The Kenya-Somalia Maritime Boundary Dispute Threatens Kenya's Regional Transport and Logistics Hub Ambitions
The ongoing maritime boundary dispute between Kenya and Somalia over 62,000 square miles of maritime territory is awaiting determination by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Overlapping positions by the two countries on their common maritime border are as a result of Kenya’s application of straight line delimitation principle clashing with Somalia’s equidistance delimitation principle. The dispute has largely been examined through the political-legal and security-defence lenses, and to an extent, its implications on regional stability. However, Kenya’s geo-strategic interests, especially her regional transport and logistics hub ambitions, are imperilled by this maritime dispute with Somalia. The possibility of losing its case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), means Kenya’s access to the sea could become limited by Tanzania’s maritime border with Kenya (running along a parallel of latitude) being adjoined, even tangentially, to Somalia’s diagonal maritime one.