Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo has said he and President Uhuru Kenyatta have agreed to let the ICJ resolve the maritime dispute.
Farmaajo made the announcement on Thursday, when giving his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
“We agreed the matter will be resolved by the International Court of Justice. Somalia is committed to maintaining a good relationship with Kenya. The Somali community continues to invest in the country of Kenya which indeed contributes to its growth and prosperity,” Farmaajo said.
There had been questions as to whether the two countries would agree to an out-of-court settlement following the Wednesday meeting between Uhuru and Farmaajo.
The meeting was convened by Egyptian President Al-Sisi, who is the current African Union chairman.
Uhuru had on Wednesday appealed for negotiations, saying, “My administration continues to reach out to the Federal Republic of Somalia in an effort to find an amicable and sustainable solution to the maritime boundary dispute between us. In this regard, I welcome the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council of September 3, 2019 that urges both parties to engage.”
The Hague-based ICJ is set to enter full hearing of the case between November 4 and 8.
While Kenya maintains it is seeking an out of court settlement over the matter, Somalia has insisted it wants the case to proceed to a full hearing.
The case was expected to start early this month, but Kenya requested postponement after it disbanded its legal team.
Kenya wants the maritime border to run along parallel latitude southeast of Kiunga, while Somalia wants a diagonal line down the Kenyan Coast. This threatens to make Kenya a landlocked country, and risks losing 42 per cent of its territory.