29 November 2018

Kenya: Somalia Refutes Kenya's Claim That It Is Set to Sign Indian Ocean Security Deal

Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad speaks during an interview with Reuters in Mogadishu, Somalia April 20, 2018 REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Somalia's Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Awad on Thursday evening refuted an earlier statement by Kenya that indicated Somalia will join 5 other countries to sign a deal that intended to booster security on the Indian Ocean.

Minister Ahmed Awad told VOA Somali that "no agreement had been signed, discussed or considered with Kenya on the subject".

Kenya's Defence Minister Raychelle Omamo on Wednesday said at a press conference in Nairobi that France, Madagascar, Seychelles and Djibouti had signed the deal while Somalia and Tanzania have agreed to the deal but are yet to sign the security pact

Minister Omamo, said the agreement signed on Monday would strengthen maritime security in the vast ocean prone to movement of narcotics and contraband goods as well as illegal fishing

Kenya and Somalia are currently engaged in maritime dispute at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

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On June 19 2018 Somalia submitted submitted its response to the Indian Ocean (Somalia vs Kenya) maritime delimitation case at the Hague as directed by the court on February 2.

In its case, Somalia says the maritime boundary between the two states should be at an equidistant line and that Kenya's oil exploration activities in the disputed area are unlawful.

In February last year, Kenya lost the first round of the case to Somalia in its bid to stop the matter from going to full hearing.

Judges at the ICJ dismissed the two main reasons given by Kenya that there exists an alternative method of resolving the matter through an MoU and that the case is invalid because the alternative method had not been exhausted.

Kenya will file its rejoinder on December 18.

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