Somalia, Kenya Await Ruling on Oil-Rich Indian Ocean Border

East African neighbours Kenya and Somalia are disputing 30,000 square nautical miles of territory in the Indian Ocean, which has prospects of vast oil and gas deposits. The area is also a source of livelihood for Kenyan fishermen.

Kenya has alleged that some world powers with interests in vast minerals within the contested area have been meddling with the case to ensure Somalia, which attempted to sell some oil blocks at an international auction in London, UK, takes over the area.

The two countries disagree on the location of the boundary in the area where their maritime entitlements overlap, according to court records.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will announce its decision on the matter on October 12, 2021 - ending a prolonged case between the two neighbours that Somalia, the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, filed in 2014.

The development is expected to have far-reaching consequences on the use of Indian Ocean waters, claimed by the two nations.


A map showing the location of Kenya (green) and Somalia (orange).

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