NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – Kenya has dismissed an impending judgment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the maritime dispute filed at the court by Somalia as “the culmination of a flawed process.”
“The delivery of the Judgment will be the culmination of a flawed judicial process that Kenya has had reservations with, and withdrawn from, on account not just of its obvious and inherent bias but also of its unsuitability to resolve the dispute at hand,” Kenya’s Foreign Office said on Friday.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb Macharia Kamau said Kenya will not hesitate to defend its territorial integrity as it did during the Shifta War indicating that the judgement expected on October 12 could have serious ramifications on the region’s stability.
“The Government of Kenya recognizes and has consistently indicated as much, that the Judgement of the Court – whichever way – will have profound security, political, social and economic ramifications in the region and beyond. This will, undoubtedly, be unfortunate in a region that is already under the torment of terrorism, instability and conflict,” he said.
He added that Kenya has been and continues to thrive as a beacon of peace and stability in the region and beyond since its independence in 1963.
The PS said that Kenya has managed to achieve this through its foreign policy.
“This has been enabled in large part by Kenya’s foreign policy that is founded on the precept of peaceful co-existence and good neighborliness. Indeed, in times of tumult and strife, it is Kenya that our neighbors have turned to for leadership, support, peace and safety,” the Foreign PS said.
Amb Kamau noted that Kenya had maintained, even before Somalia filed the case, that any dispute between the two countries regarding their maritime boundary should be resolved through amicable negotiations.
He further noted that the two countries had entered into an agreement in 2009, on how and when to amicably address matters concerning the maritime boundary.
Kamau said the filing of a case against Kenya at the ICJ, and “the Court’s assumption of jurisdiction where it had none, are demonstrative of the new tactics of using pseudo-judicial processes to undermine territorial integrity.”
He added that the country is committed towards protecting its territory adding Kenya won’t relent in the fight.
“The first threat to Kenya’s territorial integrity was overt and direct, during the Shifta War of 1967 – 1969. Then, we ably and successfully demonstrated our resolution and steadfastness in the commitment to safeguard and protect our territorial integrity. We remain resolute and steadfast in the same commitment,” Kamau said.
The Foreign Office assured Kenyans that the government was fully seized of the matter and called on citizens to maintain calm.
The maritime boundary dispute has led to strained relationship between Nairobi and Mohamed the Farmajo-led government with Kenya and Somalia suspending diplomatic engagements at least twice, in both instances recalling its ambassadors.