Somalia-Kenya Maritime Dispute: A Wake Up Call

Published on 14th July 2015

Somalia has taken Kenya to the International Court of Justice over a disputed maritime border in what analysts predict to be a trend that will rise dramatically, potentially curbing ongoing and impending oil and gas explorations and leading to  diplomatic and legal wrangling.

While more than 150 disputes that involve territory have been experienced in Asia, the Pacific region, Europe and the Americas, dilemmas over borders have been commonplace in Africa, a continent that was bequeathed 103 border disputes by its former colonial rulers in 1884 and 1885. The dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula caused a lot of upheavals in the region. In the Great Lakes area, massive hydrocarbon finds in Lake Albert have caused unease. Exploration in Lake Malawi has led to tension between Malawi and Tanzania.

It is urgent that Africa comes up with mechanisms that will address these disputes before they flare up or get out of hand.

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