Somalia denies Kenya claims of maritime dispute talks

The Somali government has vehemently denied claims made by the Kenyan government regarding the existence of maritime dispute talks arbitrated by the Djibouti counterpart, Ismail Omar.

Ali Balcad, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, spoke to the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs in Mogadishu and stated that his government was shocked by the remarks made by President William Ruto in Djibouti.

Balcad clarified that the maritime dispute between Somalia and Kenya was settled by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He expressed that President Ruto’s comments may have been referring to the process of implementing the Court ruling.

In October 2021, the ICJ ruled that a disputed maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya should be altered in a way that gives Somalia rights over the majority of an oil-rich portion of the Indian Ocean.

Kenya’s then-president Uhuru Kenyatta rejected the findings of the ICJ ruling. President Ruto’s recent comments in Djibouti have raised concerns about Kenya’s continued opposition to the ruling and its attempts to engage in dispute talks with Somalia.

The Somali government’s response to President Ruto’s comments highlights its commitment to upholding the ICJ ruling and resolving the dispute through peaceful means. The government’s position has been consistent in advocating for dialogue and cooperation between the two countries to address the dispute.

The dispute between Somalia and Kenya has been ongoing for several years, with both sides claiming ownership of a 100,000 square kilometer area in the Indian Ocean. The ICJ ruling was seen as a significant step towards resolving the conflict, but Kenya’s rejection of the ruling has complicated efforts to find a lasting solution to the dispute.

The government’s stance is critical in promoting stability and cooperation in the region and ensuring that the rights and interests of the Somali people are protected.

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