There is nothing wrong with abandoning international agreements and memberships. And while war is not always a good thing, the enduring peace enjoyed in the world has come from military victories.
Although diplomacy remains the key organising principle of Kenya’s regional posture, on this matter, it should be vacated. The use of military force should top the decision matrix.
On April 7, 2009, Kenya and Somalia signed an MoU granting each other a “No-Objection” in respect of submissions on their maritime border dispute. The submissions were filed with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), which was registered at the UN Secretariat.
But on August 28, 2014, Somalia reneged on the MoU and instituted proceedings against Kenya on the establishment of the single maritime boundary.
Kenya must now proceed on the firm foundation of Article 5 of the Constitution, where “Kenya” consists of the “territory and territorial waters on the effective date” of this supreme law. Article 238 defines national security as the “protection against internal and external threats to Kenya’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, its people, their rights, freedoms, property, peace, stability and prosperity, and other national interests”.
Kenya can no longer play the “good neighbour”. We should proclaim, in no uncertain terms, our intent to deploy the full array of Kenya’s instruments of national power to resolve the dispute. Kenya must indicate to both Somalia and any other international entity of its purposed unwillingness to engage in wishful diplomacy on a matter of existential nature.
I imagine the National Security Council is seized of its core mandate and has a robust strategy to protect and defend Kenya from external aggression and potential loss of territory from a self-aggrandising “hegemonic” and expansionist hostile neighbour that Somalia desires to become.
The strategy must maintain preponderance and, at the minimum, a balance of power in favour of Kenya, while communicating effectively the overriding strategic vision to the people of Kenya. It must serve as a deterrent to external actors, especially multinationals that seek oil blocks from Somalia.
The NSC must also purposely build and strengthen our bilateral security alliances with the United States, United Kingdom and Ethiopia.