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Somali Foreign Minister says no negotiations with Kenya over maritime dispute

Somali Foreign Minister says no negotiations with Kenya over maritime dispute

Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Isse Awad, has said that there is no ongoing negotiation with Kenya over the maritime boundary dispute.

His comments contradict comments made by his Kenyan counterpart, Monica Juma, in an interview with London-based New Africa Magazine.

When asked what her position was on the ongoing case lodged by Somalia to the International Court of Justice, Amb. Juma said that Kenya was exploring all avenues and that “a conversation is ongoing”, insinuating that she is in direct negotiation with Somalia on the matter. She added that they hoped to reach an agreeable settlement. Juma also said that “ it is better to resolve any dispute between us ourselves, without involving a third party,” adding that mechanisms were in place within IGAD to resolve any dispute.

Awad on Sunday retorted that there had been no formal contact between Kenya and Somalia on the matter, reiterating that Somalia will be taking its case to The Hague.

“The maritime case between us (Somalia) and Kenya will be settled by the international court in The Hague. I assure you that there is no other communication on the matter with respect to our neighbour, Kenya.

Last February, Kenya lost its bid to stop a case filed by Somalia over a maritime dispute from going to a full hearing at the International Court of Justice. At stake is the potentially lucrative narrow triangular stretch of 100,000 square kilometres of offshore territory believed to contain large oil and gas deposits. The court has asked Somalia to submit a reply and Kenya to submit a rejoinder fixing June 18, 2018, and December 18, 2018, as the deadline for the filing the written pleadings.

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