Mogadishu – The USA is one of the important partners in Somalia’s development but if their position on the Kenya-Somali maritime dispute is to facilitate negotiations which will lead to an out of court settlement they are WRONG. Somalia will not give up an inch of its waters to Kenya illegally and under pressure from the USA or any other country. The US would not allow any of its territory to be forcibly taken by anybody else, so why should Somalia?
The US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter told Kenya’s Citizen TV that the US is working to facilitate an out of court settlement “because there is too much potential between the two countries. There is really the necessity that we succeed on the border and defeat Al-Shabaab. Two, there are trade opportunities between Somalia and Kenya that really needs to be taken care of.” The USA trades with the rest of the world and in particular its neighbours, Mexico and Canada. There exists strong security cooperation between the USA, Canada and Mexico, but the US government would never accept either neighbour making a claim on an inch of its territory let alone take it illegally. In fact, America has built a wall along its Mexican border to keep out Mexican migrants, and all these, in an effort to supposedly protect its strategic interest from illegal migration. Therefore, Somalia and Kenya can still enjoy strong security and trade partnerships without Kenya having to steal its maritime resources. If the USA and its partners are interested in peace and security and inter-regional trade, they must not encourage Kenya’s un-neighbourly and aggressive behaviour.
This new development in the maritime dispute has caught the Somali Government off guard and without a formal response. The Somali people are disappointed, once again that their government and in particular the Foreign Ministry is failing them, while Kenya is building alliances to steal Somalia’s maritime future. Embarrassingly, Minister Ahmed Awad raised his objection too late after Kenya was elected to chair the Contact Group on Piracy on the Coast of Somalia.
Today, the US ambassadors to Somalia and Kenya are signalling that Somalia’s diplomacy is dead, because it ceases to have influence on an important partner and and their views on an issue which will further destabilise the region. To win this maritime case against Kenya, Somalia needs a Foreign Ministry that is fit for purpose, and a leadership that is clear on its position on the maritime case. This position is ‘WE WILL NOT GIVE UP AN ICNH OF SOMALIA’S WATERS TO KENYA’.