Unreliable Nairobi internet made Kenya withdraw from Maritime border case

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Attorney General Paul Kihara has told the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Kenya lacks the necessary technology needed to attend court proceedings from Nairobi via video. On 25th June last year, the ICJ amended Article 59(2) of the Rules of Court, to provide for hearings via video link.

“The Court may decide, for health. security or other compelling reasons. To hold a hearing entirely or in part by video link. The parties shall be consulted on the organization of such a hearing,” the June 25th amendment reads.

However, on 11th December, Kenya wrote to the Court, informing it of the difficulties that it was facing in its preparations for the case, including the fact that it had been unable, due to the pandemic, to meet conditions to hold preparatory meetings with the new legal team.

”Kenya makes this Application while being well aware of the current stage of the proceedings but also conscious of its fundamental right to present the best defense possible in this important matter,” reads a letter from AG Kihara to the ICJ.

Kihara is concerned about Kenya’s ability to present the best possible evidence in the critical case. Unreliable internet connectivity is one of the challenges the country is facing. In the pplication dated 22nd February 2021, AG Kihara says the country was still willing to appear before the court, but the current circumstances present difficulties.

”Kenya is very willing to appear before the Court to present its position but is concerned that it does not possess reliable and high-quality technology necessary for doing so by video link, to guarantee reliable Internet connectivity from Nairobi.”

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