The International Court of Justice will now hear the Kenya-Somalia maritime border case in March 2021, due to the COVID19 pandemic. This is the fourth time the court is delaying the hearing. Last year October, the UN court pushed the oral proceeding to 8th June 2020, granting Kenya time to prepare its legal team.
According to Somali Affairs, the Kenyan government requested a delay of the case, citing its inability to gather funds and resources for the case due to the pandemic.
The court will now hear the Somali government’s debate between 15th-18th March 2021. Kenya’s case will be heard on the 17th to 19th of March 2021.
The hearing will feature only oral arguments as both parties earlier presented their evidence to the court.
Somalia lodged the maritime border case against Kenya in August 2014 after failed diplomatic negotiations. Somalia then asked the court to determine the complete course of the maritime border dividing Kenya and Somalia, including 200 nautical miles of the continental shelf in line with international laws.
On the one hand, Somalia argues that the maritime border should continue along the line of the land border. On the other hand, Kenya insists that the border runs along the parallel latitude, southeast of Kiunga.