- Since 2014, Kenya and Somalia have had a dispute over who owns an oil-rich Indian Ocean coastline.
- The International Court of Justice in The Hague is due to hear a case in the oil-rich border of the Indian ocean before the two East African nations.
- On Thursday, November 14th, the African countries look beyond the dispute by signing Visas on arrival agreements despite a pending case at the International Court of Justice.
- With the new agreement, citizens of both countries can now travel freely and do business with visas on arrival arrangements.
On Thursday, November 14th, 2019, Kenya and Somalia agreed to normalise bilateral relations with the restoration of the issuance of travel visas on arrival arrangements for their citizens.
The agreement was reached between Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Mohamed Abdallah Farmaajo of the Federal Republic of Somalia on the sidelines of the just concluded Nairobi ICPD25 summit, the Kenya government said.
Kenya and Somalia and agreed to explore avenues of strengthening bilateral and diplomatic ties image: @StateHouseKenya
What does this mean for both countries?
With these arrangements, citizens of both can countries can enjoy free movement of people and commerce and grow the East African markets. Somalian businesses can also tap into the Kenya economy, the biggest in the region, and continue to get support against terrorist groups.
The two leaders also reaffirmed the relations that exist between the two countries and agreed to explore avenues of strengthening bilateral and diplomatic ties.
Brief details of the Kenya-Somalia maritime boundary dispute
5 years ago, Somalia sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague after bilateral and regional resolution failed over border issues.
The border, which has more than 100,000 square kilometers, lies off the Indian Ocean coastline with potential oil and gas resources. The two East African nations have claimed ownership and currently awaiting the final decision of the International Court to determine true owners.
Somalian President Farmaajo believes that the dispute will be resolved in a mutually acceptable manner.