Monday, February 15, 2021 – The International Court of Justice has dealt Kenya a severe blow after it rejected Kenya’s request to postpone the hearing of the Somali maritime border case that has been ongoing.

Kenya, through Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, had written to the court requesting more time to put its defense together. It had also rejected the move to appear through video link.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has set oral proceedings of the maritime case to commence on Monday, March 15, 2021.

On February 11, 2021, the Information Minister of Somalia, Osman Dubbe, said that Mogadishu had made a petition to the ICJ regarding the case.

The petition made by Somalia to the (ICJ) sought to reject Kenya’s request for the postponement of the case for the fourth time.

“We have rejected Kenya’s fourth request to the ICJ to postpone the two countries’ maritime case,” said Dubbe.

Mr. Dubbe further insisted that justice delayed is justice denied, adding that the two countries should head to the Hague at whatever cost to have the matter sorted.

The dispute between the two neighbouring countries is rooted in a disagreement over which direction their borders extends into the Indian Ocean.

In August 2014, Somalia sued Kenya at the ICJ, seeking to redraw the sea boundary to a diagonal flow, an extension of the land border south of Kiunga.

Kenya on its part insists that the border should take roughly a 45-degree turn at the shoreline along the latitudinal line which will allow Kenya access to the biggest part of the Indian Ocean.

In December 2020, Somalia severed its diplomatic ties with Kenya accusing Kenya of constantly meddling in Mogadishu’s territorial and internal affairs.


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