Kenya Parliament Approves Military Force Against Somalia
As the Maritime Conflict between Kenya and Somalia escalates and the ICJ decision is awaited Kenya parliament is seeking to use KDF to protect what it claimed is its maritime territory. In a letter signed by the Kenya National Assembly Majority and Minority Leaders Aden Duale and John Mbadi said that Kenya will ”explore other lawful and constitutional mechanisms for protecting the territory of the Republic, including deploying the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) to the subject boundary to undertake the responsibility of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic as contemplated under Article 241 (3) of the Constitution”.
The statement was seen in some quarters as a declaration of war against Somalia, a first in the history of Kenya that is viewed as an oasis of peace in a volatile region. The Maritime dispute that has began in 1981 after the then Somalia President Siad Barre denounced the territorial claims of Kenya has escalated when Kenya protested against Somalia’s proposed auction of blocks 230, 231, 232 and 233 in the London Oil and Gas Conference hosted by Somalia as claimed by Kenya. The maritime boundary dispute is at the International Court of Justice and the Court is yet to make a judgement.
Kenya’s call for the deployment of KDF in the disputed territory has surprised the international community. Pundits claim that Kenya is very unlikely to win the dispute in court and may be trying to attract the attention of the Somalia government to reach a desirable out of Court settlement.