The government of Somalia has said it has not auctioned Kenya’s oil and gas blocks as the matter is being handled by the International Court of Justice, ICJ. Somalia regrets the decision by Kenya that saw its Ambassador kicked out of Nairobi; yesterday. Kenya summoned her Ambassador to Somalia, Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, to Nairobi for urgent consultations. According to Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, the summon was a consequence of a most regretful and egregious decision by the Government of Somalia to auction off oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territorial area.
Below is the presser by Somalia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation;
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation of the Federal Republic of Somalia (the “Government of Somalia”) presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya (the “Government of Kenya”) and has the honour to respond to the latter’s Note Verbale dated 8 February 2019 (MFA REL.13/21) protesting certain maps depicting Somalia’s maritime zones that were presented at a recent Somalia Oil and Gas Conference held on February 7, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.
We note that the Government of Kenya has characterized these maps as “illegal”. The maps in question depict Somalia’s claimed maritime zones and are entirely consistent with Somalia’s long-standing position, including its claim in the maritime delimitation case with Kenya currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This long-standing position reflects the Government of Somalia’s duty to protect its sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity.
In addition, the Government of Somalia regrets the recent statements made by the Government of Kenya alleging that the Government of Somalia is “preferring to bid” any blocks in Kenya’s potential maritime zones to external bidders. Somalia is not now offering, nor does it have any plans to offer, any blocks in the disputed maritime area until the Parties’ maritime boundary is decided by the ICJ. In this respect, the Government of Somalia wishes to reassure the Government of Kenya that it stands by its commitment not to undertake any unilateral activities in the disputed area until such time as the ICJ renders its judgment. Somalia also wishes to reassure Kenya that when the ICJ does render its judgment, Somalia will fully respect and comply therewith.
Finally, the Government of Somalia also regrets the Government of Kenya’s decision to instruct the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Somalia to depart Kenya without prior consultation with the Government of Somalia.
The Somali and the Kenyan people share strong cultural and historical ties that cannot be severed or affected by any disagreements among them. Indeed, the Somali and the Kenyan people’s destiny and future are indissolubly interconnected.
Hence, the Government of Somalia is committed to continuing to work hard in close cooperation with its brothers and sisters in Kenya to address the pressing issues confronting both nations and the region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation of the Federal Republic of Somalia avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration.
This comes even as an unverified memo, being circulated online, gives Kenyans living in Somalia to ‘vacate’ in one week’s time.
See the presser, below, issued by Ambassador Macharia Kamau, yesterday;
KENYA SUMMONS ITS AMBASSADOR TO THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF SOMALIA AND INSTRUCTS THE AMBASSADOR OF SOMALIA TO KENYA TO DEPART TO SOMALIA FOR CONSULTATIONS
- Kenya has summoned its Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Somalia, Ambassador Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo. He has been summoned back to Nairobi for urgent consultations. The summons is a consequence of a most regretful and egregious decision by the Government of Somalia to auction off all and gas blocks in Kenya’s maritime territorial area that borders Somalia.
- The auction took place in London, United Kingdom, on the h February, 2019
- This unparalleled affront and illegal grab at the resources of Kenya will not go unanswered and is tantamount to an act of aggression against the people of Kenya and their resources. This outrageous and provocative auction deserves and will be met with a unanimous and resounding rejection by all Kenyans as well as all people of goodwill who believe in the maintenance of international law and order and the peaceful and legal resolution of disputes.
- Kenya, through multiple channels including direct diplomatic demarches at the highest of levels has sought to find an amicable and peaceful resolution of the maritime boundary and has severally and emphatically stated its unequivocal claim of them maritime area that is known to be historically Kenyan. Kenya has willingly and procedurally enjoined itself to the international legal processes of international boundary disputes, including but not limited to, bilateral negotiations and subservience to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)) where this matter of the Kenya/Somalia boundary currently rests.
- By carelessly ignoring the internationally acceptable norms of boundary dispute resolution and or political and diplomatic disagreements, the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia has once again demonstrated that it has yet to attain and embrace the political maturity and diplomatic stance of a normal, well adjusted, and properly functioning modern state,you
- It is tragic and most regretful that the Government of Somalia has chosen to take this action against a people and a State that has stood by the Somali people through incredible humanitarian and political hardships. Kenya has stood by Somalia without once flinching on its responsibility to its neighbour nor shirking its responsibility to the people of Somalia.
- 7. Kenya regrets that the action of the Government of Somalia has undermined and severely damaged the existing cordial and brotherly relations between the Governments of Kenys and Somalia and has compromised half a century’s worth of dedication and cooperation between the two countries.
- It is particularly egregious that the Government of Somalia has chosen to dismiss these years of commitment to the people of Somalla by seeking to auction Kenyan sovereign resources to the highest predatory bidders from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northen Ireland and the Kingdom of Norway among others.
- On 6 February, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (was) alarmed at the incorrect display and characterization of Kenyan maritime territory as belonging to Somalia, during the London auction, summoned the Somalia Ambassador to Kenya and formally demanded a withdrawal of the incorrect map displayed at the Conference and cessation of the auction of the oil and gas blocks in Kenya’s territory.
- The Ambassador of Somalia received the protest (demarche) and confirmed on the same day that Kenya’s alarm and consternation at developments at the London Conference, had been registered at the highest level of the Somali Government. It was agreed that there would be a speedy and amicable response to Kenya’s objections.
- At the same time, Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia received his instructions to formally deliver Kenya’s protest to the Government of Somalia which, again, Ambassador confirmed was received at the highest level of the Somali Government.
- It is therefore most regretful that the Government of Kenya has now arrived at the conclusion that its protest and demands that Kenya sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected, have been ignored. The Government of Kenya cannot and will not standby as its demarches are ignored and its territorial integrity is infringed upon and its sovereign resources are carved out and shared out by an ungracious and unbrotherly neighbour acting to satisfy the greed of commercial interests resident in foreign lands.
- Kenya would like to remind the Government of Somalia and by extension the international community that Kenya’s magnanimity towards its neighbours must never be taken for granted. Kenya has paid an unparalleled price for its generosity and hospitality without ever asking for anything in return. The lives of Kenyans lost owing
to Kenya’s commitment to international peace and security remain a fresh memory in the minds of Kenyans and a painful remainder of the high cost of good neighbourliness and international corporate responsibility.
- Over the past 30 years, Kenya has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees from many of its neighbours. Today, Kenya hosts aver four hundred thousand Somali refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya despite the hijacking of these humanitarian spaces by terrorists and criminal elements who have used the camps to plan and launch terror attacks in Kenya. This situation cannot be allowed to continue. The
patience of the people of Kenya is not infinite.
- Kenya is prepared and ready to defend its territorial integrity at any cost and considers all those directly or indirectly involved, whether Kenyan or non-Kenyan in encroachment of Kenya’s territory as enemies of the State and as adversaries of the Kenyan people.