High-ranking officials from the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), among them the Deputy Chief of Staff Major Gen Dr. Francis Ogolla are in Lamu county, ahead of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the maritime border row at the Indian Ocean with Somalia. This is according to reports from our sources in the county.
Yesterday, Kenya rejected the jurisdiction of the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ), ahead of a ruling next week.
”Kenya on September 24, 2021 joined other members of the UN in withdrawing its recognition of the International Court of Justice compulsory jurisdiction. As a sovereign nation Kenya shall no longer be subjected to an international court or tribunal without its express consent,” Foreign Affairs PS Michael Kamau said on Friday, flanked by Maj Gen Dr. Francis Ogolla.
Somalia wants to extend its maritime frontier with Kenya along the line of the land border, in a south-easterly direction. Kenya, on the other hand, wants the border to head out to sea in a straight line east, giving it more territory.
The disputed triangle of water stretches over an area of more than 100,000 square kilometers (40,000 square miles) and is believed to hold deposits of oil and gas.
Nairobi maintains it has had sovereignty over the contested zone since 1979.
”Kenya recognizes and has consistently indicated as much, that the Judgement of the Court – whichever way – will have profound security, political, social and economic ramifications in the region and beyond. Every Kenyan is to be assured that the Government is fully seized of this matter. Kenyans are therefore called upon to remain calm before, during and after the delivery of the Judgment,” the PS added.
Kenya announced in March this year that it would boycott ICJ hearings after The Hague-based tribunal refused to allow further delays on the case to enable further probes and investigations.
Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta opened a new Naval Base in Lamu, at a ceremony attended by the country’s top diplomats in the UN and from the Foreign Affairs ministry. The president also presided over the handing over of presidential and regimental colors to the Kenya Navy Base Manda.