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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Somalia- Kenya maritime boundary dispute at UN Court

(1 September 2014)

A long-standing dispute over the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya in the Indian Ocean will be settled at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice. According to the court, Somalia brought the case “to determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean.”

Kenya has claimed over 40,000 square miles of territory in the Indian Ocean, and has awarded contracts to oil and gas companies for exploration in the area. It would like the adjudicated boundary to head straight east in order to award Kenya more sea territory. Somalia, on the other hand, argues for a maritime boundary continuing along the line of the land border.

Settlement of the maritime boundary will allow for potentially lucrative oil and gas drilling in the now-contested maritime area. Both countries have recognized the jurisdiction of the court. 


Somalia sues Kenya at top UN court over maritime border, 28 August 2014, Yahoo News,

Somalia institutes proceedings against Kenya with regard to “a dispute concerning maritime delimitation in the Indian Ocean,” 28 August 2014, International Court of Justice,