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October 21 2021 9:53 PM ˚

Kenya ‘rejects in totality and does not recognize’ Somalia border ruling

4. Kenya Somalia
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on September 29, 2021. Kenyatta on Tuesday said his government “rejects” the findings of the International Court of Justice. (Photo: AFP)
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NAIROBI— Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed a ruling by the UN’s top court on Tuesday to hand Somalia control of most of a potentially oil and gas-rich chunk of the Indian Ocean following a bitter row between the two countries.اضافة اعلان

Kenyatta said his government “rejects in totality and does not recognize the findings in the decision” by the International Court of Justice based in The Hague, which gave Nairobi only a small slice of the disputed tract of sea off the East African coast.

With Kenya refusing to recognize the “biased” court’s authority, all eyes will be on what Nairobi does next in one of the world’s most troubled regions.

In a televised speech following the ruling, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is widely known as Farmajo, urged Nairobi to “see the decision of the court as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship of the two countries”.

But Kenyatta said in a statement that the ruling amounted to “a zero-sum game, which will strain the relations between the two countries”.

“It will also reverse the social, political and economic gains; and potentially aggravate the peace and security situation in the fragile Horn of Africa Region,” he added, reiterating Nairobi’s support for a negotiated settlement instead.

Somalia dragged Kenya to the court in 2014 after years of efforts to resolve a dispute over the 100,000sq.km. tract failed.

Judges unanimously ruled there was “no agreed maritime boundary” in force and drew a new border close to the one claimed by Somalia.

The ICJ’s judgment is final and cannot be appealed, but the court, set up after World War II to rule in disputes between UN states, has no means of enforcing its rulings.

States can however go to the UN Security Council if another country fails to obey a ruling.

Nairobi says it has exercised sovereignty over the area since 1979.

The contested area is believed to contain rich gas and oil deposits, and also has important fishing rights. Nairobi has already granted exploration permits to Italian energy giant ENI but Somalia is contesting the move.

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