Kenya-Somalia maritime dispute: We will not cede an inch to anyone - CS Juma

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma presents budget policy statement when she appeared before Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations Committee. February 20, 2019. /JACK OWUOR
Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma presents budget policy statement when she appeared before Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Foreign Relations Committee. February 20, 2019. /JACK OWUOR

The government has maintained that it will not cede even an inch of its soil to anyone or any state.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma on Thursday evening said the government is waiting for a response that meets the minimum threshold from the Somali government over the disputed oil blocks in the Indian Ocean.

Juma said though Somali had issued a statement disputing the claims raised, it is clear they did not deny the existence of a map that depicts the blocks are on Kenyan territory.

"We have noted with concern Somali's intention and plan to auction the oil blocks before January 2020 which is the effective date for sharing between the two countries," Juma said.

She added, "Kenya's position over this matter is inevitable and we shall not cede even an inch of our territory to anyone."

Somali in a letter addressed to Foreign Affairs said it is not offering, nor does it have any plans to offer any blocks in the disputed maritime area until the parties' martime boundary is decided by the ICJ.

It also assured the Kenyan government that it will not undertake any activity within the disputed area as this may jeopardise the delimitation of the boundary dispute at the top UN court.

"In this respect, the Government of Somalia reassures the Government of Kenya that it stands by its commitment not to undertake any unilateral activity within the disputed area until such time that the ICJ renders its judgement," it said in the letter.

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But Juma said though there is a pending court case at the ICC over the dispute, Somali's move under claims of protecting its potential maritime space from external users is a clear indication it does not recognise the boundaries.

"In this regard, we are of the view that Somali is deliberately misleading the world and contradicts its commitment at the ICC Court. This move also undermines the principle of good faith," Juma said.

She said Kenya, however, remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the matter.

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