Kenya has issued three conditions for a diplomatic resolution to the maritime dispute with neighbouring Somalia.
Nairobi wants Mogadishu to immediately withdraw a map, which was displayed at an economic forum in the United Kingdom, claiming part of Kenya’s territory.
Kenya has also demanded that Somali authorities inform those who bought oil and gas blocks at the London auction that the Horn of Africa nation doesn’t own the area.
Thirdly, Kenya wants a maritime discussion between the two nations to arrive at an amicable solution outside the international court.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said Kenya expected the three conditions to be met as a pre-condition for restoring diplomatic relations with Somalia, which it severed on Saturday.
However, the Somali government yesterday denied any selling any oil or gas blocks as claimed. “Somali 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,” read a letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the Kenyan Foreign Affairs ministry.
On Saturday the row over a maritime territorial area in the Indian Ocean between Kenya and Somalia escalated after Nairobi decided to cut diplomatic relations with Mogadishu over a claim that the latter had auctioned oil blocks located in a disputed border area.
Ambassador Macharia confirmed to The Standard that Kenya’s envoy, Lt Gen (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, had arrived in Nairobi on Saturday evening. Somali Ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Nur also returned to Mogadishu on Sunday as ordered by Nairobi.