Maritime row: Kenya writes to ICJ seeking postponement of hearing

This comes as the US on Tuesday backed Kenya’s push to have the matter solved through political negotiations rather than through the court

In Summary

• AG says Kenya occupied with recruiting new defence team.

Kenya's Attorney General Paul Kihara has written to the ICJ, seeking the postponement of the hearing for the maritime dispute with Somalia, citing the need to recruit a new defence team.

The hearing was scheduled to be heard from next Monday to Friday at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

However, the AG said "due to exceptional circumstances", representatives from Kenya would not be available.

It added that it was only fair that representatives from both Somalia and Kenya are present during the hearing.

"The Rules of the Court allow for postponement of the hearing of the case to afford the parties an opportunity to be represented," the AG said.

Two weeks ago, Somalia rejected the Commission of the African Union invitation to a briefing on the row.

It instead expressed confidence in the ICJ's ability to deliver a fair ruling.

Kenya has been pushing to have the row solved through political negotiations rather than through the court.

Kenya wants the maritime border to run along parallel latitude southeast of Kiunga, while Somalia wants a diagonal line down the Kenyan Coast. This threatens to make Kenya a landlocked country, and risks losing 42 per cent of its territory.