Somalis hold demonstrations over maritime row with Kenya

MOGADISHU, Xinhua- Dozens of Mogadishu residents on Wednesday held demonstrations in Mogadishu streets in support of Somalia’s ongoing maritime case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Kenya.
Residents said the demonstrations organized by the local government aim at building solidarity with the country’s legal team in The Hague. The protesters carried banners with messages supporting Somalia and denouncing Kenya’s case.
Kenya and Somalia are currently presenting their oral submissions at the UN court following a petition by Kenya challenging the jurisdiction of the Court.  “We will not give up an inch of our sea and we will stick to our rights,” Mogadishu mayor Yusuf Hussein Jima’ale told the crowds.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Monday that his country was determined to win the case, noting that his country had resolved to seek the court’s intervention after failure to reach a solution with Kenya.
“We are confident this case will work for us. Somali government is determined to get back the right of our territorial water,” President Mohamud said.
Mogadishu has sued Nairobi, asking the court to determine the line of sea boundary between the two countries, and argues diplomatic negotiations had failed to resolve the matter.
Photo:(Xinhua) — President Uhuru Kenyatta (L), Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (C) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attend the 28th IGAD Extra Ordinary Summit in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, Sept. 13, 2016.
Kenya’s Attorney-General Professor Githu Muigai had told the court on Monday that it had no jurisdiction to hear the case because both countries had signed an agreement to resolve the matter through negotiations.
Meanwhile, Kenya on Wednesday reaffirmed the country’s commitment to sustaining peace in the East African region.
Cabinet Secretary for Defence Rachelle Omamo said Nairobi will continue to remain a key player in matters of security in the region, which has faced several challenges that range from cross-border tensions, terrorism, piracy to extremism.
“Looking at recent trends, no nation can be free from these threats or have the capacity to single-handedly respond to these hazards,” Omamo said in Nairobi during the occasion to mark the World International Day of Peace which was marked by the regional peacekeeping force, Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF).
The day is observed annually and is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war.
Omamo said when EASF was established more than 10 years ago, Kenya made a commitment to joining the other member states as an active player in contribution of peace and security in the region.
EASF Director Chanfi Issimail said, for any society to enjoy peace, cohesion and integration are key elements, adding that sustained peace leads to sustained development.
“EASF is a multi-cultural and international organization with the vision of contributing to regional and continental peace, security, stability and enhancing regional integration,” the director remarked.

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