On 28 August 2014, the Federal Republic of Somalia (the “Somali Government”) filed an application instituting legal proceedings against the Republic of Kenya (the “Government of Kenya”) at the International Court of Justice (the “ICJ”) in The Hague, the Netherlands.
The Somali Government requested the ICJ to establish a single maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya in the Indian Ocean delimiting the territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf, including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
Somalia and Kenya are widely apart in their positions on the location of their maritime boundary in the area where their maritime entitlements overlap. Delegations from both countries have met on several occasions to exchange views on the dispute.
None of these negotiation sessions yielded an agreement. The inability of both countries to narrow their differences has demonstrated the need for judicial resolution of this dispute. In view of this, the Somali Government sought the ICJ to peacefully resolve the disagreements between the two countrieson this matter. Kenya played a pivotal role in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) in 1982.
Both counties are contracting parties of UNCLOS, which prescribes the rules for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes. Accordingly, we are confident that the Kenyan Government will agree with the wisdom of complying with both countries’ obligations under international law for seeking a peaceful resolution to the pending dispute.
The Somali and the Kenyan people share strong cultural and historical ties that cannot be severed or affected by any disagreements among them. Indeed, the Somali and the Kenyan people’s destiny and future are indissolubly interconnected. Hence, the Somali Government is committed to continuing to work hard in close cooperation with our brothers and sisters in Kenya to address the pressing issues confronting both our countries and the region.
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Investment Promotion