Somalia denies auctioning Oil, Gas blocks in Kenyan territory
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Federal Government of Somalia has vehemently denied Kenyan claims that it has auctioned contentious Oil and Gas blocks in the Indian Ocean, Garowe Online reports.
This came after Kenya recalled its ambassador to Somalia on Saturday and asked Somalia's envoy to leave the country in protest of an alleged auction of oil blocks in disputed maritime border London forum on 7th February to bidders.
In a statement on Sunday evening, Somalia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured Kenya it has not sold off any oil blocks and will not undertake unilateral activities until the International Court of Justice gives a verdict on the issue.
“Somali Government regrets statement by Kenya alleging that the Government of Somalia is “proffering to bid” any blocks in Kenya’s potential maritime zones to external bidders," read the statement.
The Federal Government of Somalia has also wished to reassure its neighboring Kenya that when the ICJ does render its judgment, it will fully respect and comply therewith.
In addition, Somalia expressed regret over Kenya's hasty decision to instruct Somali ambassador in Nairobi, Mohamud Ahmed Nur Tarsan to depart its country without prior consultations.
Political experts warn of 'major catastrophe' if an immediate solution to the unfolding situation is failed and the two countries don't exercise restraint and allow diplomatic channels to handle the matter.
The worsening diplomatic relationship between Somalia and Kenya is said to be bad for both nations, which became the victims of Al-Shabab terror attacks.
Kenya hosts the largest Somali refugees at Dadaab refugee camps and at the same time the biggest Somali business community East Africa are in its capital, Nairobi.
Kenya has a large number of combat troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] who are operating in Jubbaland state.