ICJ set to rule on Kenya application to delay maritime row hearing

Friday, September 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Kenya’s Attorney General Paul Kihara.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is today expected to rule on the fate of the hearing of the maritime dispute pitting Kenyan and the Somali Federal Government at the Hague-based court after Nairobi filed an application seeking to have it delayed.

Already, Mogadishu has formally sent an objection to Kenya’s application to the case that has already sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries as their representatives continue to maintain hard stances.

On Wednesday, Kenya’s Attorney General Paul Kihara’s office announced that Nairobi had formally written to the Netherlands-based court applying to have the matter deferred “to allow it recruit new defence team”.

The statement from the AG office said “would like to inform (ICJ) that due to exceptional circumstances, occasioned by the need to recruit a new defence team, Kenya has sought to have the matter postponed.

New defence team

Kenya’s application, which is said to be a one-year postponement , is in line with the rules of the court allow for postponement of the hearing of the case to give the parties an opportunity to be represented.

The two nations are claiming control over a 100,000-square-kilometre area in the Indian Ocean that is endowed with gas and oil and other natural resources, and which are said to be among the reasons for the escalated row.

Court has slated the hearing of the case for between September 9 and 13, and should Kenya’s wish be granted, the court will have to set another hearing date.

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