The Oklahoman

Internatio­nal court backs Somalia in sea dispute with Kenya


The Internatio­nal Court of Justice has sided with Somalia in its dispute with neighborin­g Kenya over a maritime boundary in a case affecting a territory potentiall­y rich in oil and gas.

The ruling on Tuesday by the United Nations’ highest court is legally binding, though the court has no enforcemen­t powers. The court rejected Kenya’s claim of the maritime boundary it sought, saying Kenya had not consistent­ly maintained it. Instead, it leaned closer to Somalia’s claim of a straight line into the Indian Ocean from their border.

But the court rejected Somalia’s pursuit of reparation­s after the country alleged that some of Kenya’s maritime activities had violated its sovereignt­y.

The director of the Somali Maritime Administra­tion, Hassan Mohamed Afrah, told The Associated Press he cautiously welcomed the ruling, and he hoped it would peacefully settle the dispute once and for all.

Kenya last week said it would not recognize the court’s judgment, however, alleging that the judicial process had “obvious and inherent bias.”

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