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Somalis to ICJ: Video conference for Guyana vs Venezuela but not for Somalia vs Kenya?

Saturday May 30, 2020

HAGUE (HOL) - The decision by the International Court of Justice to hear a case between South American states of Venezuela and Guyana via video conference despite rejecting a similar proposal by Somalia on the case with Kenya has drawn sharp criticism from Somalis.

The Hague based Court announced Friday the case concerning the Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) will open on June 20, 2020.

“In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the hearings will take place in the Great Hall of Justice using videoconference technology and with the physical presence of some of Members of the Court,” a statement from the Court noted.

“How on earth will the @CIJ_ICJ will now explain the delaying for the third time the #Somalia vs #Kenya maritime case? There is something definitely rotten in this?” one Alan Ibrahim posed adding Prime Minister Hassan Khaire and President Mohamed Farmaajo ‘have some explaining to do.”

Dismissing Kenya’s bid to delay the oral hearings in the maritime case mid this month, Somalia said the proceedings could still go on via video conferencing.

“Somalia stands by its proposal that the upcoming oral hearings be held by video conference and hereby respectfully reiterates that doing so would be a better way to balance the competing interest at stake than again postponing the already long-delayed oral hearings to an uncertain future date,” Mogadishu said in its response.

However, the Court granted Kenya its third wish to postpone the case to March 2021 after it cited inconveniences occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The ICJ claimed that the hearing of #Somalia vs #Kenya was delayed due to Covid-19 but the court has the audacity to hear other cases? Why? Why? Why?,” questioned Fowzan Ali.

The oral hearings in the case between Somalia and Kenya will resume March 15, 2021.


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