Tuesday, December 12, 2017

HISTORY OF NFD KENYA IN PERSPECTIVE

Kenya That was Never Kenyan: The Shifta War & The North Eastern Kenya 

Introduction Barely a month into Kenya’s independence from the British in December 1963, the nascent government led by then Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta declared a state of emergency and a dawn-to-dusk curfew in the North Eastern region of the country, then commonly known as the Northern Frontier District (NFD). This action was necessitated by multiple isolated attacks targeted at the Kenyan government facilities by the militant arm of the Northern Province People’s Progressive Party (NPPPP), a political party representing the opinions of the Somali people in the NFD.

Over the next four years, the situation in the NFD deteriorated into a state of anarchy as the Kenyan government fought a low-key, yet inhumane, war against the Kenyan Somali insurgents seeking secession from Kenya and consequent union with the Somali Republic, with support from the latter’s government. Despite the heavy costs of the war, the nationalistic Kenyan government, under the Kenya National African Union (KANU) party, could not bear the loss of almost a third of Kenyan territory and it was only after an agreement with neighbouring Somalia in July 1967 that The Shifta War, as the conflict was popularly referred to, petered out. Kenya retained the NFD but that did not put an end to the state of dissatisfaction and marginalization amongst people in the area and the effects of that war and its outcomes are still felt to date.

In this paper, I will analyze the historical context that led to the war, the nature of the war itself as well as the aftermath of the war to this day. I will argue that given the opinion of the people living in the NFD at Kenya’s independence, earlier historical factors and the costs of keeping the NFD in Kenya, it would have been more justified for the Kenyan and British governments to allow the NFD to join Somalia, even without fighting the Shifta War.

Context: 
Before Colonization 

An understanding of the geographical, demographic and historical context of the NFD is of paramount importance in discussing the historical backdrop against which the Shifta War happened. Although its constituency changed over time, the NFD generally refers to the physical area of about 102,000 square miles occupied presently by the following Kenyan counties: Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Isiolo and Moyale. It consists of a cast, low plateau and a semi desert and therefore most of it supports little vegetation like thorn bushes which are fodder for camels, goats and cattle kept by its inhabitants as their main source of livelihood and pride. The region is predominantly inhabited by Somali people who practice Islam. However, other non-Somali people such as the Borana and the Galla also live in this region.

Historians contend that the Somali people in the NFD arrived relatively the same time as Bantus and Nilotes were streaming to Present Day Kenya. In the 16th century, they are believed to have joined Iman Ahmed bin Ibrahim al-Ghazzi as he conquered Ethiopia in a holy war after which they migrated southwards and westwards such that by the sixteenth century they had occupied the vicinity of the Shabelle River in Somalia. By the early 20th century, the Somalis had already displaced the Galla groups to the more eastern and southern parts to consolidate their dominance in the NFD. The Somali south-western migration was powered by the dynamic effect of Islam and their abilities in war and assimilation as well as the occupation of European colonial powers such as the French in Obok (Djibouti) in 1862.

In the late 19th century, these European powers were to eventually partition the Somali people among themselves and put them under their different colonial systems, with the NFD Somali falling under the British East African Protectorate. British Occupation and Administration: Late 19th Century to 1960 Furthermore, it is not possible to understand the Shifta War and the relationship between Kenya and Somalia, especially with regard to the NFD Region and their shared border, without critically examining the British occupation towards the end of the 19th century and administration of the region for the most part of the 20th century.

Under the Imperial British East African Company (IBEAC), the British took control of the British East African Protectorate — including present day Kenya and Uganda — in order to control the River Nile, as well as British Somaliland, between 1884 and 1895. In 1895, the IBEAC gave up its charter and territory over the East African Protectorate to Her Majesty’s government and Kenya eventually became a British colony. The occupation of the Somali-inhabited Northern Frontier District, however, proved to be a challenge for the British as the Somalis, unlike other communities in the region, had access to powerful weaponry in the form of guns and they were also galvanized by the Islamic religion and clan allegiances. Nonetheless, the British eventually secured control over the Somalis and extended the British Protectorate eastwards up to the Juba River — it was not until 1925 when the British ‘awarded’ the Italians, who then controlled the Italian Somaliland, for their participation in World War I with the area between the Juba River and the current border that today’s Kenya-Somali border came into existence.

In 1902, the Outlying District Ordinance of 1902 effectively established British control in the NFD by enforcing frontier posts that were, as they argued, meant to limit raids upon the British territory by Abyssinian soldiers and also curtail Westward migration of the Somali. Like in most places across Africa, the border between Kenya and Somalia was established as imaginary meridians that gave no consideration to the rhythms of life of the people on the ground and ethnic or clan interests. The border in this case was particularly meaningless for the Somali people whose pastoralist way of life had hitherto meant travelling, limitlessly, far and wide in search of water and pasture for their livestock.

The British colonial government administered the NFD region with a very light and segregative footprint, a fact attributable to the British perception of the Somali as a threat and also due to the climate of the area which rendered it incompatible with the white settlers’ agricultural interests, and a fact that would lead to disaffection towards the British and subsequent Kenyan governments among the residents of the area and hence the Shifta War. The Commissioner of the East African Protectorate, Sir Charles Elliot, even recommended that if it were possible in 1904, the Somali-inhabited districts should have been separated to form a separate government. Even though Elliot’s recommendation was not comprehensively implemented, the way the NFD was administered, in contrast to the rest of the British East African Protectorate, demonstrated an attitude congruent with the recommendation. In the expansive area, covering over 102,000 square miles, only a paltry, less than one hundred British police were present in 1909. Instead of the heavy colonial presence in places like Central Kenya where British colonial authorities, and their local African representatives, yielded extreme power over Africans, the role of resolving disputes in the NFD was relegated to the Somali elders and headmen.

Three specific policies are critical to understanding the way the British colonial administration of the NFD created a psychological distance between the people of the NFD and the rest of the Kenyan people, thus fueling separationist aspirations at Independence: the Outlying District Ordinance of 1902, the “Closed District” Ordinance of 1926 and the Special District Administration Ordinance (SDO) of 1934. The Outlying District Ordinance, as described before, established frontier posts in order to stop the Westward spread of the Somali and reduce raids by the Abyssinians soldiers. The first administrative post was established in 1909 and in 1910, John O.W. Hope was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the NFD, which then comprised about half of the entire Kenyan territory with Isiolo as the district capital. He immediately started to enforce tax paying to the colonial government to ameliorate administrative expenditures. This did not go well with the well-armed Somalis and the colonial government was forced to administer the region using the military between 1921 and 1926. On its part, the 1926 “Closed Districts Ordinance” sought to isolate the NFD region from the rest of the country by regulating the travel of non-residents into the area. This policy not only limited the expansion of the Somali westwards but it also prevented the formation of a common identity of the Somali with other non-Somali people in the Southern part of the Kenyan territory. To make it worse, the Special District Ordinance of 1934, was meant to hinder social interaction between different groups in the NFD. It demarcated the area into tribal zones in order to prevent Islam from galvanizing the people in the NFD against the colonial administration and, reportedly, to stop epidemics from spreading to livestock in the rest of the Kenyan hinterland.

This policy of isolation only got worse as nationalistic feelings spread across the Southern part of Kenya by the 1940’s. At some point, no resident of the NFD could leave the region, which meant going past imaginary meridians marked by the Ewaso Nyiro and Tana Rivers, without special NFD passes authorized by colonial government officials as the British feared that the Somali would exacerbate political consciousness in the country. It would therefore suffice to conclude that the British administration neglected the NFD both economically and politically such that by the time they left, it was certainly the most backward and isolated portion of Kenya, without even a single secondary school. “the Special District Ordinance of 1934, was meant to hinder social interaction between different groups in the NFD. It demarcated the area into tribal zones in order to prevent Islam from galvanizing the people in the NFD against the colonial administration...”

Despite these draconian policies that the colonial administration effected to control people in the NFD, winds of political activity were certainly blowing, especially from Mogadishu. In 1943, the Somali Youth League was formed representing the interests of different Somali clans and espousing a Pan-Somalism ideal of uniting all the Somali under one country. The SYL, even as the 1950–60 Italian trusteeship administration tried to muzzle it, spread its influence across the entire Somali-inhabited region including the NFD, where it even had offices and support from clan elders, thus raising the urge of the NFD Somali to join their fellow tribesmen and women in Somalia. The British government attempted to curtail these political developments by proscribing the SYL in the “closed district” and limiting Somali representation in national politics. For instance, the residents of the NFD were not allowed to vote in the 1957 national elections and in 1959, just a single Somali member was nominated to the legislature to “look after their interests.”

Under pressure, the British administration lifted its ban on political parties in 1960. This move consequently ushered in the formation of political parties such as the Kenya African National Union (KANU), the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) and the Northern Province People’s Progressive Party (NPPPP). While KANU and KADU had more nationalistic goals, the NPPPP, given the separatist feelings that the British isolationist policy in the NFD had created, proclaimed its intention of seeking self-determination independently from the rest of Kenya and instead joining the Somali Republic. As the NPPPP was formed, simultaneously, the merger between the Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland was crystallizing. This integration of the two Somali Lands could only fuel the pan-Somalism feelings in the NFD. The new unity government in the Somali Republic under the leadership of Dr Ali Sharmarke proclaimed vehemently, even under its constitution, its desire to pursue the dream of bringing the remaining three Somali-inhabited territories-the NFD, the Ogaden and the French Somaliland- into the fold to create a Greater Somalia. The symbolic Somali flag at independence in 1960, with its five-pointed star against a sky-blue background, served as a reminder to the irredentist ambitions of the Somali Republic. The NFD was the fourth point on the star on the flag.Therefore, even as Kenya prepared for her impending independence, the battle lines for the NFD were starting to emerge, with the Somali Republic and the NPPPP on one side and the Kenyan nationalists on the other, and with the British as an important player too.

The Transition: 1960–1963 

During the transition-to-Kenyan-independence period, between 1960 and 1963, more events and activities that significantly contributed to the build up of the Shifta War happened. The first event to bring the NFD secessionist claims to official recognition was the 1960 London Constitutional Conference in Lancaster House. Here the Legislative Council representative of the NFD, Ahmed Farah, articulated the feeling of alienation felt by the people of the NFD and predicted that if the administration of the area was not reformed, then the Somali-inhabited areas would turn to Mogadishu while the non-Muslims in the area would join Ethiopia. The feeling expressed by Ahmed Farah was to be manifested in 1961 Kenya national elections when most of the people in the NFD boycotted it. Only 1,622 people registered to vote as most Somalis believed that doing so would mean accepting Kenyan citizenship, something they felt alien to. The election boycott only served to intensify the self-determination campaign in the NFD which now looked to newly independent and unified Somali Republic for support for its cause. Delegations were sent to Mogadishu to drum up support both from the Somalia Republic government and the public in Somalia. The fruits of this lobbying were visible as in November 1961, the Somali national assembly passed a resolution welcoming unification between the NFD and Somalia Republic and urging the government to use all means possible to pursue this ideal. In addition, the publicity campaign created an atmosphere of solidarity amongst the Somalis in the Republic and those of the NFD going into the Second Constitutional Conference in the Lancaster House in London.

The Second Lancaster Conference in 1962 was critical for the NFD situation as the secessionist aspirations of the people of the NFD had then reached fever pitch. As expected, the NFD representatives pushed for autonomy of the NFD and subsequent Act of Union with the Somali Republic when Kenya gained independence. The other two political parties delegations represented in the conference, KANU and KADU, despite their bitter disagreements over other issues such as how to conduct devolution, found consensus in disagreeing with the NFD delegation. They argued Kenyan concession of the NFD would jeopardize Kenyan territorial integrity and lead to a domino effect that would inspire similar secessionist groups around the country. To ease the dispute, the British Colonial Secretary resolved that an independent commission was going to be appointed to establish the public opinion in the NFD with regard to their future. Given the popularity of the secessionist calls, the NFD delegation left the conference hopeful but little did they know that the British were never going to respect their wishes. With time, the British, in a move to protect their relationship with Ethiopia, Kenya and other African countries, seemed to be changing their position on the NFD question. The appointment of the NFD commissioners was delayed prompting resentment from the Somali Republic and growth of anti-secessionist sentiments in the rest of Kenya.

With the widening gap between Kenya and Somalia, during the July 1962 Somali Republic Independence Day, the Somali Prime Minister invited the Kenyan African leaders led by Jomo Kenyatta of KANU and Ronald Ngala of KADU for talks in an attempt to resolve the matter diplomatically. The Prime Minister had tried a softer approach despite the mounting pressure by his citizenry so as to protect the floating idea of an East African federation that was meant to bring Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Tanganyika and Ethiopia together. Nevertheless, the talks yielded very little as the Kenyan leaders felt that the NFD was not an international but rather an internal issue. Consistent with this position, a new Regional Boundaries Commission was actually been appointed in Kenya to redraw the internal regional boundaries based on ethnicities even before the NFD Commission hit the ground.

When the NFD commission was finally appointed in October 1962, led by a Nigerian judge, it embarked on a mission to investigate the opinion of people across the NFD through large public barazas (gatherings). Analysts, including the doyen of Somali studies I.M. Lewis, appraise the work done by the NFD commission as excellent. When the report of the commission came out, it was clear that more people in the NFD favoured secession after Kenyan independence: 86% favoured secession with the object of future unification with Somali Republic while a small minority, mainly composed of a few small and non-Muslim communities in the NFD periphery favoured unity with Kenya. While the findings of the commission had provided a lifeline for the NFD people’s dream, the fact that the report was based on the premise that no question of secession would be entertained before Kenya got independence sank the dream. This was more testimony on the unwillingness of the British government to act as an impartial arbitrator and its growing hesitance to honour the promise of respecting the opinion of the people of the NFD. It therefore came as little surprise when the new British Colonial Secretary, Mr Duncan Sandys, announced the British decision in March of the next year. Giving more weight to the report by the Regional Boundaries Commission and overlooking the aspirations of the people of the NFD as enshrined in the findings of the NFD commission, the colonial government ruled that the NFD was to be brought into Kenyan constitution. The colonial master had blocked his ears from the people of the NFD and instead given preference his own settlers interests in independent Kenya, Anglo-Ethiopia ties as well his ties with the soon-to-be Commonwealth member, Kenya. In retaliation, the already strained relationship between Britain and Somalia deteriorated and was eventually severed on the 18th of March 1963.

It is also important to note that the aspirations of the people of the Somali Republic and the NFD were receiving negative responses on a continental level as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was being born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1963. Despite the applauses given to the call for a Greater Somalia in Tunis in 1960 at the second All African People’s Conference, Somalia Republic’s position was not gaining support in Addis. While earlier attempts had at least gained audience with the idea of an East African federation being floated, in May 1963 Somali Republic President’s warning that failure to find a solution for Somali border disputes would lead to further unrest was met with unprecedented resistance led by the Ethiopian and Kenyan delegations.

The Kenyan delegation led by then Vice President of KANU, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, vowed “We in Kenya shall not give even one inch of our country to Somali tribalist, and that is final.” As winds of nationalism and pan-Africanism swept across Africa, very few were willing to listen to the opinion of the people of the NFD and the Somali Republic, let alone support them. Thus even before a resolution of inviolability of colonial boundaries was passed in 1964, it was clear that few African countries were sympathetic to the wishes of the people of the NFD and a more radical approach had to be taken if their goal was to be accomplished.

The Shifta War: 1963–1967 

Given the shrinking options, Britain’s decision to stop the NFD’s self-determination marked the beginning of violence that would escalate into the Shifta War. Pro-secession demonstrations were held in towns in the area with the Somali Republic flag being flown; the Kenyan government responded to the demonstrations quite violently and even arrested some of the protesters. Moreover, thirty three Somali chiefs resigned in protest against both the decision and the colonial chieftaincy which went against the Somali clanist power structure. In the next month, all political parties in the NFD boycotted national elections, again. The levels of civil disobedience skyrocketed even as the number of killings increased. The assassinations of two Boran senior officials, Chief Haji Galma Dida and District Commissioner Daudi Debaso Wabera, was particularly significant especially after it emerged that their killers had eluded across the border into Somali Republic. The Somali Republic refused to extradite the assassins for trial in Kenya amidst a parliamentary discussion that claimed that the Somali Republic had stockpiled weapons ready to attack Kenya to force a secession. Given that Kenya had attained internal self-rule on the 1st of June 1963, the new Kenyan government was under pressure from Kenyans in the rest of the country to show its ability in protecting the country’s territorial integrity and therefore in response a police operation was mounted to secure the long border with Somalia and travel restrictions imposed within the NFD.

In addition, the Kenyan government let loose its propaganda machine by distributing leaflets that claimed that people in the NFD would enjoy similar rights to all other Kenyans. This campaign was bound to fail, and it did fail, in attracting the NFD loyalty to the government because, firstly, most of the people in the area were illiterate due to colonial marginalization and also because the NFD politicians, some of whom were consequently incarcerated, were simultaneously spreading militant propaganda against the Kenyan government. Analysts consistently view November 1963 as the time when the Shifta War started formally. At this point, it was clear that the Somali Republic would receive military assistance from the Soviet Union to support the NFD secessionists.

Also, the Northern Frontiers Districts Liberation Army (NFDLA) was already spreading insurgency and making strategic attacks on government installations. On the other side, Kenya had signed a pact of defence with Ethiopia, which was largely seen as a way to fend off their mutual irredentist neighbour. In November 1963, with no signals of NFD separation from Kenya one month to the latter’s independence, the war changed from low-key to major attacks on government facilities. Guerillas who had been trained and armed by the Somali National Army (SNA) inside the Somali Republic launched audacious attacks into the Kenyan territory. For instance, on the 22nd of November, the Shifta attacked a King’s African Rifle camp in Garissa killing several policemen. The Kenyan government retaliated by sending Kenyan soldiers but again the Shifta were able to take advantage of the long and porous border and elope into the Somali Republic. Before providing a more detailed account of the war, it is important that I discuss the goals of the Shiftas and some of the factors that emboldened them to fight against the Kenyan government backed by her colonial master, Britain.

As discussed before in this paper, the ultimate objective of the Shifta was to disaffiliate the NFD from Kenya and unite it with Somali Republic. The means of achieving this goal give insights into their other goals. These goals included: forcing European administrators out of the NFD, proving the Kenyan government incapable of ruling the region so as to obtain international sympathy, preventing NFD government loyalists from getting into power and overstretching the government expenditure in the war so that it gave up the region as an economic burden. In fighting for these goals, the Shifta were strengthened by the Somali Republic’s support, their deep knowledge of the geographical terrain, utilization of the their unique clan system as well the weaknesses of their opponent, the Kenyan government.

At this point in its history, the young Kenyan government was experiencing incredible challenges in other areas and therefore their attention to the war in the NFD was quite limited. For instance, the question of how to separate powers between the national government and different regions that had been a point of contention between KANU and KADU was creating tension in the government. In addition, people in other parts of Kenya, e.g. Nairobi, were increasing agitated at what they saw as betrayal of their dreams of independence as the Kenyatta government failed to address their socio economic needs. The Shifta therefore felt they still stood a chance in achieving their objectives against the weakened government through guerilla warfare.

In December 1963, Kenya finally gained independence but the NFD did not celebrate but instead continued its violent clamour for secession. Towards the end of the month, Prime Minister Kenyatta declared a state of emergency in the NFD, a dusk-to-dawn curfew and empowered the military to shoot anybody found in an exclusion zone which was defined as five miles within the Kenya-Somalia international boundary. The British military that had been left to train the Kenyan military sided with the Kenyans and together they pursued the Shifta using better technology such as aerial bombardment while the Shifta used less powerful arms from the Second World War.

The Shifta War can be broadly divided into two main phases: the pre-1965 phase i.e. before the Shifta used mine warfare and 1967–1967 phase i.e. when the Shifta used mine warfare. During the earlier phase, the Shifta adapted their strategies to their strengths and weaknesses. Since they had less potent weapons but could navigate the area better, especially during the rainy seasons, had incredible loyalty from their kinsmen and could also run into the Somali Republic, the Shifta employed psychological tricky operations. They were organized into small groups of five to eight guerillas who would lure the Kenyan officers into baits and ambush them. Attempts by the Kenyan forces would then prove unsuccessful as the Kenyan forces would not cross the border without leading to a state of war with Somalia and even when the Shifta remained in Kenya, their fellow tribesmen would loyally shield them.This stage of the war was also marred with defections by Kenyan Somali soldiers; this not only empowered the Shifta but it also demoralized the government to the extent that the it decided that to move all ethnic Somali soldiers away from the NFD in February 1964.

The Kenyatta government also made attempts to break the loyalty of the people of the NFD towards the Shifta by using two soft approaches: splitting the clans and offering amnesty. While these worked to a certain extent, especially given the fact that the Shifta did not show capability of forming a functional government in the area, most NFD people remained loyal to the fighters and their cause. Nene Mburu argues that this earlier stage was meant to test the resolve of the Kenyan government and thus the guerrillas did not always do as much damage as they possibly could. However, by the end of 1964, while the Shifta had an upper hand tactically, politically, Kenyatta did not seem to be bulging. More countries were siding with Kenya and some Shifta leaders like Ilaye Warsame had already accepted the government amnesty; therefore, if the remaining Shifta were to retain the sympathy of the residents of the NFD, they needed to deliver their promise of liberation quickly.

For this reason, coupled with the fact that the Kenyan military had acquired better armoured vehicles thus making it easier for them to navigate the area, the Shifta, already reduced in numbers, introduced mine warfare. They relied on the uncertainty of locations of the mines as a psychological weapon against the military. Mine warfare was a rather new technique for the Kenyan military which had been using tactics used against the Mau Mau freedom fighters by the British just a decade before. Consequently, this posed a challenge to them by reducing their ability to traverse the area and also skyrocketing the government’s expenditure in the war up to $ 4,500,000 in 1966. The Kenyan government major response to mine warfare was to reduce Shifta support through a method that British had employed just a few years before in Central Kenya: villagization. This operation involved forcing the pastoral population into fortified villages, manyatta, and assuming that anybody found outside these manyatta, was a Shifta and could be attacked as so. The military then launched an operation dubbed Operation Fagia Shifta which was aimed at clearing off the Shifta from the entire NFD region and confiscating livestock. Nevertheless, Shifta attacks on government forces continued and reach their highest point between June and August 1967 and so did Kenyan government expenditure soar, reaching $7,500,000 by 1967.

As the support of the Shifta declined due to the worsening conditions in the manyattas, the Kenyan government attempted political means towards further weakening the Shifta. Political rallies were organized in the NFD with an aim of getting the residents to renounce the Shifta and the Somali government and instead express their support for the Kenyan government. Meanwhile, the Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Egal sponsored diplomatic negotiations between Kenya and Somalia through the OAU which culminated in a ceasefire agreement in October 1967. The Shifta activity however did not completely subside immediately as the strain that the villagization program had on the NFD people’s pastoralist way of life led the Shifta into a traditional form of raiding in order to sustain themselves. Nonetheless, the withdrawal of support from the Somali government, which had now restored diplomatic relations with the Kenyan government, rendered the secession clamour null and void and therefore effectively resulted in the end of the Shifta War.

The Aftermath: 1968 to date 

One would have thought that having spent so much to retain the NFD territory in Kenya, the government was going to find ways of integrating the people of the NFD with the rest of the population. However, historical evidence from 1967 to date poignantly, and quite disappointingly, points in the opposite direction. Given the relatively little economic output of the NFD and its scattered, albeit occasionally militant, population, successive Kenyan regimes have used a policy quite similar to the one employed by the British colonizers: one of neglect coupled with sporadic use of excessive force when conflict arises. A recent documentary by an Al Jazeera correspondent, Mohammed Adow, aptly entitled Not Yet Kenyan, to a great extent illustrates the grim manner in which the Kenyan government has treated the people of the North Eastern Province since independence.



The levels of infrastructural development in the area are very low and so are other the indicators of socio-economic development. Over the years, several massacres have been committed by the Kenyan government in the North Eastern Province and thrown under the carpet as established by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), a commission mandated after the 2007/08 Kenyan post-election violence to investigate historical injustices and offer recommendations. Such merciless massacres that were committed by Kenyan state against its own people in the Northern Eastern Province include the Bulla Karatasi Massacre in 1980, the Wagalla Massacre in 1984 and the Malka Mari Massacre. The TJRC established that these massacres were aimed at, like the Shifta War responses, mass punishment of entire communities and that yet nobody has been prosecuted for perpetrating them. The people of the NFD have also experienced a very precarious form of Kenyan citizenship and national identity. While most have resigned to the fate of being Kenyan citizens, the Kenyan government has not treated them in that regard.

In Not Yet Kenyan, Adow highlights the plight of young Kenyan Somalis who are denied identity cards, a critical marker of Kenyan citizenship, by the Kenyan government thus reducing their opportunities in life. This is just a tip of the iceberg compared to the levels that the Kenyan state has gone to ensure that people living across the Ewaso Nyiro and Tana Rivers continue to say “I am visiting Kenya” once they cross these rivers. Due to fear of the effect that events in Somalia might have on the Kenyan Somalis as well as insecurity in the area, post-Shifta War governments have sought to regulate citizenship, through mass screenings, as expressed by national identity cards and passports among the people of the NFD.

The problems in the former NFD have been aggravated by the unstable situation in the former Somali Republic especially after the collapse of the Siad Barre government in 1991. Given the proximity of the two areas and porous nature of the long Kenya-Somali border, a lot of Somali citizens sought refuge in Kenya from fighting during the warlord and extremist regimes. It is estimated that more than 500,000 Somali refugees live in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in North Eastern Kenya alone and while most of these pose no security threat, their mere presence has been used by ill intentioned extremists to infiltrate the Kenyan society and cause damage. This security threat has been of great concern in the recent years especially after the rise of the Al-Shabaab extremists in Southern and Central Somalia after the collapse of the Islamic Courts Union in 2006.

The Kenyan military incursion into Somalia in October 2011 after several attacks on tourists along the Kenyan coast has further complicated the security situation. While the Kenyan military, in cooperation with African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has been mostly successful in fighting the Al-Shabaab, it has done so at the expense of the safety of the Kenyan nation. Despite the fact that the recent Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi is the popular point of reference when citing examples of repercussions of Kenyan entry into Somalia, Adow reports that over a hundred terrorist attacks have occurred in the North Eastern Province in the past few years. Following these attacks, some responses that smack of Shifta War attitudes of mass punishment have been come into existence: Adow talks about the occasionally frosty relationship between Kenyan Somalis and other Kenyans in Not Yet Kenyan and a recent opinion article in the Daily Nation, Kenya’s leading newspaper, has also warned against a governmental response to the Westgate attack that has seen Somalis and other Muslim suffer mass discrimination in the hands of the Kenyan police and immigration officials. It is therefore quite clear that Kenyan Somalis have not really enjoyed the fruits of independence that freedom from colonization by the British was expected to bring.

The Kenyan state continues to treat them in a manner similar to that of the colonizers and the unstable state of the former Somali Republic in the past two decades only makes things worse. However, at independence, when the NFD Somalis were completely alienated from Kenya and expressed their strong desire to unite with their fellow Somalis in the Somalia Republic through the NFD Commission, I am of the opinion that the British should have honoured their pledge of respecting the opinion on the ground and granted the NFD its wishes. That would have prevented the costly Shifta War and probably, albeit counter-historic, contributed to stronger Kenyan and Somali nations and a more stable Horn of Africa.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

KENYA POPULATION AND ETHNIC COMMUNITIES

Current census and population distribution of Kenya stands at around 40+Million people.

What's the population of Kenya? the latest census, carried out in 2009 revealed that Kenya has a population of 38.6 million people. Currently, Kenya's population is estimated to have hit over 40 million. According to a report on CIA World Fact book, Kenya population hit 41.7 in July 2011.

While no ethnic group constitutes a majority of Kenya's citizens, the largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu, makes up only 15% of the nation's total population, The Six largest - Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba, Kalenjin and Somalis account for almost 70%. ...Somalis and Turkanas constitute ethnic groups with large tracks of land in Kenya. The principal non-indigenous ethnic minorities are the Arabs and Asians.

Christians Constitute around 65% of Kenyans and Muslims 30%. The rest are animist.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

KENYA'S FOREIGN MINISTER APPOINTED AS UN ADVISOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY


Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed has been named to a team of external advisers of UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak.

The 15 members will advise the UNGA boss on how best to advance his priorities for the assembly's 72nd session.

The priorities are mediation, conflict prevention and sustaining peace, migration, implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Others are human rights, human dignity and the future and reform of the United Nations.

The team, whose members are eminent personalities from all United Nations regional groups, will hold its first meeting on October 6 in New York.

"It will include a discussion on a wide range of global political issues, impressions of the General Assembly's recently concluded high-level week, the messages emanating from the General Debate and principal international challenges ahead," Lajcak's spokesman Brenden Varma said in a statement.

Varma said the list is inconclusive as some personalities are yet to respond to their appointments.

"The list is not final and may be expanded at a later date."

Amina's appointment comes eight months after she lost her bid to chair the African Union commission.

Chad's Moussa Mahamat won the seat during the January 30 poll.

Amina welcomed the appointment terming it an honour to Kenya's commitment to progresing universal values.

"I congratulate the other eminent colleagues who have been recognized to support the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

"Each one of us, through this role, is a vital part of our future and that of our children. Our common goal is to focus on our people to strive for peace and deliver a decent life for all in a sustainable planet," she said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

THE ISIOLO - MANDERA ROAD GETS WORLD BANK GO AHEAD

Plans to build the Isiolo to Mandera road are at an advanced stage with the government seeking to borrow Sh50 billion from the World Bank to finance the project.

The upgrade of the 740-kilometre road, which has been on the cards for decades, will ease transport to the arid north eastern Kenya that has remained inaccessible.



The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) last week invited bidders for the various components of the project to submit their expressions of interest together with summaries of their capability.




Isolated economically

“The Republic of Kenya has applied for financing in the amount of $ 500 million (Sh50 billion) equivalent from the World Bank (International Development Association (IDA) toward the cost of the North Eastern Transport Improvement Project (NETIP),” KeNHA said in the advertisement.

The project represents the government’s plan to open up north eastern Kenya which has remained isolated economically from the rest of the country due to the lack of roads and other infrastructure.

The road is currently characterised by deep gullies and potholes and requires an off-road vehicle to navigate. Travelling to Mandera from Nairobi by bus takes about two days and costs Sh3,500. During rainy seasons the journey can take up to two weeks as roads become impassable with buses and trucks carrying relief food getting stuck.



Mandera, Wajir and Isiolo counties, which the road traverses, have vast pasture lands where pastoralists keep millions of animals. The economic potential of pastoralism has remained stunted by lack of a proper road to take products to the market.

“The road infrastructure is in a poor state and communication networks are lacking in many areas. This means that households receive low prices for the items that they sell and pay high prices for purchases,” states the 2015 Contingency Plan by Mandera County.

State House in June indicated that the road project will include multiple components to create an economic corridor that will lift the area residents’ prospects.

“This intervention is conceived as a development corridor and as such fibre optic cables will be provided to ensure the region’s digital connection,” State House said in a statement.
“In addition, service centres (e.g. Huduma Centres, information centres for pastoralists etc) will be built in market towns along the road to connect the population to government services.”

KeNHA has listed four main components of the project, including road construction works for 450 kilometres. The other components include studies and design of the corridor and construction of a fibre optic cable network.

The entire stretch from Isiolo to Mandera is 740km long but part of it had earlier been tendered.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in May commissioned the tarmacking of the 135km Elwak-Rhamu road in Mandera County at a cost Sh2.5 billion.



The road to Mandera will be the second major corridor in northern Kenya after the Isiolo-Moyale road which is nearly complete.

This road stretches all the way to the Ethiopian border.



gkiarie@ke.nationmedia.com

Friday, July 21, 2017

SOMALI CLANS DISTRIBUTION IN THE HORN OF AFRICA

Somali Clans distribution in the Horn of Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia

Thursday, March 23, 2017

THE KENYA-SOMALIA WALL IS NOT POSSIBLE ANYMORE: PRESIDENT UHURU WITH PRESIDENT FARMAJO

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, speaks during a joint news conference with Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed at State House in Nairobi, Kenya, March 23, 2017.

NAIROBI — The Kenyan government says it will open the border with Somalia to boost trade and allow the flow of people between the two countries. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also pledged to help Somalia in the fight against al-Shabab militants and support and train government workers. His remarks followed a meeting he had in Nairobi with his Somali counterpart, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

After a closed door meeting that lasted more than three hours, the two heads of state addressed the media in a display of friendship. 

President Kenyatta discussed the border issue.

"We agreed to take the following actions within the shortest possible time, open two border posts, in Dobley-Liboi and Mandera-Bula Hawa, and to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services," he said.

The borders have remained closed for the last two-and-a-half decades since Somalia descended into conflict; however, people living along the borders and refugees have found a way to get into Kenya.

Kenya has also agreed to train 500 Somali men and women in different economic fields including teaching, nursing, and administration, to help in their country’s rebuilding and recovery. Despite the optimism expressed by the two leaders, the threat of Somali militant group al-Shabab exists, and both countries have reaffirmed their commitment to defeating the organization.

Kenya has also had issues with Somali refugees living at the Dadaab refugee camp, in the northeast of the country. The east African nation plans to close the refugee camp, the world's largest, by the end of May, but, in what some say might be a change of heart, Kenyatta says his government will build a training institute at the camp to educate high school graduates.

Education

“Kenya will establish a technical training institute for youths currently in the refugee camps as well as the environs of Dadaab and this I believe will greatly help in providing these young men and women the necessary skills they will require to develop and grow Somalia,” said Kenyatta.

Thousands of Dadaab high school graduates can not join universities and training institutes in Kenya because they are confined to the camps.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed says the latest economic collaboration will improve the security of the region.

“Close economic cooperation between Kenya and Somalia will not only help to improve the lives of our millions of people but will also enhance the security situation in East Africa. Therefore my government is ready to work very closely with your government in the realization of full economic cooperation between our two nations,” he said.

The two eastern African countries also agreed to cooperate on security issues to confront the threat of al-Shabab in the region.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

PRESIDENT FARMAJO TO VISIT KENYA ON STATE VISIT : MARCH 23, 2017



​Somali President meets Saudi King in his first foreign visit

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Above will make his first State visit to Kenya on Thursday ahead of a special IGAD summit on Saturday.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said Kenya and Somalia enjoy warm and cordial relations founded on trust, cooperation and mutual interests.

“We share a common heritage and our views converge on many regional and international issues,” he said.

Adding: “Our common endeavour for durable peace, viable stability and sustainable development for both our peoples and region continue to underline the necessity for our mutual cooperation.”

“President Uhuru looks forward to robust multi-sectoral bilateral engagements and enhancing the existing partnerships in order to leverage on the existing opportunities therein,” he said.

Areas of cooperation identified in the Joint Commission include Security, Trade and investment, Civil Aviation, Education and Agriculture. Others are Resources sharing and development, Livestock Development, Fisheries, Tourism, Immigration, Labour and Health.

Esipisu pointed out that the President would speak on the importance of the technical teams involved to convene as soon as possible to review the implementation status of the Joint Commission for Cooperation, in particular, to conclude the proposed instruments of cooperation.



Key areas to be discussed by the technical teams include, MoU on Political Consultations by the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Initiating measures to enhance cooperation on immigration matters and development of a comprehensive border management system; Cooperation on police matters, including capacity building; and encouraging the private sector to explore the investment opportunities in both countries among many others.

The Spokesperson said President Uhuru will inform his guest of Kenya’s readiness to offer technical support and capacity building assistance to the Federal Government institutions and other sectors based on mutual agreement.

Other issues which President Uhuru will discuss with his guest include the need for Kenya and Somalia to approach the forthcoming 3rd London Conference on Somalia slated for May 11.

The Spokesperson also announced that Kenya will host an IGAD Summit on Saturday, whose focus would be on Somali refugees and the need to create a conducive environment for them to feel safe to go back and develop their country. He said the summit will also review other regional security matters, with a focus on South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

“Regional security is a matter that world leaders have expressed concern about and want to see Kenya remain in the pivotal role in terms of tackling these,” said Esipisu.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

HON. ADEN DUALE: KENYA'S MAJORITY LEADER IS NORTHERN COUNTIES REGIONAL KINGPIN

Like it or Not, He is Our Regional Political KingPin....Honourable Majority Leader, Kenya National Assembly, Aden Duale.

#DualeAgain
On the left, Kenya's Majority Leader of the Parliament, Hon. Aden Duale, Kenya's Deputy President, Hon Wlliam Ruto on the Right with His Excellency, Kenya's President, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, in a Function.

On the left, Kenya's Majority Leader of the Parliament, Hon. Aden Duale, Kenya's Deputy President, Hon Wlliam Ruto on the Right with His Excellency, Kenya's President Hon. Uhuru Kenyattain a Function.

On the Right, Kenya's Majority Leader of the Parliament, Hon. Aden Duale, Kenya's Deputy President, Hon Wlliam Ruto in the Centre with His Excellency, Kenya's President, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta in a Function.

On the left, Kenya's Majority Leader of the Parliament, Hon. Aden Duale, Kenya's Secretary of Industrilization, Hon. Aden Mohamed on the Right with His Excellency, Kenya's President, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta in a Function.


On the left, Kenya's Majority Leader of the Parliament, Hon. Aden Duale, with His Excellency, Kenya's President, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta in a Function.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

SOMALI ARE 100% MUSLIMS...

Somalis are 100% Percent Muslims but if you find one or two out of 26 Million Somalis, Then, That is about Material issue. Some are pushed to Christianity by Poverty and hence become Christians temporarily. There are some organizations which Give some money for you to denounce Islam and some are tempted. 

IF YOU NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ISLAM....ISLAM'S RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRISTIANITY, ISLAM AGAINST ATHEISTS, MISCONCEPTION AGAINST ISLAM, Please Check http://tellmeaboutislam.com/ 

You can as well Check This Blog: https://supremeislam.blogspot.co.ke/






Wednesday, November 23, 2016

KENYA VISION 2030: ROADS IN NORTH EASTERN KENYA 50 YEARS OF KENYA'S INDEPENDENCE

North Eastern B9 National Government Road 50 years after independence. This is the Work of the Kenya National Government. It is a National Highway, Sio za Counties.

Monday, October 10, 2016

ETHIOPIA IN CRISIS: DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

                              

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Foreign investors on Monday warily eyed the Ethiopian government’s latest attempt to quell violent protests that have targeted foreign-owned businesses in Africa’s second most-populous nation.










Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared a six-month state of emergency on Sunday, saying it was necessary to protect citizens and property following widespread antigovernment unrest in Oromia, one of the country’s nine ethnically based regional states.


Long-running protests over the government’s monopoly on power and human-rights abuses have swelled recently in Oromia and Amhara, another regional state. More than 130 private concerns were attacked by protesters last week, including a Dutch-owned flower farm and a cement factory owned by Nigerian Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.

                              

The Ethiopian government painted a grim picture of a country under siege by foreign-backed gangs as it justified its newly announced six-month-long state of emergency Monday.

The measure, announced Sunday, comes as mobs have attacked foreign-owned businesses and an American was killed during unrest that exploded after a stampede last week at a cultural festival killed dozens.

                            

Government spokesman Getachew Reda told journalists that the past week of violence, in which dozens more have died, was the work of foreign-funded gangs and required more intense security measures to tackle.

“You have motorbike gangs now carrying petrol bombs, carrying firearms in groups of 10 going from place to place, terrorizing the public,” Reda said Monday. “The kind of threats we are facing, targeting infrastructure, targeting civilians, cannot be handled through ordinary law enforcement procedures.”

Last week, protesters damaged around a dozen factories and equipment mostly belonging to foreign firms, accused by the demonstrators of buying property leases on their seized land.

Security forces, however, already have been implicated in the deaths of hundreds of people in the past year in anti-government protests.

The protests began in November in the Oromia region, which surrounds the capital. People there complain of a corrupt local administration and illegal confiscation of land to set up multinational factories.

                          

Many people from Oromiya, a region at the heart of Ethiopia's industrialization drive, accuse the state of seizing their land and offering meager compensation before selling it on to companies, often foreign investors, at inflated prices.

The unrest has since spread to the Amhara region, Ethiopia’s cultural heartland, and now there is turmoil in the southern provinces as well.

The Oromo people, who make up at least a third of the population, have long complained of economic and political marginalization. When protests erupted during a huge cultural festival in Oromia on Oct. 2, police fired tear gas, causing a stampede that killed at least 55 people — although the opposition estimates that the toll is at least 10 times that.

Recently, Dozens of people died at a festival after security forces fired tear gas into a crowd during a political protest and provoked a stampede.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

ETHIOPIA LIGHT RAIL CONNECTING DJIBOUTI


KENYA'S FOREIGN MINISTER, AMINA MOHAMED ON ALJAZEERA UPFRONT

SUMMARY

  • CS Amina, Although in the Debate was so much about defending The Jubilee Government, Her Employers, There was nothing else of Substance she added to the Plight of Somali Refugees in Kenya. 

  • The Kenya Human Rights, US CIA, All Corroborated statements by Witnesses of Extra Judicial Killings have been thrown in the Window. Being a Somali herself, She brought in, The Somali Bias, her clan being from Northern Somalia as most refugees were from Southern Somalia.



Ahead of the 2017 Kenyan presidential elections, Upfront’s Mehdi Hasan spoke with Kenya's Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed on the repatriation of Somali refugees, corruption allegations, the fight against Al-Shabab and the International Criminal Court.

“We are not violating any obligations. If we were, the whole world would have come down like a ton of bricks right on our heads,” Mohamed said, addressing a call by UNHCR for Kenya to reconsider its decision to close down the Dadaab refugee camp and repatriate Somali refugees, some of whom have been living there for almost 25 years.

“We have a tripartite agreement [with UNHCR and the Somali Federal Government] that we entered into in 2013, not yesterday, not today, not the day before,” Mohamed explained, highlighting what she felt was a failure instead by the international community to fulfill its own obligations to address residents of the world’s largest refugee camp.

Turning to the broader issue of Somalis in Kenya, Hasan pointed out that many groups, including the U.S. – a key ally of Kenya’s –, are alarmed with what they see as an increase in targeted torture, harassment and detainment of ethnic Somalis. She denied hearing about any of their concerns prior to appearing on Upfront, so could not verify the claims.

“They’ve just made it up?” Hasan asked. “They’re making it up,” Mohamed replied.

On the issue of corruption, Hasan pointed to a World Bank report that praised Kenya as one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, but also to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) which said that Kenya was the third most corrupt country in the world. It is an issue, Mohamed said, the government is being “self-reflective” about. “We are dealing with the issues.” She denied, however, a recent statement by Kenya’s auditor general that around two billion dollars had gone missing. “I respect everybody’s freedom to say what they need to say,” the foreign minister added. However, after being asked several times by Hasan if two billion dollars had gone missing in Kenya due to corruption, she responded, “No.”

In this interview, recorded prior to the attack in Northern Kenya, Mohamed was also asked about Kenya’s ongoing war against Somali armed group Al-Shabab, which has attacked Kenya numerous times in the last few years. “We’re winning the war in Kenya,” she said.

When asked to explain why Al-Shabab is able to attack and kill Kenyan civilians and armed forces, she responded, saying, “Tell me who has been able to completely  stop these attacks?”

“Who are you comparing us to? Look at what’s happening in Western Europe, what’s happening in the rest of the world,” she added.

Lastly, Hasan pressed Mohamed on the International Criminal Court (ICC), which dropped the charges of murder and crimes against humanity for Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister William Ruto. In its judgment, the ICC said it was unable to acquit or continue with the trial due to what it described as “troubling incidents of witness interference and intolerable political meddling.”

Mohamed argued the premise of the question was wrong and added that: “You don’t keep sentencing people. You allow due process to take place. And when due process has taken place, and people are found to be innocent….” But Hasan countered: “He was not found to be innocent. That is incorrect.”

Mohamed stated that Kenya has supported the ICC and believes in the rule of law, but seemed to question the judges, saying, “There is something already out there about the judges. But I will not go into it.”



This UpFront interview was with Amina Mohamed aired on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 19:30GMT / 22:30 EAT. The show is available through this link: www.aljazeera.com/upfront from 19.30GMT / 22:30EAT  onwards and will also be embeddable from YouTube.

UpFront broadcasts on Fridays at 19.30 GMT. Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront. 

AMBASSADOR BISHAR HUSSEIN REELECTED DIRECTOR GENERAL - UPU


Former UAE ambassador Bishar Hussein has been reelected director general of the Universal Postal Union. He will lead the UN organisation until 2020. Hussein has been serving in the position since 2012 and his current term ends this year. The next begins in 2017.
UPU is responsible for the development of postal business in the world. It comprises 192 member countries and supports cooperation between international postal players.
Hussein defeated Uruguay’s Serrana Bassini Casco by 87 votes to 72.
Foreign Affairs CS Mohamed Amina and ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru supported his reelection in Istanbul, Turkey, where the polls were held.
In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed expressed gratitude to the international community for reelecting Hussein. She said his reelection is a vote of confidence in Kenya.

The Secret Relationship between Ethiopia and Alshabaab

Monday, September 19, 2016

KENYA - SOMALIA BORDER ROW AT ICC, THE HAGUE

IN SUMMARY

  • Githu Muigai said there exists a valid agreement with Somalia on how to resolve a maritime boundary dispute between the two countries specifically through negotiations.
  • Kenya told the court that Somalia rushed to block a chosen path to resolve the dispute through the UN Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (CLCS), despite both sides agreeing to wait for its recommendations.

Kenya says Somalia jumped the gun when it filed a case before International Court of Justice, in spite of signing an agreement to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.

In the ongoing initial submissions presented to the Court on Monday, Kenya’s Attorney-General Githu Muigai said there exists a valid agreement with Somalia on how to resolve a maritime boundary dispute between the two countries specifically through negotiations.

But Kenya’s lawyer Karim Khan accused Mogadishu of “changing” the substance of the case after they realised the 2009 agreement between the two is valid despite Somalia’s insistence that it didn’t ratify it.

“A treaty cannot be declared null and void just because one of the signatories has violated its own internal laws,” Mr Khan argued.

He was referring to a previous similar case between Senegal and Guinea Bissau when judges agreed that validity of a signed agreement between states cannot be negated if one fails to follow internal procedures relating to adopting it.

In another scenario, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said the government and people of Somalia will not give up an inch of its territory.

Sheikh Mohamud comments come as hearing of Indian Ocean maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia is set in International Court of Justice in Hague later on Monday. The President said he is very confident that Somalia will win the case since the disputed territory belongs to people of Somalia without question.

"The area under dispute between us and our neighbours belongs to Somalia and we will not give up one meter," he said.

He said efforts by the two neighbouring states to end the dispute in out of court settlement did not bear fruit and thus submitted to the court.

"There is no diplomatic raw between Kenya and Somalia and we will defend our territorial integrity," said the President.

Preliminary objections

In Kenya’s preliminary objections, Nairobi told the court that Somalia rushed to block a chosen path to resolve the dispute through the UN Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (CLCS), despite both sides agreeing to wait for its recommendations. In 2009, Kenya and Somalia reached the deal, which was then deposited to the UN in 2011. The agreement had stated that the border would run east along the line of latitude although further negotiations were to be held through the UN CLCS.

This agreement also stated that maritime boundary adjustments would only occur after the commission had established the outer limits of shelf and that both sides would avoid courts as much as possible over the matter. But Somalia, first rejected the MoU claiming its parliament had rejected it, then wrote to the UN to object to Kenya’s submissions about how the boundary should run a week before filing the case in July 2014.

Somalia went ahead to claim that in fact, the agreement signed between then Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula and then Somalia Planning Minister Abdirahman Warsame was drafted entirely by Kenyan officials. Mr Khan accused Somalia of filing an inaccurate report to the court, charging that negotiations leading to the MoU had involved a renowned Norwegian diplomat hired by Mogadishu as a legal adviser on the matter, as well as a Somali legal official.



In fact, the Kenyan legal team accused Somalia of introducing the excuse of parliament yet there had been no notice of the same during and immediately after the MoU was signed.

“There is no record of any such thing…it is remarkable that Somalia’s memorial reproduced every paragraph…except that provision. Somalia did not communicate that there was a legal requirement for ratification by parliament,” Mr Khan argued.

The Kenyan lawyers said the MoU with Somalia listed the specific area of the boundary to be resolved and that it was clear that parties had agreed not to use litigation.

“This means that the parties have agreed to resolve the matter through negotiations and not through recourse to the courts,” French lawyer Prof Mathias Forteau argued.

The area in contest is about 100,000 square kilometres, forming a triangle east of the Kenya coast.

In Kenya’s situation, it means Somalia wants the boundary to extend diagonally to the south at Kiunga into the sea, and not eastwards as it is today. But that may also affect Kenya’s sea border with Tanzania. 

Somalia is basing its arguments on Articles 15, 74 and 83 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which both countries ratified in 1989.

The cited articles state that where two states share coasts adjacent or opposite each other, neither state should extend territorial boundaries beyond the median line “every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two states is measured” except where there is an agreement to do so.

Kenya is fronting prominent international lawyers who include Britons Vaughan Lowe QC and Prof Alan Boyle, Ms Amy Sanders and Mr Karim A. Khan QC as well as Prof Mathias Forteau from France.