Kenya Urged to Stay Away From Somalia Border Case

The area in the Kenya-Somalia maritime border dispute forms a triangle east of the Kenya coast.
3 October 2019

A group of Kenyans wants the government not to send representatives to the hearing of the maritime case between Mogadishu and Nairobi due at the Hague next month.

The group wants the High Court to stop Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and the Kenya International Boundaries Office from participating in the case saying it offends the Constitution.

RESOLVE DISPUTE AMICABLY

In a suit filed at the High Court, they argue that the case can lead to the alteration of Kenya's territory without a referendum as required by the Constitution.

Through Kinoti and Kibe Co Advocates, the 20 petitioners want the court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the three public offices from participating in the case and to compel the attorney general to ensure that Kenya is not party to international proceedings whose effect is to bypass constitutional requirements.

"We are concerned that as Kenya's representatives continue to campaign for the international community to prevail upon Somalia to resolve the dispute amicably, no serious efforts have been made to assert that the International Court of Justice is exercising its jurisdiction unlawfully," the petitioners say in an affidavit signed by Mr Kiriro wa Ngugi.

DIPLOMATIC TENSION

Somalia sued Kenya at the ICJ in 2014 over their common maritime boundary.

Kenya controls the territory which Somalia also claims, which has caused diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Somalia President Mohamed Farmaajo last week rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta's request for dialogue.

While addressing the United Nations General Assembly, President Kenyatta said the court action should be the last resort.

However, Mr Farmaajo rejected the request and insisted that the matter should be resolved at the ICJ.

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