Kenya protests against UK, Norway in maritime row with Somalia

Africa

Nairobi has dragged the United Kingdom and Norway into the ongoing maritime border row with neighbouring Somalia, it has now emerged.

Kenya and Somalia are embroiled in a tussle over the control of oil deposits along the Indian Ocean maritime border, a dispute that has seen the two countries move to the International Court of Justice.

However, Nairobi is specifically said to have written to Oslo, accusing it of being used to demarcate the boundary despite the fact that it has no jurisdictions.

“The government is furious that Norway that is supposed to work for peace in Somalia is involved in the demarcation," an official who requested anonymity said.

Despite the standoff, Kenya is keen to have a dialogue with Somalia over the matter according to government spokesperson Col Cyrus Oguna.
"Dialogue is the best way to solve a dispute involving two countries. And this is the route that we are pursuing now," Oguna told the Sunday Nation.

This comes after United Nations monitors warned that conflict can be sparked in Somalia following commercial oil exploration by the West in disputed areas of the country.

According to the UN report, Norwegian oil firm DNO and Canadian-listed Africa Oil Corp AOI. V are cited as some of the companies whose activities in Somalia could spark a conflict, the Nation has reported.

“In this case, the involvement of a Norwegian company on one side and of a Swedish-owned/Canada-based company on the other, is even more disturbing, considering the long-standing implication of Norway and Sweden in promoting peace and dialogue in Somalia,” Reuters quotes the report.