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Kenya: World Court Has No Jurisdiction in Somalia Dispute

Kenya says that the International Court of Justice has no jurisdiction in a case filed by Somalia covering a dispute over potentially oil-rich seabed off the two countries' Indian Ocean coasts.

Somalia launched a case with the United Nations' highest judicial organ in 2014 asking it to rule on the maritime border between the east African states, saying that diplomatic efforts to resolve the disputed boundary had failed.

At a preliminary hearing Monday, Kenya argued that the world court has no jurisdiction because there are two other methods for resolving the dispute — a 2009 memorandum of understanding between the two countries and a United Nations maritime treaty.

Lawyer Payam Akhavan, representing Kenya, told the court that "basic principles of treaty interpretation'' mean that "this dispute falls outside its jurisdiction.''