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Somalia says it will defend its seas

Thursday October 14, 2021

Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Bilal Mohamed Osman has said that the Kenyan government will not benefit from deteriorating relations with Somalia.

The state minister said the Somali government is working to improve relations between the two countries. But, he made it clear that if Kenya refuses to do so, Somalia will be defending its seas.

"I believe that the people and government of Kenya know that their interests do not align with the deterioration of relations between us. We will work for the good of the two countries.  Somalia will have to defend its people, nation and waters if Kenya rejects the peace process.

Somalia's President Farmajo welcomed the international court's ruling on Tuesday and called on his Kenyan counterpart to abide by the verdict.

"We hope that the Kenyan government will respect the supremacy of international law and will forgo their misguided and unlawful pursuits. Instead, we hope that Kenya will treat the court's decision as an opportunity to strengthen relations between the two countries and enhance cooperation between the two peoples," Farmajo said.

The statement came as the Kenyan government opposed the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule in Somalia.

On Tuesday, the Kenyan government said that it rejected the ICJ's ruling 'in totality' and has signalled that it will openly defy the court order.

Days before the verdict was due; the Kenyan government said it was withdrawing recognition of the court's jurisdiction.

The Kenyan president has reacted strongly in the wake of the decision, promising to defend what he views as Kenyan sovereignty.

A Somali government official we spoke to said that both sides may be waiting for an opening for genuine rapprochement and that western powers are already quietly persuading Kenya -which has been beefing up its ocean governance bonafides - to accept the ruling.


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