Among the many challenges facing Somalia as it seeks to enable its maritime future is the continuing conundrum presented by its historical claim to a 200-nautical-mile territorial sea. However, as a degree of stability has returned, a series of important—but largely forgotten—national and international legislative and policy steps taken by the Somali Democratic Republic just prior to the onset of the civil war have been rediscovered. This has cast the issue in a new light, and raises several questions as to the consequences and evolution of the Somali legal relationship to the maritime domain. This article describes the current status of the Somali claim, with a view to illuminating the legal history behind the Somali legislative ‘start point’ for the recently filed application with the International Court of Justice in relation to its Exclusive Economic Zone delimitation with Kenya.
E. Gismatullin‘Somalia may see Shell return in 2015 as Soma tests waters’Bloomberg (27 March 2014); see <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-26/somalia-hopes-to-see-shell-return-in-2015-as-soma-tests-waters.html>; A. Khalif ‘Somalia likely to have large oil deposits—report’ Africa Review (15 April 2014); see <http://www.africareview.com/Business---Finance/Somalia-likely-to-have-large-oil-deposits/-/979184/2280734/-/18hfls/-/index.html>.
See for example K. Manson‘Somalia: Oil thrown on the fire’Financial Times(13 May 2013); see <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/538e9550-b3e1-11e2-ace9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3DtxbxTEr>; D. Balthasar Oil in Somalia: Adding Fuel to the Fire? Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (Mogadishu 2014); see <http://www.heritageinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/HIPS-Oil_in_Somalia-ENGLISH.pdf>.
A. Khalif‘Anxiety over Somalia water border resolution’Africa Review(7 June 2013); see <http://www.africareview.com/Opinion/Anxiety-over-Somalia-water-border-resolution/-/979188/1875572/-/6mp2s8z/-/index.html>.