There was a huge difference in the way President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of Somalia responded to Tuesday's ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the maritime border dispute.
Find out how President Kenyatta and President Farmaajo reacted to ICJ ruling
One ruling, two contrasting reactions.
President Kenyatta rejected in totality and did not recognize the findings in the decision, while President Farmaajo blasted Kenya for using expensive campaign of meddling and interference in an attempt to get Somalia to withdraw its case from the world court.
"The decision embodies a perpetuation of the ICJ’s jurisdictional overreach and raises a fundamental question on the respect of the sovereignty and consent of States to international judicial processes," said President Kenyatta.
On the other hand, President Farmaajo blasted the Kenyan government for years of political interference aimed at disrupting the case.
"Ever since I was elected as your president, we have faced multiple political, security, financial and diplomatic challenges. These were attempts by the Kenyan leadership to divert the Somali people and their government from their decision to deliberate this case only at the ICJ," he remarked.
While President Farmaajo thanked the ICJ for upholding the rule of law President Kenyatta lambasted the court for imposing jurisdiction on a dispute it had neither jurisdiction nor competence.
"Kenya, as an avid supporter of the rule of law, accepted the Court’s jurisdiction through a declaration in 1965, with an objectively clear outline of certain excluded matters.
At the time, Kenya never imagined that the ICJ would violate the declaration to the extent of imposing its mandate over expressly excluded matters," said President Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta stated that he would pursue other avenues to solve the matter. He reached out to the international community to create an enabling environment for the pursuit of a negotiated settlement.
The organs Kenya hopes would mediate between the two include the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council as well as the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and the African Union Border Programme.
“We beseech the rest of the family of Nations to appreciate and respect our inherent right to protect, by all available means, our territory. Nonetheless, Kenya is committed to a diplomatic solution to the current impasse,” he stated.
On the other hand President Farmajo said that he accepted the court's decision and hoped Kenya would abide by the verdict.
"We hope that the Kenyan government will respect the supremacy of international law and will forgo their misguided and unlawful pursuits.
Instead, we hope that Kenya will treat the court's decision as an opportunity to strengthen relations between the two countries and enhance cooperation between the two peoples," he concluded.
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