The UN’s top court awarded Somalia control of most of a potentially oil and gas-rich chunk of the Indian Ocean on Tuesday after a bitter legal battle with neighbouring Kenya over their sea border.
The International Court of Justice ruled there was “no agreed maritime boundary” and drew a new border close to the one claimed by Somalia, although Kenya kept a part of the 100,000 square-kilometre (38,000-square-mile) area, chief judge Joan Donoghue said.
Kenya, which had claimed the entire area off the East African coast, said last week that it would refuse to recognise the jurisdiction of the “biased” Hague-based court.
The court’s decision, which is final, could have far-reaching consequences for the future of relations between two key countries in one of the world’s most troubled regions.
Somalia dragged Kenya to the ICJ in 2014 over the disputed patch of sea.
At the heart of the dispute is the direction that the joint maritime boundary should take from the point where the land frontiers meet on the coast.