Somalia rejected a new request dated April 23 by Kenya to have the maritime delimitation hearing case postponed for the third time, The Brief can reveal.
The hearing will thus go ahead as scheduled on June 8-12, unless affected by Covid-19 pandemic.
Already, Kenya has asked for postponement twice, forcing the International Court of Justice to delay the hearing twice.
The case was first pushed back from September 9-12 to November 4-8, 2019, and again to June 8-12, 2020 on Kenya’s request.
In this new filing, according to international journalist Harun Maruf, Kenya cited the Covid-19 pandemic for the reason to have the maritime hearing postponed.
In the previous request, Kenya had asked for more time to reconstitute its legal team.
The ICJ delayed the case in October last year on the understanding that no further postponement would be granted.
The time of oral arguments allocated to each party will remain as initially planned.
“Again the Court wishes to remind the Parties that the written proceedings, in this case, are already closed. The parties should proceed to the hearings in accordance with the Rules of Court,” the letter stated.
Kenya has been hoping for an out of court settlement on the matter but Somalia has insisted on letting the court decide.
It has previously hinted at not trusting the ICJ, accusing its northern neighbour of ignoring local and continental mechanisms to resolve the dispute.
September 19, 2016, was the first time that Kenya appeared before the ICJ and the position then was and still remains that the Court was not competent to decide the maritime dispute.
Kenya has always maintained its position that it did not consent to the Court’s jurisdiction over disputes where it had agreed to other methods of settlement, including the April 7, 2009 MoU.