Maritime border spat behind Somalia/Kenyan tensions
Publish date: 10 June 2019
Issue Number: 827
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
When Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo flew to South Africa late last month to attend the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa, he avoided Kenyan airspace. The East African reports that the two countries have been involved in a diplomatic tiff over immigration rules. Kenya recently barred three Somali officials, part of a delegation coming to attend a cross-border conflict management programme, over failure to obtain visas from the Kenyan embassy in Mogadishu, a move that angered the Somalia administration so much that it asked its officials to boycott the UN-Habitat Assembly held in Nairobi two weeks ago. On 28 May, Kenya's aviation authorities further banned unaccompanied luggage on aircraft from Somalia and insisted that all planes land at Wajir airport in northern Kenya for security checks. The report notes that the deterioration of relations between the two neighbours has been blamed on the dispute over the maritime border in a resource-rich triangle in the Indian Ocean, which is the subject of a case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.