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 affecting 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.”