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ICJ Opens Maritime Dispute Hearings Without Kenya

Hague (SD) – The maritime dispute between Somalia and Kenya has begun in The Hague, the Netherlands, while Kenya was absent from the hearing.

The ICJ said it regretted Kenya’s absence, but would continue to hear the case, however, the court added it had sufficient documents to reflect Kenya’s position.

Mahdi Mohamed Guled, Somalia’s deputy prime minister who is leading the Somali delegation addressed the court, saying Somalia has confidence in the court’s decision, noting that they want to establish a formal border between the two countries.

Somali and foreign lawyers presented legal arguments for Somalia, presenting Kenyan statements, documents and maps that the lawyers cited as evidence that Somalia owns the maritime territory that Kenya claims.

The Somali government’s delegation that attended the first hearing yesterday said they were happy with their presentation to day.

The Somali delegation also said that the first and second rounds of the ongoing oral debate are expected to conclude the maritime debate, after which the court will render a verdict.

Kenya is arguing for a 45 decree redirection of the two countries’ maritime borders while Somalia is arguing for following the land border direction in to the sea.

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