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Kenya’s bid to postpone maritime case rejected by Somalia

Somalia has rejected a request by Kenya to have the maritime case at the Hague based court postponed.

Mogadishu on Thursday said it wants the case on the maritime delimitation within the Indian Ocean to proceed without further delay.

Information Minister Osman Dubbe said Mogadishu has already petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to reject Kenya’s request for the postponement of the case for the fourth time.

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“We have rejected Kenya’s fourth request to the ICJ to postpone the two countries’ maritime case,” Dubbe said.

“We have rejected Kenya’s fourth request to the ICJ to postpone the two countries’ maritime case. Justice delayed is justice denied. We should be set to head to the Hague court on the 15th of March come what may. Long live Somalia,” Dubbe posted on his Twitter.

Oral arguments for the case were set to take place from March 15 to 19 at the ICJ which is the principal judicial organ of the UN.

Kenya last month petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to postpone the public hearings as it protested at a missing map crucial to its case.

Nairobi further objected to proceedings via video link, arguing Covid-19 has frustrated Kenya’s preparations for the case and insisting only in-person hearings  would guarantee a level playing field

Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki in a letter dated Jan 28 said Nairobi shall not participate in a hearing as a mere formality, given “grave dangers to the country’s national security” depending on the outcome of the case that was filed in 2014.

” Kenya will be unable to defend itself “fairly, fully and transparently” if the scheduled hearing proceeded by video link,” read part of the letter.

Kariuki in the letter further cited the lack of substantive government in Mogadishu since the current terms of both Parliament and President Mohamed Farmajo have expired as well as the COVID-19 pandemic as the reasons it wants the case postponed.

However, Dubbe said any postponement of the case would be another setback for international justice.

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