Thursday, September 25, 2014

Somalia: “Kenyans Are Against International Maritime Laws”
Kenyan Defense Forces bombing southern Somalia in 2012.
Mogadishi (HAN) September 25, 2014
Defense and International Maritime Security news

Somalia’s Attorney General Dr Ahmed Ali Dahir today held a press conference in Mogadishu and clarified why Somalia is taking Kenya to the International Courts of Justice (ICJ) over Kenya’s violations to the integrity and sovereignty of Somali water territory.

According to Geeska Afrika Online reporter in Mogadishu, the Attorney General gave a brief history since 1958 and all laws relating to Somalia territorial waters. The Attorney General said “Somali people are very grateful of Kenya’s support in many areas such as accepting Somalis as refugees, Kenya’s role to bring peace and stability in Somalia, and Kenya’s generosity of hosting Somali conferences in Kenya. However, it is our solemn duty to defend our territorial waters from anyone.“

The Attorney General continued to say “It is unlawful and is beyond anyone’s imagination of the unilateral decision by Kenya to sign an agreement with Oil and Gas exploration companies in our territorial waters. Their decision is unacceptable and it is wrong and therefore, we Somalis will not tolerate such clear violations from Kenya.

“There have been never agreements between Kenya and Somalia with regards to the territorial waters. The United Nations Agency UNCLOS states very clearly that if the two countries don’t agree on how to demarcate their territorial waters, then the International Courts of Justice (ICJ) will listen the case for a decision,” stated the Attorney General.

“The signs and the unilateral decision from Kenya are against the international laws and norms, it is against Somali laws, is against the laws governing territorial waters, and it is against Somali resource laws. Therefore, it is absolutely obligatory for us to defend by any means for our rights and our territorial waters.

“On 28th August 2014 we have submitted and filed a case against Kenya for the violations of our territorial waters. We have also sent strong warnings to all companies that are exploring Oil and Gas and at the same time violating in our territorial integrity and sovereignty. Some of these companies have listened to us and stopped their explorations such as Anadarko Petroleum and Staff Oil from Norway.

"However, there are other companies that are still violating the international laws and norms as well as our territorial waters integrity and sovereignty, such as Eni which is using our territorial waters of 33,522 km sq and are exploring 3 blocks. We have fined Eni 1,566,000 Euros every day. Also Total from France we have fined 109, 230 Euros every day and Midway Resource International which is using 276 KM SQ of our waters, we fined them 5,010 Euros every day. We have sent our concerns to all parties,” concluded the Attorney General.

This is a very serious issue which gives Somalia an opportunity to defend its territorial waters integrity and sovereignty through due process and legal channels. However, since Kenya has higher capacity in terms of resources and expertise on the matter and as well as using the support and the solidarity of these huge companies, the worry of Somalia is that the case at the ICJ could drag on for some time.

In any case, it is evident that the President of Somalia H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has done a courageous and magnificent job by taking Kenya to the ICJ. Therefore, Somalis should whole heartedly praise their President’s efforts to safeguard the interest of the people and the nation.

The Geeska Afrika Online is Free government-funded. HAN (Horn of Africa newsline) shapes its editorial policy free from political and commercial influence.

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