Somalia argued on Tuesday that the ICJ bench, Kenya has used delaying tactics in resolving the maritime dispute for its own interests and skip the scheduled talk between the two countries.
Lawyers representing Somalia Tuesday in their first round of argument argued The 2009 Memorandum does not bar Somalia to take this case to court. The two countries signed an agreement to resolve the Indian Ocean boundary dispute bilaterally in 2009, the same did not deny them the chance to seek the intervention of the court. Somali Parliament has annulled the Memo soon after it has been signed.
Furthermore, Somalia’s lawyer, Alain Pellet told the court the maritime laws did not bar it from intervening in cases where countries had earlier sought a mutual approach to addressing such matters.
Kenya has argued the ICJ did not have jurisdiction over the case since the two countries had agreed to resolve the dispute through an MOU and also engage the instruments of the UN Convention on the Laws of the Seas, UNCLOS.
During Tuesday hearings, the Somali Government has request the Court to dismiss the preliminary objections filed by the Kenyan Government as unfounded and lacking merit. The Somali Government does not believe that the purported Memorandum of Understanding dated 7th April 2009, between the Somali Government and the Kenyan Government, to establish an agreed method of dispute settlement, let alone an exclusive method. Therefore, the Somali Government does not see any obstacles to the Court’s jurisdiction. The Somali Government strongly believes in the strength of its legal case and looks forward to a fair and just decision from the Court. Say the Somali attorney
Somalia’s defence team Tuesday has resorted to the global court’s intervention after attempts to reach an amicable solution with Kenya proved to be “to no avail’.
“We seek nothing more and nothing less than to have our maritime boundary dispute with our Kenyan brothers and sisters be resolved finally and definitively in an equitable manner,” lawyer Mona al-Sharmani for Somalia told the Court.
Kenya will resume its defence Tuesday and Somalia will close on Friday. The Court will be on recess Thursday.
The Court will thereafter issue its ruling whether to take up the case.