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ICJ Agrees To Kenya’s Request, Delays Hearing Of Maritime Dispute Case With Somalia

The International Court of Justice has reportedly pushed the public hearing of Kenya and Somalia’s maritime boundary case to 2020, reported The East African. The ICJ has pushed the case to June 2020 and warned that there will be no further delays.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Hague-based court said the decision to postpone the hearing was reached after both the countries agreed to send legal teams on the new agreed dates.

“The court has duly considered the views and arguments of the parties regarding Kenya’s request,” the statement reads. “It has decided to postpone oral proceedings to the week beginning on Monday 8, June, 2020. This postponement is granted on the understanding that both parties will be represented in the hearings and that no further postponement will be granted.”

The court’s decision follows a request by Kenya government to push the hearing initially scheduled for next month as it needed time to reconstitute a legal team.

This is the second time that the ICJ has postponed the hearing. The hearing was previously pushed from September to November. But Kenya’s Attorney General appealed the decision arguing the period granted was insufficient. He requested the hearing to be delayed until September 2020.

The latest development has come as a relief for Nairobi which had been seeking an out of court settlement on the matter. The Kenyan government even approached the African Union seeking an out of court settlement. But Somalia has insisted on waiting for the court’s decision.

Somalia sued Kenya at the ICJ in 2014, as it appealed to get the sea boundary between the two countries redrawn from the current straight line to a diagonal flow. The dispute is over a 62,000-square-mile (100,000-square kilometer) oil and mineral-rich land in the Indian Ocean in the shape of a triangle that both nations claim.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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