Kenya in bitter court with Somalia over oil exploration on disputed sea area

Oil Rig

Kenya could be forced to compensate Somalia over oil exploration on a disputed sea area if the neighboring country wins a case lodged with the International Court of Justice ( ICJ). After Kenya lost the preliminary objections last year and were subsequently asked to  file a substantive  response to the main case in December 2017.

Offshore oil and gas exploration platforms in the Indian Ocean. [Photo- File]
Kenya, through the Office of the Attorney General, complied with the orders by December 22nd, officials have remained tight-lipped on the content and nature of the defence they gave.

“Unfortunately, it is neither procedural nor possible to release documents in custody of the ICJ. These are confidential documents. It is only the ICJ that can give these documents and this would only be with the concurrence of the other party (Somalia),” an official at the AG’s office wrote to a local newspaper.

In the preliminary objections, Kenya had argued that a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding with Somalia acknowledging a dispute and vowing not to challenge each other’s claims pending process of registering borders removed the matter from ICJ scope. On top of the reparations, Somalia also wants Kenya to hand it over all seismic data acquired in areas that are disputed “and to repair in full all damage that has been suffered by Somalia.