GOOBJOOG NEWS|NAIROBI: Kenya has rubbished the verdict of the International Court of Justice noting it will not cede any of ‘its territory’ to Somalia as Mogadishu bursts into a celebratory mood.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement shortly after the ICJ verdict that his country is not bound by the decision but will be pursuing a negotiated settlement through the African Union.
“At the outset, Kenya wishes to indicate that it rejects in totality and does not recognize the findings in the decision,” Kenyatta said.
Noting the outcome of the ICJ case was a product of an erroneous judicial process, Kenyatta said he will do ‘everything possible’ to ensure the country’s territory is altered as dictated by the ICJ verdict.
“Fellow Kenyans, when I became President on 9th April 2013, I took an oath to protect the territorial integrity of the Republic of Kenya. I do not intend to abrogate my solemn oath; and, I will do everything possible as President and Commander-in-Chief, to preserve the territory of this our great Republic and bequeath the same, intact and unencumbered, to the next President when my term expires in less than a year’s time,” the Kenyan leader said while on a visit of the US.
He however called for a negotiated settlement through the African Union African Union Border Programme and its Peace and Security.
FARMAAJO, OPPOSITION UNITE
Meanwhile, Somalia went into celebrations following the ruling. Coming amid a bitterly fought electoral process, the verdict seemed to unite both the opposition and the outgoing president Mohamed Farmaajo. The outgoing leader was quick to hit at Kenya noting Nairobi had attempted severally to frustrate the case.
“The Kenyan government took every possible measure to disrupt the due course of the legal case at the ICJ, hoping that this issue would be resolved outside of court,” Farmaajo said. “They even undertook a malicious smearing campaign targeting regional organizations and our friends in the continent and the rest of the world to deny our sovereign right to defend our maritime borders through universally accepted legal and judicial means.”
He also paid tribute to his predecessors Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Ahmed who were in office at the onset of the maritime process and the filing of the case in 2014.
The two opposition leaders who are contesting for presidential also extended gratitude to Farmaajo for his government’s steadfast stance at the latter years of the case.
President Mohamud said the verdict was a victory to all Somalis.
“Congratulations to all the Somali people, this victory came through thinking, hard work, perseverance, prayer and unity of Somalia which was originally to reach where we are today, it is a victory of the people that shows unity.”
The Court verdict now opens a new ground of diplomatic relations between the two countries.