The Kenyan government has appealed to the International Court of Justice at The Hague for more time to prepare its defence in a maritime dispute with neighbouring Somalia, APA learnt on Thursday.Nairobi’s latest application to the ICJ for the next hearing’s postponement is the third such appeal by the country, citing a number of challenges thought to be undermining its preparations for the case.
These include the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has left over 100, 000 infected and 84, 728 fatalities, and the allegedly mysterious disappearance of a map said to be central to determining the credibility of its defence in the case
Between September 2019 and June 2020 Kenya had twice appealed for more time to prepare its defense team ahead of the hearing.
After these requests were granted by the ICJ to the displeasure of officials in Mogadishu, it was announced that the next hearings would take place in March 2021.
The ICJ had made it clear that it would not entertain another request to drag the case further.
Somalia had dragged Kenya to the ICJ over rival claims to an oil-rich part of their shared Indian Ocean coastline after Mogadishu failed to resolve its differences with Nairobi on the issue in 2014.
Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years, culminating in Mogadishu’s decision to recall its diplomats from Nairobi, citing inteference in its internal affairs.
Mogadishu accused Nairobi of meddling in its Gedo region, an allegation Kenya has denied.
A report released recently by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) appears absolve Nairobi of wrongdoing.