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Somali lawmakers reject controversial maritime deal

Somali lawmakers reject controversial maritime deal between Kenyan and Somalia
www.chinaview.cn 2009-08-01 21:02:38

MOGADISHU, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — The Somali parliament on Saturday overwhelmingly rejected a controversial maritime agreement signed between Somali government and Kenya last April.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was reached between the two coastal states in accordance with a requirement by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
UNCLOS demands the provision of non-objection with respect to the two neighbors’ respective presentation submissions to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf because the preparation of a country’s claim for submission requires the cooperation of its neighbors.

After two days of heated debate, Somali lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against the MoU between the two countries which would allow the extension of the two coastal states’ continental shelf.

“347 deputies attended the session. 334 voted against the motion, four deputies requested postponement of the vote while nine parliament members asked for the setting up of a committee for the issue,” Somali parliament speaker Sheikh Adan Madobe said after the vote. “Therefore, the Somali parliament rejected the maritime Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and Somalia.”

The Transitional Somali government is battling a deadly insurgence against Islamist rebels who wage a near daily attacks on its troops and African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu. Most of the lawmakers said that the agreement “compromises the sovereignty and the territorial integrity” of the war-torn horn of Africa country.

“We are happy that the vote has taken place as we wanted and it is a victory for the Somali people. I congratulate Somali parliamentarians for showing patriotism,” Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, a Somali MP, told Xinhua after the end of the vote.

Since the agreement was signed back in April, controversy over the maritime deal has been growing culminating in its rejection by Somali parliament.

It is not clear what the next step for Somali government is now that its parliament scrapped an agreement it entered with one of the countries that strongly support it and has been instrumental in its establishment back in 2004.

Editor: Fang Yang

Source: Xinhua China

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