Did Norway Draft the Memorandum of Understanding between Somalia and Kenya?

Mogadishu (PP News Desk) — The former Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said that “Norway drafted the Memorandum of Understanding” signed with Kenya in 2009.

Sharmarke held a press conference in 2016 in Garowe to explain his role in the MoU that questions Somalia’s 200 nautical miles promulgated in several laws dating back to 1972 and 1989.

“Norway was helping Somalia to claim more miles, and drafted the Memorandum of Understanding Somalia signed with Kenya. When we realised that Kenya was using the Memorandum of Understanding for wrong purposes, we pulled out of the agreement” Sharmarke said.

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke acknowledged that Kenya hoodwinked Somalia into signing Memorandum of Understanding that “Norway drafted”.

The wording of the MoU with Kenya puts Somalia 200 nautical miles into dispute. “ The delimitation of the continental shelf between the Republic of Kenya and the Somali Republic (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the two coastal States”) has not yet been settled. This unresolved delimitation issue between the two coastal States is to be considered as a “maritime dispute”. The claims of the two coastal States cover an overlapping area of the continental shelf which constitutes the “area under dispute” reads the MoU.

There is no evidence that Norway had drafted the Memorandum of Understanding that lends credence to Kenya’s claims on Somali maritime territory. Reporters have not referred to the text of MoU whose wording makes it clear that Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, former Planning and International Cooperation, signed a document in which Somalia questions its 200 nautical miles promulgated in laws passed before 1991.

“I doubt Norway drafted the MoU that supports Kenya’s claim. Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke’s version contradicts the text although he acknowledges that Kenya hoodwinked Somalia” said Adan Mohamud, a Somali maritime law expert.

Somalia did not seek expert advice when the Transitional Federal Government signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya in 2009 to grant the coastal state a right to claim Somali territorial waters.

© Puntland Post, 2021