GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Kenya is considering cutting ties with the International Court of Justice over what it termed as ‘cavalier attitude’ towards its requests as Somalia remains upbeat hours before oral proceedings kick-off at the Great Hall in the Hague.
Senior government officials quoted by Kenyan media have intimated Nairobi’s intent at taking drastic measures including ceasing jurisdiction of the UN court amid fears it might rule in favour of Somalia.
Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki will be addressing the Court briefly this afternoon when the proceedings commence to explain his country’s decision to pull out from the case. Kenya formally informed the Court on March 11 that it will no be participating in the case citing ‘bias’ and the COVID-19 pandemic which it said had hampered its preparation.
Nairobi also contends that videolink proceedings will adversely affect its case since it has ‘complex’ pieces of evidence including maps and witnesses which require physical presence at the Court. The UN Court dismissed Kenya’s application for further delay in late February and instructed that the proceedings will take a hybrid format involving the physical presence and video conferencing.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL
Kenya will also be leveraging on its non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council to protests the Court’s decision not to accede to its requests, sources in Nairobi said. The presence of Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf in the case whom Kenya had previously sought he recuses himself is another borne of contention Nairobi is picking with the UN court.
Analysts view Kenya’s move to withdraw from the case as setting the ground for non-compliance should the Court rule in favour of Somalia citing a threat to its national security. Nairobi has insisted on an out of court settlement.
Somalia has however maintained it will not entertain any talks with Kenya banking on the global Court for justice. Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Guled told journalists while leaving for the Hague last week his country was ‘confident of winning the case.’
Proceedings kick off at 3 pm local time today.