An Ethiopian-led mediation process kicked off in Nairobi today to resolve a diplomatic row between Kenya and Somalia over their maritime territorial boundary. The area in question covers an estimated 100,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean.
Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi arrived in the country Tuesday night accompanied by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia for talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Through the facilitation of Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed met this morning to discuss extensively on the source of the two countries dispute.
Last month, Kenya summoned its ambassador to Somalia, saying it was protesting a decision by the Mogadishu government to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of a maritime territorial dispute in the Indian Ocean.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is considering a claim on the two countries’ maritime boundaries brought by Somalia in 2014 after negotiations over the 100,000 square km stretch of seafloor broke down.
The office of the Ethiopian prime minister said mediation efforts were designed to ‘ease tensions that have been building.
As an outcome of the discussions, both parties agreed to work together towards peace and to take measures in addressing particular issues that escalated the tensions, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.