, NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 25 – A lobby group is planning to hold protests outside the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Headquarters in The Hague, demanding the court to halt hearing of the Kenya-Somalia maritime case, even as another NGO sought to have an investigation opened on alleged violations of UN sanctions and embargoes.
The lobby, Deterrent Formula Group, has already written to The Hague’s Mayor and the local police station seeking permission to picket with about 150 people.
“The permit to demonstrate and picket is to inform the ICJ to stop the hearing of the case on security grounds and bring pressure to the world that arbitration is the only way to avoid insecurity in the region,” the group’s Chairman David Matsanga wrote in a letter dated September 23.
In his letter, Matsanga also raises questions on the inclusion of the presiding judge who has a Somali nationality.
Through the Pan African Forum, Matsanga also wants an investigation opened on how the controversial oil blocks in the Indian Ocean were placed for auction in London, while claiming that the process was seriously compromised.
“The oil blocks upon which the millions of pounds exchanged hands have become an international dispute in the case of Kenya-Somalia Maritime case at the ICJ,” he said.
He argues that the second Somalia Oil and Gas conference that was held in London in 2014 was sponsored by the company that placed the bid.
He wants the matter taken up by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
“Also given that the contentious matter before the ICJ can in future affect British companies doing business in the region and could threaten world peace in the region, we need a fresh investigation to thrash out several suspicions factors that led to closure of the file,” he said, adding “it must be noted that Britain being the global hub of trade must protect and have mechanisms of dealing with any corrupt tenders that would destroy British interests abroad.”
On September 2, Matsanga filed a case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) urging the presiding judge in the case, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, to recuse himself.
In his application, Matsanga said he wants the judge cited for subjudice for allegedly commenting about the Kenya-Somalia case outside court and conflict of interest because he is a Somali national.
“We have interest in the Kenya/Somali case as regional natives of the East and the Horn of Africa,” he said.
On the judges’ nationality, Matsanga said, “As a Somali national, his heart falls near Somali,” adding that the judge had been addressing matters pending before the court in forums outside the court.
“As a Pan African Forum, we view these statements as roadside shows that makes the President of the ICJ not fit to preside over the matter between Kenya and Somalia,” he said.
He also urged Kenya not to take part in the ICJ proceedings, in sentiments shared by petitioners in a case filed in Nairobi, where a lobby group moved to court seeking to compel Kenya to keep off the matter, in favour of an alternative dispute resolution process.
“We call upon the government of Kenya not to take part in the proceedings on September 9, 2019 if the President of ICJ will be on the panel because this will create a miscarriage of justice,” he said.