Verdict on Kenya-Somalia border imperils peace in Indian Ocean

Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Farmaajo after their a joint press conference in Nairobi on November 14, 2019.

Photo credit: File | PSCU

What you need to know:

  • ICJ's judgment has complicated already rocky relations between Somalia and Kenya.
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta rejected the verdict, vowing not to cede an inch of Kenya’s territory.

The Kenya-Somalia maritime dispute is not the proverbial fight between two bald men over a comb. Countries have gone to war over much less territory than the 100,000 square kilometre triangle of water on Africa’s Indian Ocean seaboard — said to be rich in fish and hydrocarbons reserves and the epicentre of a recent controversial ruling by the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). The court’s judicial over-reach is the newest threat to peace in Africa’s Indian Ocean zone. 

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