Mogadishu 13 OCT 2021
A gathering was held Mogadishu last night attended by members of the Councils of presidential candidates where, the decision of the International Court of Justice to demarcate the Somalia Kenya maritime boundary was welcomed. At this gathering various members of the Council of Presidential candidates spoke about the maritime boundary issues
Former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, who was often accused of signing an agreement to demarcate the maritime boundary in the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, was among those who spoke at the event.
Abdirahman Abdishakur started by commending former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for registering Somalia’s Exclusive Economic Zone with the United Nation as means to stop illegal fishing by foreign trawlers in Somalia’s EEZ.
Mr Abdishukar went on further to say that its not a good idea to spread misinformation about individuals stating “ there is nothing uglier than spreading information about people which are false” he further elaborated that “one should verify the information they are spreading”. This comes amid rumours over the past decade that Abdirahman Abdishakur has signed an agreement, which demarcated the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya, something, which he vehemently denies.
Moving on, Abdi Hashi Abdullahi the current Speaker of the Somali Senates has apologised for his role in spreading misinformation about Abdirahman Abdishakur whilst he was a member of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia stated “ I would like to apologies to my son Abdirahman Abdishakur for my role in spreading information that later turned out to be untrue, whilst I was a member of parliament”, he further elaborated that “ it is now time to pay compensation to Abdirahman Abdishakur for the defamation he suffered in the past decade”.
Speaker Abdi Hashi went on to say that tonight he has two feelings. First he is extremely happy at the judgment that was handed down by the ICJ stating “ Somalia was been awarded what was rightfully ours by the ICJ”. At the same time Speaker Hashi feels that Somalia is in the same position as it was in 1947 “ when Somalia was under colonial administration and subject to great power politics, we are in this position because we failed to unite our people”. The failure of Somali politician to unite their country has led to Somalia being exploited in the geopolitics of great powers.
For his part former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who led the country when the maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia began spoke about the agreement saying, “ there had been no known agreement between Kenya and his government led by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid”
Former President Sharif went on to say, “At the time of the dispute, the situation was difficult and the government was only in control six districts in Mogadishu. We told the Kenyan government that we could not discuss maritime issues as we were not in a position to discuss it at the moment.” Subsequently the Government of Norway and the UN made efforts to assist us in this endeavour.
The former President went on to say, “My government thought that it is necessary for us and Kenya to have an agreement to discuss a maritime boundary. Omar Abdirashid, who led the government, and Abdirahman Abdishakur, a member of the government, made the decision. I was not informed of this. On the morning of the signing of the agreement, Abdirahman called me and said, “President, the agreement needs to be signed. What do you think?” I told that he should do as the Prime Minister says and God willing, ” said Sheikh Sharif.
He added, “Then I called Prime Minister Omar and said why did you hide this from me and inform at a late stage? And he answered me I thought you knew, and replied how would I know? After that there was a commotion, and the city was experience flooded, which diverted my attention. After that I became suspicious of Omar and Abdirahman. The three of us never asked each other about it. Every man turned away when he saw another man. Thank you for freeing us in this case. ”
In the ever evolving narratives of Somali politics it seems the former President has constantly been distancing himself from the MOU of 2009, but the ICJ judgment has now come as relief to those who were accused of signing the agreement.