Kenya loses maritime border case against Somalia

The court split the disputed maritime triangle between the two countries.

The International Court of Justice rules most of the disputed maritime territory in favour Somalia. This is the illustration depicting the boundary as decided by the Court.

The International Court of Justice has rejected Somalia's claims that Kenya violated international laws however it has ruled most of the disputed maritime territory belongs to Somalia.

A full bench of 15 judges led by US judge Joan Donoghue handed down the verdict at the Peace Palace in The Hague on October 12 at exactly 1600 GMT+3.

At stake was the sovereignty, undersea riches and the future of relations between two countries in one of the world's most troubled regions.

Kenya had already lashed the ICJ as biased and announced it did not recognise the court's binding jurisdiction.

At the heart of the dispute was the direction that the joint maritime boundary should take from the point where the land frontiers meet on the coast.

Somalia insisted the boundary should follow the orientation of its land border and thus head out in a line towards the southeast, but Kenya argued its boundary runs in a straight line east.

Nairobi said it had exercised sovereignty over the area since 1979, when it proclaimed the limits of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) -- a maritime territory extending up to 200 nautical miles offshore where a state has the right to exploit resources.

The contested 100,000-square-kilometre (38,000-square-mile) area is believed to contain rich gas and oil deposits.

Nairobi has already granted exploration permits to Italian energy giant ENI but Somalia is contesting the move.

More to follow.

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