As the Somalia-Kenya maritime dispute escalates into a legal and diplomatic spat, peace and security concerns take centre stage. From September 9 to 13, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the The Hague will hear submissions from Somalia and Kenya over their maritime territorial dispute. Somalia contends that its maritime boundary with Kenya should run on a diagonal, extending from its land border and not in the current flow parallel to the line of latitude.
The contentious triangle measures about 100, 000 square kilometres; for Kenya, it places 51, 000 sq km of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 95, 000 sq km of its continental shelf in jeopardy.
While the main resource issue has been the potential hydrocarbon deposits in the contested area, the dispute has the potential to escalate security issues in the region, especially as it encourages brinksmanship. Both countries have officially accused the other of auctioning oil blocs in the disputed waters. (…)