The Real Reason Behind The Beef Between Kenya And Somalia

The Real Reason Behind The Beef Between Kenya And Somalia

A row that has been brewing for a long time now finally released the pressure like a pressure cooker on Saturday. Kenya, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared Somalia an 'enemy' of the Kenyan people. This is why the neighbours are squabbling.

Reports came in that Somalia had auctioned off some oil and gas blocs in an offshore area that has been under dispute for a long time now.

The Real Reason Behind The Beef Between Kenya And Somalia

The disputed section on the sea is a narrow triangle off the coast of Kenya and Somalia. Within the Indian Ocean, the area is approximately 100,000 square kilometers.

It is believed that the section has huge reserves of oil and gas and international maritime laws have been ambigous as to who really owns the section.

Timothy Walter, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in South Africa says:

The position of the boundary is a grey area.

However, considering the area's parallel nature to the lines of latitude, Kenya owns a larger share of the oceanic area.
Somalia has never accepted this and they sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice in 2014.

This latest decision by Somalia means they have ignored Kenya's claims and gone ahead to auction the area to international mining companies.

In  a series of meetings in 2009, Kenya and Somalia did come to an agreement that a UN commission should determine the case out of court.

According to experts, this is what is supposed to happen:

In disputed cases, a temporary boundary is drawn along a line that is at the same distance from both coastlines, if there are no physical obstacles to this. A test period is then implemented to see if this boundary is fair to both sides or if it benefits or disadvantages one or the other.

It remains to be seen what will happen as Kenya has maintained their stance for over 100 years and are unlikely to change.

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