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The President’s Address to the Nation on the Ruling of the ICJ in the Case of the Maritime Dispute between Somalia and Kenya

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The President’s Address to the Nation on the Ruling of the ICJ in the Case of the Maritime Dispute between Somalia and Kenya

    

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful,

Firstly, I would like to thank Allah who has granted us this historic victory after the long struggle by the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia against the unlawful attempts by the Kenyan government to claim parts of our maritime territory.

It was indeed a just struggle that was based on a long vision, a deep knowledge, bravery, patriotism, the protection of public assets, and the defense of the nation and its people. Justice has prevailed. Law and order have prevailed. This victory belongs to the Somali public who have always supported and stood by their government and their elected leaders. Each time we unite for the purpose of patriotism and the defense of our nation, this kind of victory always follows.

I would like to express my gratitude to the International Court of Justice for upholding the rule of law. This ruling exemplifies the integrity and transparency of the ICJ.

At the same time, the historic decision by the 8th parliament to reject the MOU was very commendable. We couldn’t have reached this victory today if it was not for their decision to nullify the MOU and instead adopt the “inheritance protection” resolution.

What is also worth mentioning is the noble role of my brother and my predecessor, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, who initiated the Court process to seek justice and protect Somalia’s maritime borders which were unlawfully claimed by Kenya.

Equally, I would like to commend the incredible efforts of the Somali lawyers and experts who stood for the defense of Somalia’s maritime territory, with Dr. Muna Sharman and the late Engineer Mohamed Omar Salihi, May Allah have mercy on him, at their forefront. Engineer Salihi had hoped to witness the victorious results of his efforts in this case. I would like to assure you that these two individuals I have just mentioned will be forever remembered in our history for their role in defending our nation and will be a living example for our future generations.

The Somali people and their government will never forget the diligence and integrity shown by our international team of lawyers and legal experts from Foley Hoag Law Firm, especially the team of solicitors who were entrusted by our government to represent our case that included:

1. Paul S Reichler,
2. Prof. Philippe Sands,
3. Prof. Alain Pellet,
4. Alina Miron
5. Edward Craven

I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the Federal Government’s committee who have tirelessly followed, managed, and coordinated all aspects of this case. This committee has been led by the Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Mahdi Mohamed Guled (Khadar), and included our previous ambassador to Belgium and the E.U., Amb. Ali Said Faqi, as well as the former Attorney General, Dr. Ahmed Ali Dahir, and his current successor, Suleiman Mohamed Mohamoud. The team also included exemplary lawyers such as Hamza Ibrahim Abdullahi, as well as the former ambassador to the U.N, H.E. Yusuf Garaad Omar, and his current successor, ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman (Baalle).

The safeguarding of our national assets was not an easy task, especially considering the circumstances our nation has gone through, and given that it is still recovering from years of destruction and lawlessness. Nonetheless, the support, patriotism and unity shown by the Somali people has been the driving force behind our efforts.

Honorable Somali people, ladies and gentlemen,

Ever since I was elected as your president, we have faced multiple political, security, financial and diplomatic challenges, which were attempts by the Kenyan leadership to divert the Somali people and their government from their decision to deliberate this case only at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Merely three months after I had taken office, the Kenyan leadership started to directly intervene in our country’s political process by mobilizing political groups in Kenya in order to create an atmosphere of chaos and political instability in Somalia that would ultimately lead to the withdrawal of the case from the Court.

After the failure of those pressure tactics, the Kenyan government resorted to direct violations of our sovereignty. The Kenyan government spent enormous time and resources in a campaign to politically isolate us, painting a distorted picture of our nation to our neighboring countries, the continent as a whole and to the international community.

This distorted image was damaging and insulting to our recovering nation’s reputation. But they didn’t stop there. A misinformation campaign aiming to tarnish the reputation of the leadership of this federal government was also carried out in Kenya’s national media as well as other international media outlets.

The Kenyan government waged a military campaign violating our nation’s sovereignty and the public interest of the Somali people. This military campaign included indiscriminate air and land strikes inside Somalia’s borders. These strikes targeted the lives and properties of Somali citizens. Case in point being the death of innocent civilians, including helpless women and children, in the town of Belet-Hawo and the damages incurred upon Telecommunication Towers that belong to Somali Telecom Companies operating in Jubaland, Somalia.

Additionally, Kenya undertook measures that fall outside of political and diplomatic norms, waging a strong campaign at the United Nations to place Somalia under the UNSC 1267 resolution which would have facilitated the labelling of Somali business community, government officials and humanitarian workers as terrorists, allow for the arbitrary confiscation and freezing of their assets and ultimately cripple the country’s economy.

The Kenyan government took every possible measure to disrupt the due course of the legal case at the ICJ, hoping that this issue would be resolved outside of court. They even undertook a malicious smearing campaign targeting regional organizations and our friends in the continent and the rest of the world to deny our sovereign right to defend our maritime borders through universally accepted legal and judicial means.

Despite these enormous international pressures, we did not give in. And yet, the Kenyan government continued its direct interferences in the political processes in some of our federal member states, case in point, their direct meddling in electoral issues in Jubaland, despite the outright opposition of the general population in the state, including the elders, intellectuals, the civil society, and notable politicians.

We are aware of the malicious steps violating Somalia’s sovereignty that were undertaken by the Kenyan government in order to pressure the Somali leadership to sit at the negotiation table and facilitate the looting of Somalia’s maritime resources. These included several instances where the Kenyan government promised to facilitate better relations between the federal government and the government of Jubaland state if we were willing to withdraw the case from the ICJ.

Honorable Somali citizens, ladies and gentlemen,

We have sworn to uphold the trust placed in us by the Somali public. Our moral standards will never allow us to choose political or economic benefits or even short-term positions of power over the inheritance of our future generations.

We have also sworn to never take ill gained wealth and would rather live in dignified poverty. Each step we have taken so far and every decision we have made has been based on the protection of the dignity, sovereignty, unity and the integrity of the Somali people and their country.

Honorable Somali citizens.

It is indisputable that the Kenyan government applied pressure and directly interfered in the affairs of federal member states. However, they have also blatantly attempted to sow discord among the different levels of Somalia’s leadership.

The federal government of Somalia hereby confirms that we accept the Court’s decision, in line with the international laws and norms. 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.

Somalia did not choose to become Kenya’s neighbor. It was Allah the Almighty’s decision, and we have no choice but to co-exist in a peaceful and neighborly manner. This has always been Somalia’s desire, and we still welcome that.

The Kenyan people are good and peace-loving. It is my hope that the Kenyan government will strive to make this region more peaceful and prosperous, while the region’s populations collectively strive for a better future and inclusive prosperity.

Since the International Court of Justice has delivered its decision on the case that has been at the core of the dispute between the two countries, the Federal Government of Somalia would like to stress our commitment to peaceful co-existence and cooperative relations between the two countries and their people, while creating a united front against terrorists who threaten the stability and security of the region.

Honorable Somali citizens, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to express my deep gratitude to all Somali people who have bravely and selflessly united in support of their government during the lengthy process of the court case.

This victory does not belong to anyone specific. It does not discriminate between pro-government or opposition groups. Nor does its credit belong to specific individuals. It is rather a victory that belongs to all Somalis and will be passed on to future generations.

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage my fellow politicians to show unity and solidarity, working together towards protecting our national interests while putting aside any personal interests or different political views.

Victory for Somalia. Long Live Somalia. And may Allah lead us towards the righteous path

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