Thousands of Mogadishu residents on Wednesday went to the streets of the capital in support of Somalia’s marine case against Kenya at International Court of Justice (ICJ) barely a day after Somalia told ICJ that the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding did not tie Kenya and Somalia against the court recourse.
The demonstrators carried banners and placards written “we won’t give up our waters to anyone and we shall win the case”
The protesters called on Somali people to unite against what they termed the “aggression” of Kenyan government to encroach 100,000km2 of Somali Sea.
Kenya and Somalia had in 2009 reached a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was then deposited in the UN in 2011.
On Monday the Preliminary submissions on the determination of the International Court of Justice jurisdiction over the maritime case filed by Somalia against Kenya started with Kenya standing its ground on the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding with Somalia.
Kenya wants the border ought to run along the parallel latitudes of the Indian Ocean similar to how its border with Tanzania is aligned, giving it more sea territory. However, Somalia wants the boundary to run perpendicular with the coast.
The ICJ will hold hearings up to Friday to consider submissions on the case that was filed by Somalia in August 2014 requesting the court to delimit the maritime boundary.
Kenya has already licensed several companies to prospect for oil in the disputed patch of the ocean as part of its ambitious plan to search for oil and gas both on and off-shore though some of the foreign oil companies withdrew after Somalia sued at ICJ.
ICJ is a United Nations court tasked with arbitrating disputes between states and has on a number of occasions ruled on boundary issues between many countries including the long time contested Bakassi Peninsula between Nigeria and Cameroon in 1999. The court ruled in favour of Cameroon and the territory was transferred to Cameroon in August 14, 2008.