ICJ ruling victory for Somalia, Farmaajo says Kenya to blame for instability

Somalia President Mohamed Farmaajo chats with Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta in a past event. [Courtesy]

President Mohamed Farmaajo has termed ICJ’s ruling on the maritime dispute with Kenya as a victory for Somalia.

Farmaajo in a televised broadcast said the ruling was a historic victory after long struggle by his administration against unlawful attempts by Nairobi to claim parts of the maritime territory.

While accusing Kenya for the instability that has cut across his country, Farmaajo said safeguarding Somalia’s territory in the Indian Ocean has not been an easy task considering the circumstances the nation has gone through.

“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),” Farmaajo said.

He claimed that merely three months after he took office, Kenyan leadership started to directly intervene in Somalia’s political process by mobilising political groups in order to create an atmosphere of chaos and political instability ultimately leading to the withdrawal of the case from the Court.

He said after the failure of those pressure tactics, Kenya resorted to direct violations of Somalia’s 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,” he said.

Farmaajo said the distorted image was damaging and insulting to Somalia’s recovering reputation.

He said Kenya further carried out a misinformation campaign aiming to tarnish the reputation of his leadership.

“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,” he said.

Farmajo’s statement comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta maintained that Kenya will not cede an inch of its territory.

Uhuru in a statement said he would do everything possible as the head of state to preserve the territory of the country.

Uhuru however said his administration is committed to seeking diplomatic solutions to the dispute.

But Farmaajo said Kenya has undertaken 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 while allowing 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,” he said.

Farmaajo claimed he is 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.

He accused Nairobi of promising to facilitate better relations between the federal government and the government of Jubaland state if Somalia would be willing to withdraw the case from the ICJ.

“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,” he said.

Farmaajo added, “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.”

He said as a result, Somalia has accepted the Court’s decision in line with the international laws and norms.

He said his administration hopes 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,” he said.