Maritime row: Somalia rejects AU commission invitation, sticks to ICJ hearing

Somalia has rejected the Commission of the African Union invitation to a briefing on the maritime row with Kenya.

Instead, it has expressed confidence in the International Court of Justice and its ability to deliver a fair ruling.

The ICJ is set to hear the dispute between September 9-13 at the Peace Palace, in The Hague, Netherlands. 

The ICJ said the first round of hearings will take place on September 9, when Somalia will make its submissions, while Kenya will respond on September 11.

In a statement dated August 21, the Somalia ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would be “inappropriate” to accept the invitation while the matter is pending before ICJ.

The ministry said it roped in ICJ to determine the dispute because it couldn’t agree with Kenya.

It said Kenya “misinterpreted” the move as being unfriendly.

Somalia faulted Kenyan MPs for saying Kenya was ready to deploy KDF to protect the territory.

Somalia will go first in the second round of oral arguments on Thursday, September 12, while Kenya will give its closing submissions on Friday, September 13.

Kenya has been pushing to have the matter solved through political negotiations rather than through the court.

Kenya wants the maritime border to run along parallel latitude southeast of Kiunga, while Somalia, on the other hand, is arguing for a diagonal line down the Kenyan Coast. This threatens to make Kenya a landlocked country, and risks losing 42 per cent of its territory.

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