THE HAGUE – Contrary to the expectations of many, a top judge sitting at the International Court of Justice [ICJ] dissented the judgment issued on Tuesday, which saw his own motherland win a case that has dragged in court for the last seven years.
Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, a Somali national, contested most of the court’s findings on the delimitation of Kenya’s maritime border with Somalia, despite the majority of the judges agreeing to move the equidistance line in Somalia’s favor.
The construction of the median line, the delimitation of the Economic Zone, and the continental shelf, however, were all denied by Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf. He called it “judicial refashioning of geography” because it went against the Court’s established precedent.
The judge stated that he disagreed with the ICJ’s delimitation process, which resulted in Kenya losing the majority of the sea to Somalia. According to his profile, he has been serving in the Hague for a number of years.
“I agree that the court should proceed with the continental shelf delimitation beyond 200 nautical miles, as both parties have requested. However, I disagree with the method in which delimitation has been carried out “reads a portion of his decision
The fact that Kenya’s delimitation was based on an initial agreement between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, which preferred parallel delimitation straight from the land to sea, was not acknowledged anywhere in the verdict, according to the court.
“Without justifying or providing a convincing explanation, the court should simply say that the delimitation of a specific like shall adopt a certain track,” he argued. “Due to a marine delimitation agreement between Kenya and Tanzania in 2009, Kenya’s coastal projections narrow after 200 nautical miles. The court’s decision makes no mention of this.”
While patriotism may not be a role in courts, the judge’s decision may be attacked by his countrymen and praised by Kenya, which has subsequently rejected the maritime decision that conveyed contradictory signals to people of both nations.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said he would not allow Nairobi to lose “even an inch” and vowed to safeguard his country’s “territorial integrity.” Uhuru, who is in the United States for an official engagement, did not say how Kenya will handle the situation.
Outgoing Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, for his part, praised the decision and asked Kenya to “accept the decision” and “utilize it to create a cooperative partnership with us.” He accused Kenyan authorities of “destabilizing Somalia since I assumed power.”