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The East African : Aug 2nd 2015
26 The EastAfrican OUTLOOK AUGUST 1-7,2015 D E VE LO PME N T Somalia now takes Kenya to The Hague over maritime boundary A deal that had been ≥eached by the two cont≥ies was ≥ejected by Somalia By KENNEDY SENELWA Special Correspondent K enya and Somalia are locked in a maritime boundary dispute that is likely to take several years before being resolved by The Haguebased court. On July 13, Somalia filed a petition at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kenya’s infringing on Somalia’s border in search of crude oil and natural gas in the Indian Ocean. Kenya has to submit a counter-claim by May 27, 2016. Analysts said if the Somalia- Kenya border were to run continuously from land into the ocean, by making the boundary lie diagonally from the northwest to the southeast, Kenya will be left with a small triangle in the Indian Ocean. The area in dispute covers 100,000 square kilometres. A deal reached by the two countries stating that the border would run east along line of latitude was rejected by Somalia’s parliament, setting the stage for the dispute. Somalia’s Attorney General Ahmed Ali said his government represented by a team of British, Italian and American lawyershad presented a 150 page document to ICJ arguing the case on the maritime boundary dispute. The suit could test relations between the two neighbouring countries as Kenyan soldiers have been battling Al Shabaab in Somalia since 2011. Kenya also hosts about 500,000 Somali refugees at the Dadaab camp. Somalia has laid claim to Kenya’s exploration blocks L5, L21, L22, L23, L24 and L 25 arguing that the border runs continuously from land into the ocean, diagonally from the northwest to the southeast instead of the east. BG Group last year discov- ered 14 metres of oil under 29.6 metres of gas in Sunbird-1 well drilled in offshore block L10A in Kenya’s Lamu basin. Kenya has awarded acre- age L5 to Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and block L22 to Total of France. Eni of Italy has acreage L21, L23 and L24. Block L25 is vacant as negotiations with Statoil of Norway were not concluded in 2012. Kenya’s Attorney-General Githu Muigai said Kenya is confident of winning saying the case filed by Somalia lacked the relevant backing of international law on maritime issues. “We have received the mem- orandum filed in the court. We are moving to evaluate it and put together a team of international lawyers to defend our case in the most professional manner,” he said. Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed last month told parliament that Somalia had agreed to pursue arbitration outside the United Nations court. Hardly a fortnight later, Somalia responded with Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Maareeye saying the country plans to pursue the case against Kenya at the ICJ. “The issue of the Kenyan government violating our territorial waters has continued for a long time, so it’s the right time to end its fake claim in court,” he was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. In a suit filed on August 28, 2014, Somalia wanted the ICJ to determine the geographical co-ordinates and single maritime boundary delimiting its territorial seas including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Somalia in its application ap- pointed Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Abdirahman Dualeh as agent to whom all court communications can be sent and Elmi Ahmed Duale as deputyagent. Somalia also in a letter dated September 16 appointed Ali Said Fiqi as co-agent. Kenya in a letter dated Sep- tember 30 notified the ICJ of the appointment of Kenya’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Makena Muchiri as agent and Attorney-General Mr Muigai as co-agent. Registrar of the ICJ Philippe Couvreur wrote to Kenya on August 28 about the case filed by Somalia. ICJ President Peter Tomka is- sued an order filing memorandum on October 16, 2014 after listening to both states on timelimits to prepare the first round of written pleadings. A meeting with party’s agents was held on October 15. A senior official of Ministry of Energy said, “The maritime border of Kenya and Somalia runs AREA IN CONTEST The area in contest covers 100,000 square kilometres. A deal reached by the two countries stating that the border would run east along line of latitude was rejected by Somalia’s parliament, setting stage for the dispute. Analysts said if the Somalia-Kenya border were to run continuously from land into the ocean, making the boundary lie diagonally from the northwest to the southeast, Kenya will be left with a small triangle in the Indian Ocean. Somalia has laid claim to Kenya’s exploration blocks L5, L21, L22, L23, L24 and L 25, arguing that the border runs continuously from land into the ocean, diagonally from the northwest to the southeast instead of the east. Approximate contested region Kenya Navy officers on board the ‘KNS Umoja’ within Somali waters near Ras Kamboni. Picture: File horizontally east from the point at which the two countries touch on land. The practice in East Africa is boundaries run along the line of latitude.’’ The border of Kenya and Tanzania thus runs east into Indian Ocean. According to the UN Conven- tion on the Law of the Sea, all countries that border the ocean are allowed to use the 200 nautical miles into the ocean for exclusive economic purposes without interference. In 2012, Somalia accused Ken- ya of awarding offshore oil and gas exploration blocks illegally to multinational companies. Somalia claimed the concessions lie in its waters, a claim Kenya disputed. . Kenya insisted the boundary should run east along line of latitude emanating from the land boundary terminus. At the end of negotiations, Kenya proposed the parties meet one more time in an attempt to resolve their difference. It was agreed that meetings be held in Mogadishu on August 25 and 26, 2014. Somalia said the Kenyan delegation failed to arrive for the meetings. “The failure of the Kenyan delegation to attend the final meetings created the need for judicial resolution of this dispute,” said Dr Dualeh. The Commonwealth Secretar- iat’s maritime boundary specialists in October 2010 held a workshop for government officials to prepare Kenya for its maritime boundary negotiations with Somalia. It took into consideration the fact that failure to establish clear maritime boundaries with Somalia will have implications for security, shipping, environmental protection, fishing and offshore resource exploration in the region. Insu≥ing against ≥isk of climate catast≥ophe By PETER R. ORSZAG Washington Post GO SET A WATCHMAN isn’t the only book this year that brings new perspective to an old story line. Climate Shock: The Economic Consequences of a Hotter Planet should shift our narrative on climate change. The old story line: People need to worry about climate change because doubling the atmosphere’s concentration of carbon dioxide relative to its preindustrial level would probably raise global average temperatures by 2.7 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit. The new story line: We should worry because of the risk that the changes will be catastrophic. Acting now is thus urgent not because of the expected outcome, but because of the risks associated with the worst possible outcomes, as authors Gernot Wagner of the Environmental Defense Fund and Martin Weitzman of Harvard University explain. Let’s put some numbers to this argument. Preindustrial levels of carbon dioxide amounted to 280 parts per million. Today, we’re at 400 ppm, and the annual increase is 2 ppm. Without drastic action, we will reach 700 ppm by 2100, according to the International Energy Agency. Mr Wagner and Mr Weitzman translate the scientific research on climate sensitivities into probabilities of very bad outcomes, and they conclude that at 700 ppm, there is an 11 per cent chance of an increase in global temperature exceeding 11 degrees Fahrenheit. What would happen with that kind of temperature increase? No one knows exactly, but the authors properly view the outcome as “near-certain disaster.” And therein lies the book’s most essential point. That amount of climate change is, in their words, “a blind planetary gamble.” They continue: “Devastating home fires, car crashes, and other personal catastrophes are almost always much less likely than 10 per cent. And still, people take out insurance to cover against these remote possibilities…. Risks like this on a planetary scale should not be pushed onto society.” Yet action to address the risk is complicated because of what the authors call the Big Four problems: Any one country’s effort to prevent climate change alone would be ineffective; political systems struggle to address long-term challenges; by the time humanity decides to act aggressively, it may be too late; and the risks are highly uncertain, which makes them easy to dismiss.
Jul 26th 2015
Aug 9th 2015