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Sunday, March 14, 2021 – Kenya has pulled out of the ongoing border dispute case with Somalia which was set to be heard at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

The government cited biases and ignorance of its request to have the case delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.  

The maritime border case with Somalia was scheduled for Monday, March 15, and was to run until March 24.

Nairobi had asked for the fourth postponement which was not granted.

Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki sent a letter detailing Kenya’s decision to withdraw from the case to the ICJ on March 11. 

“Kenya wishes to inform the court, through the Registrar, that it shall not be participating in the hearing in the case herein, should the same proceed from March 15, 2021, as presently scheduled,” Kariuki’s letter read in parts. 

The AG added that Kenya has not prepared enough due to the ongoing health pandemic and that its new legal team is still familiarizing themselves with the case before the ICJ. 

“The consequence of this is that Kenya and its legal team were deprived of the opportunity of having necessary preparatory meetings and engagement,” Kariku added. 

Kenya’s decision has raised questions as to how the case will proceed, or if the outcome will be enforced should the case take place with only one party represented. 

The trade and diplomatic war between Nairobi and Mogadishu began in 2014 when Somalia filed a territorial ownership case at the ICJ accusing Kenya of grabbing some parts of the Indian Ocean. 

Kenya responded by dismissing Somalia’s argument saying that if the Hague-based court rules in favour of Somalia, it could lead to social, economical and political complications. 


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