Somalia committed to comply with any United Nations International Court of Justice ruling on its maritime border dispute with Kenya, and to accept the boundary that is delimited by the tribunal.
“As a matter of international law, the court’s judgment will be binding on Kenya,” Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo said in a speech to the UN General Assembly. “We trust that, when that judgment is issued and the boundary is established, a lasting settlement of this longstanding dispute will finally be achieved.”
The neighbors claim ownership of a 150,000 square kilometer (58,000 square mile) area off their Indian Ocean coastline, that’s said to be rich in oil, gas and tuna fish. In 2014, Somalia went to court to challenge a 2009 agreement that set its maritime border along latitudinal lines extending 450 nautical miles into the sea.
On Sept. 3, the UN Security Council concluded that the African Union isn’t empowered to intervene in the lawsuit before the court, Farmajo said in his speech. The AU said this month its Peace and Security Council planned to appoint a mediator to help find “an amicable and sustainable settlement, in consultation and collaboration with the relevant regional mechanisms.”
Following talks convened by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt, who is also the current chairman of the African Union, Farmajo and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to restore “our good brotherly relationship, strengthening the diplomatic and political cooperation,” the Somalian leader said.
“We further agreed to leave the maritime dispute between the two countries to be resolved by the International Court of Justice,” Farmajo said. “Somalia is committed to maintain a good relationship with Kenya and to the rest of the countries in the region.”
The ICJ is expected to start hearing the case in November.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at [email protected], Jacqueline Mackenzie, Paul Richardson