Somalia: 20 Kenyans Move to Court to Block the Country From Attending the Maritime Case At the ICJ

16 September 2019

The High Court of Kenya has set October 7 as mention date for a petition seeking to block the State from taking part in an arbitration on dispute with Somalia in the latest attempt by Kenyans to frustrate the case.

The petition filed by 20 Kenyans led by activist Kiriro Wa Ngugi is meant to block the government from the November 4 arbitration at the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Kenya has been consistent in opposing the ICJ case from 2014 and has previously asked for it to be delayed by a year. The two states were to face off again from September 9 but Attorney- General Kihara Kariuki sought to have the matter postponed "because the rules of ICJ afford the parties opportunities to be represented."

In August, the National Assembly passed a resolution allowing President Uhuru Kenyatta to use the military t

That this Honourable Court be pleased to issue a conservatory order of injunction restraining the respondents from further participation in the proceedings in the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya) case at the International Court of Justice, pending the hearing and determination of this Application/Petition," the petitioners prayers before the High Court read.

They also want the State retrained from acting on the decisions of the UN court pending the determination of the hearing.

"That pending hearing and determination of this petition this Honourable Court be pleased to issue a conservatory order restraining the respondents from taking any measures or decisions that will alter or in any way interfere with the territory or territorial waters comprising Kenya as at 27th August, 2010," they say in the court papers.

The ICJ said last week the first round of oral argument will be made by Somalia followed by Kenya on November 4 and 5 respectively. The second round of oral arguments will be repeated in this order on 7 and 8 November respectively.

o reinforce Kenya's claim on the disputed maritime space.

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