Kenya recalls its ambassador to Somalia as maritime dispute escalates

Foreign minister of Kenya Amina Mohamed. Photo: RR

ar fr

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Kenya has recalled its ambassador to Somalia after the Mogadishu government’s decision to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the center of a maritime territorial dispute in the Indian Ocean, the foreign ministry said.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is considering a claim on their maritime boundaries brought by Somalia in 2014 after negotiations over the 100,000 sq. km stretch of sea floor broke down.

Kenya said on Saturday it had summoned its ambassador, Lucas Tumbo, and asked his Somalia counterpart Mohammed Muhamud Nur to return to Mogadishu for consultation with his government.

“The summons is a consequence of a most regretful and egregious decision by the government of Somalia to auction off oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territorial area,” the foreign ministry said.

Kenya said it had raised concerns with the Somali government a day before the auction after it noticed blocks in what it considers to be its maritime territory were included in the auction.

The two states have been co-operating in the long fight against the al Qaeda-linked, al Shabaab militants in Somalia. Kenya said the row over maritime territory could jeopardize that.

© Bur-csa – S.E – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng