The stand-off between Somalia and Kenya is threatening to severe painstaking efforts stretching three decades that regional countries and the international community have endured to pull Somalia out of cynicism characterized by warlord-ism.
It is no secret that Kenya has paid a huge price in trying to be a good brother to Somalia especially terrorism, and carried the bulk of refugee burden. Kenya thus has every right to feel unappreciated over the sale of oil and gas blocks in contested areas in the Indian Ocean.
Our sentiments as a country were aptly propounded by Foreign Affairs Principal secretary Macharia Kamau’s sentiments.
“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 with the Somali people through incredible humanitarian and political hardships…” he said.
Diplomatic experts say Kenya’s move to react sternly was a necessary pre-emptive strike to forestall any further action and up the stakes in the dispute—and thus bring the parties to the negotiating table, a position Nairobi has been pushing for.
Somalia in response denied any sale of the oil and gas block in the disputed area, even as Kenya insisted that she withdraws the auction move made to the investor said to be behind the gas and oil auction.
A source familiar with the deal entered by Somalia told a local Daily that Mogadishu had already entered into multi-billion-dollar deals with companies in Norway, the United Kingdom and France.
The Somali government has been working with Spectrum Geo a firm that provides high quality multi-client seismic data and seismic Imaging solutions to global oil and gas exploration companies.
Spectrum is also understood to be planning round two of the auction to be held in Houston, in the United States and Dubai, meaning that Mogadishu may have as good as Crossed the Rubbicon, sealing Kenya’s fate on the matter.
And even as the diplomatic tiff plays out, Kenya insists that the dispute which in any case is before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) calls for arbitration to amicably resolve the matter and requires goodwill and good neighborliness.
Other sources familiar with the issue, say Kenya might throw caution to the wind and use the current diplomatic spat with Somalia to recognize the self-declared independent states of Somaliland, Putland and restless Jubaland region, a move that could further destabilize Mogadishu.
The three states broke away from the Federal Republic of Somalia and have been seeking recognition as autonomous states. “Kenya has a number of options to apply to destabilize Somalia which again does not have a stable government,” said the source.
For years, Kenya and Somalia have been involved in a dispute over where their maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean runs.
Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki said that Kenya was confident that it will win the case at The Hague. “The Somalia case is weak and cannot withstand the threshold, Kenya will win and the matter settled amicably,” he said.
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