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ICJ Maritime Case Turns Into a Campaign  Ammo and Political  Baggage for Candidates
Somali News

ICJ Maritime Case Turns Into a Campaign Ammo and Political Baggage for Candidates

A verdict issued by the International Court Of Justice in the Dutch city of The Hague was on Friday a reason for public celebration thousands of miles away in Mogadishu, Somalia. In essential ICJ had on Thursday ruled that it would consider the Somali-Kenya maritime case. Somalia had won round 1. With less than five days remaining to the presidential elections the Maritime case has in the last 24hrs turned into a political ammunition for some candidates and a baggage for others. Within an hour after the ICJ ruling the communication team at the Prime Ministers office had swing into action releasing a Press Statement warning politicians from using the matter to gain political mileage. “We should sustain the unity of purpose. This court case is a dispute between two nations not between Somalis.” Sharmake stated in a statement released immediately after the ICJ ruling “The focus should be to win this case and defend our territorial waters . It should not be politicized for short term political gains” he asserted. But by 8pm Thursday night an evidently fired up President Hassan Sheikh was no longer mincing his word about a topic that had in the past only been a twitter fight between his spokesman and Sharmake. “I want to tell Somali people be warned. Unfortunately there are some who don’t care about our sea and our country and today they wear a different coat and say they want to become president and yet they didn’t care about Somalia before “ President Mohamud said in a live broadcasting from Villa Somalia on Thursday night. “Every Somali can understand what they would do if they lead this country . Somali people must be careful on the persons they chose to lead this country. You must probe the person you choose to give responsibility to lead this country. Check their records and what they have done in the past before deciding who to chose” Mohamud said. Mohamud was apparently referring to Sharmake and Sharif Sheikh who were PM and President respectively when an MOU was signed with Kenya in 2009. The MOU was actually signed by Minister Abdirahman Abdishakur the then Minister for planning. “The minister was representing the Somali government . He therefore acted with the blessing of the Prime Minister Sharmake. And Sharmake was an appointee of Sharif Sheikh the then President.” Khadar Isse a political commentator pointed out to Radio Dalsan. “It’s a political baggage that the two will have to carry in their bid to become the next President of Somalia” Isse adds. Ex planning Minister Abdishakur would on the next day send a less diplomatic statement removing his gloves and accusing the present of using the maritime case as campaign tool. Sharif Sheikh is yet to react to Mohamud´s attack on him regarding the controversial MOU with Kenya. A planned past mid night press conference by the ex President was called off last minute with no explanation given from his communication team . Attorney general Ahmed Dahir added a new twist to the case , Dahir claims the MOU signed with Kenya actually protects Somalia´s water . Radio Dalsan has learnt that PM Sharmake had flown to Kenya on a chartered plane for an undisclosed meeting in Nairobi. When talking to the hundreds of Somali citizens who gathered at the Daljirka Dahsoon monument in Mogadishu it became clear to us that the ordinary citizens understanding of the verdict was that Somalia had won the case . It’s a political score for Mohamud as many interviewed by Radio Dalsan praised the current administration of “bringing back” Somali waters that had earlier been “sold” to foreigners. But in the Somali elections the decision of who will occupy Villa Somalia remains with the Parliament and not the public. Analysts say in a Parliament that has an almost 40% new faces some Mps will be asking hard questions in their evaluation before voting and this will include Why the incumbent who now publicly criticizes Sharmake over the Maritime fiasco appointed him as the Prime Minister in the first place. All in all the cracks of the matter is that the maritime case is a political potato whose timing may have some sway on how the 275 Mps and 54 Senators will decide who to vote among the top contenders. Somalia had sued Kenya in 2014 asking for a proper determination of the sea border between the two neighbours. The area in contest is about 100000 square kilometers is said to have huge oil and natural gas deposits.