A diplomatic tiff between Kenya and Somalia that has lasted for decades over a maritime borderline in the Indian Ocean seems to be far from over even after a ruling on the matter was on Tuesday, October 12 made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
This is after President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Farmajo differed on the ruling that hugely favoured Somalia.
In its ruling, the United Nations (UN)’s top court said that Kenya will have to surrender part of the ocean land that is rich in oil and which it has been claiming to its neighbour.
In his statement, President Kenyatta said that Kenya will not recognize the decision made by the court and that he will do all it takes to ensure he protects the country’s borders.
In a four-page statement that was sent to media houses barely five hours after the ruling was made, Kenyatta said that Kenya will not recognize the court’s finding in the matter.
This was not the case with President Mohamed Farmajo who asked welcomed the ruling and asked Kenya to respect it.
Farmajo issues a televised press conference where he said if the ruling is respected then it will see the diplomatic ties between the two countries based in East Africa improve.
“Kenya wishes to state that it rejects in totality and does not recognize the findings in the decision,” Kenyatta said.
“International tribunals have jurisdiction only to the extent of consent by a State,” he further stated.
President Kenyatta also said that the ruling was only adding salt to an existing wound as it would greatly contribute to instability in Kenya.
He said that the ruling was ill-intended and would affect the political and social stability of the two countries.
According to him, the case directly favoured one country against the other and this could easily lead to insecurity issues in the region.
It is worth noting that Kenya plays a big role in AMISOM which has seen security and stability restored in Somalia which was largely affected by Al Shabaab militants.
President Kenyatta said that the country will use other means to ensure that the matter is settled for once and for all.
“I do not intend to abrogate my solemn oath; and, I will do everything possible as President and Commander-in-Chief, to preserve the territory of this our great Republic and bequeath the same, intact and unencumbered, to the next President when my term expires in less than a year’s time,” he said.
Somalia moved to court in 2014 arguing that Kenya had invented its territory and requested that ICJ gives an ultimatum on the case.
However, the matter has thrice been postponed on requests that were made by Kenya.