The country has withdrawn its recognition of the International Court of Justice compulsory jurisdiction in the ongoing maritime case against Somalia.
In a press statement, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said Kenya shall no longer be subjected to an international court or tribunal without its express consent.
According to Kamau, the Judgement of the Court will have profound security, political, social and economic ramifications in the region and beyond.
“Kenya on September 24, 2021 joined other members of the UN in withdrawing its recognition of the International Court of Justice compulsory jurisdiction,” he said.
Kamau called upon Kenyans to remain calm before, during and after the delivery of the Judgment.
The ICJ is supposed to announce the decision on Tuesday next week ending the case that was filed in 2014.
This comes after the ICJ’s public hearings leaving Somalia to argue its case.
Kenya claimed that the court is treating it unfairely by rejecting a string of merited applications including one asking that Judge Ahmed Yusuf, a Somali, to step down over conflict interest.
It alleged that some leaders with the interest of vast minerals within the contested area have been meddling in the case to ensure Somalia takes over the area.
The maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia concerns the ownership of the maritime zone on the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in the Indian Ocean.
The disputed area is believed to contain huge deposits of oil and gas.
Somalia claims its maritime boundary should run in the same direction as the southeasterly path of the country’s land border, while Kenya argues the border should take a 45-degree turn at the shoreline and run in a latitudinal line.
Kenya argues that it has exercised uncontested jurisdiction over the maritime zone since 1979 when it proclaimed it as an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in line with colonial legacies embraced under the Africa Union Border Program which both Kenya and Somalia are signatories.
In addition, Kenya’s maritime border follows the same pattern as that of Tanzania and Mozambique.
Kenya’s non-participation in the case means that Nairobi ceases to recognize the case and would remain unaffected by the verdict delivered by the Court.