The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Tuesday gave its ruling in favor of Somalia in its long-running dispute with Kenya over its maritime border, reported Africa News.
The ICJ’s ruling said that there was “no agreed maritime boundary” and marked a new border close to the one claimed by Somalia, although Kenya kept a part of the 100,000 square-kilometer (39,000-square-mile) area.
The panel of 14 judges rejected the line Kenya proposed extending from its coast, saying it would have had a “severe cut-off effect” for Somalia. The court found that Kenya had failed to prove there was an established sea boundary between the countries, which would have given it a greater piece of the disputed territory.
ICJ President Joan Donoghue reading a summary of the judgment said the court was “satisfied” that the adjusted line “achieves an equitable solution.”
In 2009, Kenya and Somalia had agreed in a memorandum of understanding, backed by the UN, to settle the boundary dispute through negotiation.
But five years later, Somalia said the talks had failed and it went to the ICJ instead.
The ICJ ruling cannot be appealed and is legally binding, but, Kenya had already made it clear last week that it would no longer acknowledge the court’s jurisdiction. It called The Hague-based court biased.
Soon after the ruling was announced, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government “rejects in totality and does not recognize the findings in the decision.”
In a broadcast on his office’s Facebook page, Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed thanked God for giving the fruit of the long struggle made by the Somalis in preventing Kenya’s desire to claim ownership of part of Somalia’s sea.
Mohamed also urged Kenya to respect the international rule of law. He said Nairobi should see the court’s decision as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.