In Summary
  • Kenya is exposed to losing up to 26 per cent of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 85 per cent of the continental shelf and access to international waters.
  • Oil cartels in the US, Europe, and the Middle East have often used underhand tricks to secure their interests, even where such interests may not necessarily be those of their mother countries.

The maritime border dispute between Kenya and Somalia now under arbitration at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is likely to get murkier as details emerge that Somalia has scheduled to auction oil blocks within the contested sea territory in December, even before the ICJ delivers judgment on the matter in the first week of September.

In February this year, Somalia hosted an oil and gas conference in London and disclosed plans to offer for auction four oil blocks that are within the contested maritime zone.

Why authorities in Mogadishu would be in a hurry to set the date for the auction weeks ahead of the ruling on ownership of the contested territory raises questions.

Why would bidders commit to buy oil blocks whose ownership is in dispute? Questions have also been raised as to who are the undisclosed bidders and who paid for the London conference where the blocks were secretly put on auction.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP

This also comes as it emerged this week that besides Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, having dual citizenship, the other big four who call shots in Mogadishu - the prime minister, foreign affairs minister, intelligence head, and the president’s security adviser - also hold dual citizenship.

Kenya is exposed to losing up to 26 per cent of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 85 per cent of the continental shelf and access to international waters should Somalia and her shadowy backers have their way at the ICJ.

A decision in favour of Somalia also will have the effect of extending her territory by up to 50 miles from Kenya’s tourism resorts in Lamu and adjacent islands, and to the strategic Lamu port, exposing Kenya to further terrorist attacks and long term insecurity.

Only last week, President Mohamed, popularly known as Farmaajo, announced that he had forfeited his US citizenship, information that is yet to be independently confirmed.

Details have now emerged that the country’s Prime Minister, Mr Hassan Ali Khaire, is a Norwegian citizen, while National Security Adviser Abdisaid Ali is a citizen of Denmark.

EXTERNAL INFLUENCE

He is a former security adviser to the European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa.

Curiously, his appointment was announced by Mr Michael Keating, the UN Special Envoy for Somalia.

The other two in the “Pentagon” that rules Somalia are Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Isse Awad, a Canadian citizen, while Head of Intelligence Abdullahi Mohamed Ali is a citizen of Qatar.

Many MPs in the federal government also have dual citizenship. Majority of them have lived in foreign countries for so long that joke in Mogadishu is that they are in Somalia as tourists.

There is claim in the capital that majority of the leaders are serving interests of cartels in the countries where they owe allegiance.

While Kenya enjoys cordial relations with almost all countries where power wielders in Mogadishu are citizens, non-state players in the same countries may not wish her well and are suspected to be behind the maritime row with an eye on oil and other mineral wealth.

Oil cartels in the US, Europe, and the Middle East have often used underhand tricks to secure their interests, even where such interests may not necessarily be those of their mother countries.

Page 1 of 2