President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday chaired a Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi, which discussed and agreed on a roadmap for resolving the maritime border dispute with Somalia and measures for safeguarding Kenya’s territorial integrity.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma is set to address a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel on the crisis sparked by Somalia’s decision to auction oil and gas blocks in a disputed territory in the Indian Ocean.
When she appeared before the National Assembly Defence and Foreign Relations Committee, Juma said the issue was more than a diplomatic spat.
On Saturday, PS Macharia Kamau issued a statement that was interpreted to mean that Kenya had recalled its ambassador to Mogadishu and expelled Somalia’s envoy to Nairobi. Kamau said Somalia had auctioned oil and gas blocks in maritime areas claimed by both countries. The auction is said to have happened in London on February 7.
Macharia later said the Kenyan ambassador had only been summoned while his Somalia counterpart had been sent to Mogadishu for consultation.
“The action was taken so we can resolve this matter with credible and correct information from both sides,” Kamau tweeted.
Somalia denied the claim that it had sold the blocks.
“Somalia is not offering, nor does it have any plans to offer any blocks in the disputed maritime area until the parties’ maritime boundary is decided by the ICJ (International Court of Justice),” the Somalia embassy said.
During yesterday’s meeting, the Cabinet also discussed and approved the Sectional Properties Bill 2018. The Bill simplifies the process of registering sectional properties and creates an enabling environment for investors and property owners.
Further, the Cabinet discussed and approved the operationalisation of the Kenya Commodities Exchange (KOMEX). This will address the constraints faced by farmers and consumers by providing an organized market through a single platform which will ensure better farm gate prices for farmers.
Cabinet also approved the hosting of the 12th Commonwealth Women Affairs Ministers Meeting in September 2019 which provides a platform for delegates to strategise on topical gender issues. The event is expected to attract over 1000 participants globally including 53 ministers.