Kenya Accuses ICJ of ‘Procedural Unfairness’ in its Maritime Case with Somalia

The area in dispute is 100,000km2 of sea thought to have lucrative hydrocarbons and fish.

Somalilandsun: Kenya is accusing the International Court of Justice of “procedural unfairness” after it allowed oral hearings to go on despite Nairobi’s protests.

The oral hearings began on Monday and went on until Thursday, and Somalia was allowed slots meant for Kenya to argue that a maritime boundary between them should be redrawn.

On Friday, however, Nairobi said it was demanding the withdrawal of the case as it was heard before a bench a bench it did not have confidence in.

“Kenya outlined that while it had no doubt about the merits of its case, procedural unfairness had left doubt on whether substantive justice would be done,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Kenya re-stated that it should not have been dragged to the court by Somalia, merely because of the neighbour’s resurgent expansionist agenda.”

In a letter to the ICJ Registrar Philippe Gautier, Kenya earlier demanded Somali judge Abdulqawi Yusuf’s recusal from the case.

Judge Yusuf, a French-educated Somali lawyer, has sat on the case since it was first filed in 2014, in spite of reservations from Kenya.

In a declaration appended to a 2017 judgement allowing the case to be heard, Judge Yusuf criticised both Kenya and Somalia for signing an MoU which they had not drafted.

“No government can afford today to put its signature to a bilateral legal instrument which it has neither carefully negotiated nor to which it has hardly contributed,” he declared in February 2017.

Kenya-Somalia MoU