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ICJ rejects Kenya’s preliminary arguments on jurisdiction and admissibility of maritime case
Hiiraan Online
Thursday February 2, 2017

Mogadishu (HOL) - The International Court of Justice, the UN's highest court rendered a verdict on Kenya’s preliminary argument today in what many are already calling a landmark decision in Somalia’s favour.

The presiding judge and President of the court read out the decision which ruled that the MoU signed by Somalia in Kenya is legally valid as both signatories were entitled to speak on behalf of their respective nations. However, the court overwhelmingly rejected Kenya’s preliminary objections.

The court rejected Kenya’s argument that the case precludes recourse to ICJ jurdisdiction by a vote 13/3 ruling in Somalia’s favour saying that it does have jurisdiction to hear the case. It also tossed out Kenya’s argument that the signing of the MoU in 2009 made Somali ineligible to seek recourse from the ICJ, that ruling was carried by a vote of 15/1.

"The court finds that Kenya's preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court must be rejected," presiding judge Ronny Abraham said.

The court recommended that the dispute be settled between both nations diplomatically by referring to the MoU, but if a resolution cannot be reached, the legal recourse but if that fails legal recourse through court arbitration is available.

The case was filed in 2014 and carries heavy implications. The 100,000 square kilometre of offshore territory area contains three potentially lucrative oil and gas blocks. Kenya has already granted exploration concessions to a number of companies.

Click here to read the courts full judgement.


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