Somalia Responds After Kenya Expels Envoy Over Maritime Dispute

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo The Star
  • The government of Somalia on Sunday night dispelled Kenya’s accusations that it had auctioned off oil and gas blocks in Kenya's territory. 

    In a statement released by the country’s ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Somalia stated that it was ready and willing to cooperate with Kenya in finding an amicable solution to the crisis that has caused a diplomatic tiff between the two countries.

    Somalia denied all accusations and stated that it was committed to continuing to work hard in close cooperation with its brothers and sisters in Kenya to address pressing issues confronting both nations and the region.

    “Somalia is not now offering, nor does it have any plans to offer, any blocks in the disputed maritime area until the parties’ maritime boundary is decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ),” part of the statement read.
     

    Ambassador Lucas Tumbo during the interview in his office in Mogadishu.

    Furthermore, the country expressed regret on the decision by Kenya to send back its Ambassador to Kenya without prior consultation.

    On Saturday the government of Kenya sent back Somalia's Ambassador to Kenya, Mohamud Ahmed Nur, and recalled Kenyan envoy Lucas Tumbo.

    Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Macharia Kamau stated that the decision was taken after Somalia unilaterally auctioned off oil and gas blocks in contested maritime zones in the Indian Ocean.

    Kenya termed the decision by Somalia to auction the disputed maritime blocks as “unparalleled affront” and vowed that the “illegal grab” will not go unanswered.

    “This outrageous and provocative auction deserves and will be met with a unanimous and resounding rejection by all Kenyans as well as all people of goodwill who believe in the maintenance of international law and order and the peaceful and legal resolution of disputes,” PS Kamau addressed. 

    According to Nairobi, Somalia auctioned the contentious blocks to the “highest predatory” bidders from the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Norway after a map showing the area in question belonging to Somalia was shown at a London conference.

    Disputed maritime area