AG Githu Muigai is at the Hague to battle with Somalia on disputed coastal waters

Kenya will on Thursday know its fate in securing its maritime borders when the International Court of Justice will rule on an application filed by Attorney General Githu Muigai seeking to dismiss the case lodged by Somalia in 2014.

  • Attorney General Githu Muigai is at The Hague to receive a ruling from the International Court of Justice in case filed by Somalia over disputed maritime border
  • Somalia had sued Kenya over the contested 100000 square kilometres maritime border that holds six oil blocks
  • Nairobi is pushing for an out of court process while Mogadishu insists that the ICJ takes over the matter arguing talks o end the stalemate had flopped severally.

Kenya had sought to have the case filed by Mogadishu thrown out and a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2009 between the two neighbouring countries be used to settle the maritime dispute.

Professor Muigai will be leading a high delegation to the court today to receive the ruling.

In the event that the court rules in favour of Somalia, Kenya will have to file a response to the petition filed by Somalia in 2014, and the matter will proceed before the court.

"The Attorney General will be leading a high powered delegation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague to receive the ruling to receive the Ruling on the Preliminary Objection filed by Kenya in the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia vs. Kenya) Case, "

The State Law Office has said.

READ ALSO:Kenya, Somalia in Hague battle for Indian Ocean

Kenya is defending up to 100,000 square kilometres of its territorial waters that holds six oil blocks which are contested by the Somalia government.

Nairobi had on October 7 last year raised preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the Hague-based court and admissibility of the application filed by Somalia seeking to have the Indian Ocean boundaries between them redrawn.

The six oil blocks include L-21, L-23, L-24, L-25, L-4 and L-5, which Somalia argues Kenya has awarded contracts to foreign prospecting firms even though they “lie entirely or predominantly on the Somali side”.

Somalia authorities wants its boundary adjusted to give Mogadishu a huge chunk of the sea, with significant oil deposits and the Court to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the boundary in the Indian Ocean.

On the other hand, Kenya contends that it has exercised uncontested jurisdiction over the disputed maritime areas since it first proclaimed its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under the Presidential Proclamation of 1979.

In the 2009 MOU, the two countries had agreed to delimit the maritime boundary by negotiation, and not by recourse to the Court, and to conclude a maritime boundary agreement only after the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) has made recommendations to the Parties on their respective outer limits of the continental shelf.

Article 15 of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea that stipulates, where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of two states is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest point on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two states is to be measured.

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