The UN High Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Somalia in its dispute with Kenya, setting up a maritime border in the Indian Ocean region, which is said to be rich in oil and gas.
Somalia said the decision was the result of the Horn of Africa’s “sacrifice and struggle”.
The new border drawn up by the International Court of Justice was much closer to the line proposed by Somalia, giving it several coastal oil blocks claimed by Kenya.
The revised maritime border along the unique economic areas of Somalia and Kenya’s mainland shelves “reaches a just solution”, said Judge Joan Donoghue.
Kenya, which has acquired areas other than Somalia’s claims, failed to prove that there was a maritime border set between the states, which would have given more of the disputed territory, the court said.
“I thank God for (…) the fruits of the long-running Somali-led struggle to prevent Kenya from claiming ownership of part of the Somali coast,” Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said in a statement on his office’s Facebook page.
The decision comes after Nairobi said last week that it had invalidated a court of law. No one in Kenya was officially present in court or on video clip.
The court said Kenya’s withdrawal was not a setback and did not affect Tuesday’s decision.
Somalia filed the lawsuit in 2014 with the United Nations’ highest court in the country.
The case before the ICJ, also known as the International Court of Justice, involved a border dispute over more than 100,000 square kilometers (about 40,000 square miles) of seas claimed by the two countries.