MARITIME DELIMITATION IN THE INDIAN OCEAN (SOMALIA v. KENYA)
The Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai is leading a high powered delegation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, in The Netherlands to present Kenya’s submissions to the Court on the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia vs. Kenya) Case.
The case arises from a claim by Somalia filed before the ICJ on 28th August 2014, requesting the Court to determine on the basis of international law the boundary dividing all the maritime areas between the two countries including the continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles. Further, Somalia has requested the Court to determine the precise geographical co-ordinates of the boundary in the Indian Ocean.
The Republic of Kenya, on the other hand 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. Kenya considers that the maritime boundary should follow the ‘parallel of latitude’, which has been used as the boundary between herself and Somalia at least since 1924. The Republic of Kenya has further objected to the jurisdiction of the ICJ to hear the matter as well as the admissibility of the suit by Somalia.
In the Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and Somalia signed in Nairobi on April 7th, 2009, the Parties 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. Kenya contends that the Court’s jurisdiction specifically excludes disputes where the Parties have agreed to another method of dispute settlement. The preliminary objection forms the core of the oral proceedings to be heard the entire week starting Monday 19th until Friday 23rd September 2016.
Renowned International Law experts, Prof. Payam Akhavan (Canadian), Prof. Vaughan Lowe QC (British), Prof. Alan Boyle (British), Prof. Mathias Forteau (French), Ms. Amy Sanders (British) and Mr. Karim A. A. Khan QC (British) will be representing the Republic of Kenya. Mr. Paul Reichler (American) and Prof. Allain Pellet (French) are the Lead Counsel representing the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Kenya remains committed to friendly neighbourly relations and the establishment of peace and security in Somalia, and to the delimitation of the maritime boundary at the appropriate time in accordance with the agreed procedure.
Statement to Press.