Court dismisses petition to bar Kenya from ICJ case with Somalia

Court dismisses petition to bar Kenya from ICJ case with Somalia


By JOSEPH WANGUI
Source: Daily Nation, Friday January 31, 2020

The area in the Kenya-Somalia maritime border dispute forms a triangle east of the Kenya coast. GRAPHIC | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The area in the Kenya-Somalia maritime border dispute forms a triangle east of the Kenya coast. GRAPHIC | NATION MEDIA GROUP


NAIROBI – A three-judge bench has dismissed a petition to bar Kenyan officials from participating before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a maritime dispute with Somalia.Justices Kanyi Kimondo, Robert Limo and Anthony Mrima noted on Friday that issues raised in the petition by 20 Kenyans would be more effectively resolved through diplomatic, legislative, policy and other executive interventions, rather than by a constitutional decision.

The petitioners had argued that the Attorney-General’s participation in the case would amount to ceding Kenya’s sovereignty.Through lawyer Kibe Mungai, they said Kenya risked forfeiting part of its territory if the ICJ ruled in Somalia’s favour.

The lawyer said the government should put its national interests first, and that the only way to do so would be by not seeking to compromise Kenya’s territorial integrity.

The ruling stated, however, that, “the AG’s participation in the proceedings will accord an opportunity to demonstrate to the court Kenya’s constitutional impediments in implementation of the decision in the event the dispute is decided in favour of Somalia.”