed in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against its President’s conduct in the Kenya-Somalia maritime dispute.

The suit was filed Monday by David Matsanga, the Chairperson of the Pan African Forum, who wants the presiding judge in the case, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, to recuse himself.

In his application, Matsanga wants the judge cited for subjudice for allegedly commenting about the Kenya-Somalia case outside court and conflict of interest because he is a Somali national.

Matsanga is apprehensive of a ‘risk of an unbalanced and a biased outcome’ in the case.

“We have interest in the Kenya/Somali case as regional natives of the East and the Horn of Africa,” he said.

READ: ICJ to start hearing Kenya, Somalia maritime dispute in September

On the judges’ nationality, Matsanga said, “As a Somali national, his heart falls near Somali,” adding that the judge had been addressing matters pending before the court in forums outside the court.

“As a Pana African Forum, we view these statements as roadside shows that makes the President of the ICJ not fit to preside over the matter between Kenya and Somalia,” he said.

The suit was filed Monday by David Matsanga (pictured), the Chairperson of the Pan African Forum, who wants the presiding judge in the case, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, to recuse himself/FILE

He urged Kenya not to take part in the ICJ proceedings, in sentiments shared by petitioners in a case filed in Nairobi, where a lobby group moved to court seeking to compel Kenya to keep off the matter, in favour of an alternative dispute resolution process.

“We call upon the government of Kenya not to take part in the proceedings on September 9, 2019 if the President of ICJ will be on the panel because this will create a miscarriage of justice,” he said.

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