President Uhuru Kenyatta has criticized the decision by the International Court of Justice on the maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia.
In a statement, Kenyatta said Kenya never imagined that the ICJ would violate the declaration to the extent of imposing its mandate over expressly excluded matters.
“At the outset, Kenya wishes to indicate that it rejects in totality and does not
recognize the findings in the decision,” reads part of the statement.
“The decision embodies a perpetuation of the ICJ’s jurisdictional overreach and raises a fundamental question on the respect of the sovereignty and consent of States to international judicial processes. International tribunals have jurisdiction only to the extent of consent by a State.”
He noted that the judgement will strain the relations between the two countries.
“Kenya and Somalia are neighbouring States, with a common border, and communities with shared social, cultural and religious practices. This decision is, in the circumstances, a zero-sum game, which will strain the relations between the two countries. It will also reverse the social, political and economic gains; and potentially aggravate the peace and security situation in the fragile Horn of Africa Region” he said.
In addition, Kenyatta said the Court did not permit the use, let alone the exhaustion,
of regional dispute resolution mechanisms, despite the existence of a robust African Union legal framework on border issues and dispute settlement.
He said Kenya will pursue the matter through the institutions of the African Union such as the African Union Border Programme and its Peace and Security, architecture, in addition to other bilateral arrangements.
He called on the international community to respect Kenya’s sovereignty and her inherent right to protects its territory by all means.
“…we beseech the rest of the family of Nations to appreciate and respect our inherent right to protect, by all available means, our territory” he said.
The ICJ largely ruled in favour of Somalia in the long-standing Indian Ocean boarder row.
The United Nation top court said Kenya has no compelling evidence that Somalia had previously agreed to its claimed boundary.