By JUDIE KABERIA, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 19 –
A Kenyan team comprising of top-notch lawyers led by Attorney General Githu Muigai on Monday put up a spirited case to convince the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to dismiss a case in which Somalia wants the court to determine the geographical boundary dividing the maritime area between Kenya and Somalia in the Indian Ocean.
Appearing for Kenya in the capacity of an agent, Muigai said the long-running boundary dispute required a more engaging approach that would peacefully resolve the tussle in consideration that the two countries are direct neighbours.
“This maritime boundary delimitation is not as straightforward as Somali suggests. A full and final settlement will have to contain several important elements that call for a negotiated agreement that call for a recognition for the longstanding modus vivendi between parties that call for time until Somalia achieves greater stability,” he explained.
It was his submission that Kenya was Somalia’s close ally with deep relations that ranged from negotiating Somalia’s peace to hosting its refugees and among others to the headache of fighting the Al Shabaab terror group that had seen Kenya become a target of series of terror attacks.
According to Muigai, Somalia’s allegations that Kenya was interested in ‘stealing’ its maritime space was misplaced and ignorance of Kenya’s ‘huge and extra ordinary sacrifices’ made to secure and help Somalia stabilise.
“Hundreds of Kenyan soldiers have lost their lives defending the Somali Government. They and their families have paid the ultimate price so that our neighbours can live in peace,” he said.
“It is against this background that Somalia’s accusation of bad faith against Kenya should be assessed. Somalia would have the court to believe that all these years Kenya has been scheming to take advantage of its neighbour to steal its sea and oil,” Muigai who appeared in the capacity of Kenya’s agent wondered.
“Such accusations are absurd, and they are hurtful, they are unfair and disrespectful to a government and people that have sacrificed so much in support of Somalia,” he added.