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Kenya Rejects International Court of Justice’s Ruling on Disputed Maritime Border

President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued a statement on the judgment made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia. In the four-page statement issued Tuesday evening, President Kenyatta criticized the decision, firmly stating that Kenya rejects it in totality and would not recognise the court’s findings.

The Head of State said that the decision by the World Court will strain relations between Kenya and Somalia. Kenyatta accused the court of failing to permit the use, let alone the exhaustion, of regional dispute resolution mechanisms, “despite the existence of a robust African Union legal framework on border issues and dispute settlement.”

The top U.N. top court on Tuesday ruled largely in favour of Somalia in its dispute with Kenya, setting a sea boundary in part of the Indian Ocean believed to be rich in oil and gas. A new boundary drawn by the International Court of Justice mostly followed a line proposed by Somalia, attributing to it several offshore oil blocks claimed by Kenya.

The amended maritime border along the restricted economic zones for the continental shelves of Somalia and Kenya “achieves an equitable solution”, Judge Joan Donoghue said. Kenya, which did secure some territory beyond the Somalia proposal, had failed to prove there was an established sea boundary between the states, which would have given it a greater portion of the disputed territory, the court found.

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