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Kenya Will Not Succeed In Grabbing Somalia's Territorial Waters

by JAMAL AHMED
Friday, October 24, 2014

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I have read a few articles in the press on the issue of Somalia suing Kenya over the maritime border dispute. I must say, I expected more of Kenyan journalists. For example, it was unprofessional for Mutua Ndonga to choose not to do any research for his article in the Star of Monday, October 20 'After all we've done, Somalia is very ungrateful'

Southern Somalia was colonised by the Italians and Kenya by Britain. Surely it must have occurred to Ndonga that they might have had a maritime border, which they might have demarcated? Why the professional laziness? Ndonga could have consulted the volumes of maps at the National Archives or got information from organisations that specialise in maritime law.

The British and the Italians made their first border agreement on June 26, 1925 and their second on November 22, 1933. There are five islands, collectively called Diua Damsciaca, that Kenya says lies in its territory, which is contrary to the Italo-British demarcated maritime border. The repeated assertion that Somalia and Kenya have had a maritime dispute since 1972 is fiction.

This whole issue arose because a Norwegian company advised the Kibaki administration they could lay a claim because the Kenya-Tanzania maritime border due south does not follow the land border. The Kenyan government made gullible Somalia government officials sign a document where the term 'dispute' was introduced — for the first time in history — to the maritime border between the two countries.

Kenya will not succeed in grabbing Somalia's territorial waters because the Somali cause is just. There are books, articles and archive material supporting the Somalia case.

Kenya thought we were asleep but we the young Somalis are vigilant and highly educated. We are in every capital in the West and we love our country. We learn its history and we want to preserve it despite the machinations of some of our Kenyan brothers.

We love Kenya. It has helped us like a brother would in a difficult time of our history, but we can not accept our own territorial waters to be grabbed. Likewise, Kenya does not want Uganda to take over Migingo because the British border maps put the island inside Kenya.

Kenya has been good to me. I speak Kiswahili and know the country better than I do any other. I would hate to see the Kenyan government divert attention from its failures to a so-called dispute with Somalia.


Jamal Sh Ahmed lives in Ghent, Belgium.



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