Kenya has declined to take part in proceedings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its maritime border dispute with neighbouring Somalia.
Direction of Maritime Boundary:
- The main point of disagreement between the two neighbors is the direction in which their maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean should extend.
- The sea border should be an extension of the same direction in which their land border runs as it approaches the Indian Ocean, i.e. towards the southeast.
- The maritime border should run parallel to the equator.
Importance of Disputed Area:
- The triangular area thus created by the dispute is around 1.6 lakh sq. km. large, and boasts of rich marine reserves.
- It is also believed to have oil and gas deposits.
International Court of Justice:
- ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter and started working in April 1946.
- It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
- It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions in accordance with international law, on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.
- Its rulings are binding, though the court has no enforcement powers and countries have been known to ignore its verdicts.