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Maritime conflict: Somalia wins battle against Kenya

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued on October 12, 2021, a judgment attributing to Somalia most of a portion of the Indian Ocean potentially rich in oil and gas. A part that Mogadishu is discussing with Kenya, to which only a small part of the area has been entrusted to the origin of a dispute between the two East African countries since August 2014 before the jurisdiction of the UN responsible for settling disputes between states.

In its 79-page judgment, consulted by Financial Afrik, the ICJ rejects the line of the border claimed by Kenya from the coast, and draws a new border close to that claimed by Somalia. “The Court therefore considers that the adjusted line it has established as a maritime boundary leads to an equitable solution,” she said.

“While Kenya is not surprised by the decision, it is deeply concerned about the importance of the decision and its implications for the Horn of Africa region, and international law in general. From the outset, Kenya would like to indicate that it rejects entirely and does not recognize the conclusions of the decision, ”said Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya.

For his part, his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, asked his Kenyan neighbor to “respect international law” and “abandon his ambition”.

The conflict concerns a plot of 100,000 square kilometers over which Nairobi has claimed to exercise its sovereignty since 1979. It was brought before the ICJ by Mogadishu after years of unsuccessful negotiations.

Note that Kenya recently awarded the company ENI, operating permits in areas that the court has just legally withdrawn.

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