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US judge replaces Somalia’s Abdulqawi as ICJ president

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Judge Joan E. Donoghue of the US has been elected as the President of the International Court of Justice, replacing Somali Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf Ahmed whose term came to an end.

Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf has been a member of the Court since February 6, 2009; was elected President on February 6, 2018.

He became the Vice-President of the Court from February 6, 2015, to February 5, 2018, when he was elected as the President of the Court for a term of three years.

Donoghue was elected during the elections are held in New York in the annual autumn session of the General Assembly.

She has been a member of the Court since September 9, 2010, and was re-elected on February 6, 2015.

During the election, Kirill Gevorgian (Russia) was elected as the Vice-President. He has been a member of the Court since February 6, 2015.

Following the changes, the case Court is expected to hear the maritime case between Somalia and Kenya on March 15-19, 2021.

In May 2020, the court postponed the week beginning Monday, March 15, 2021, the oral proceedings in the case concerning Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya).

The case had earlier been scheduled to open on Monday, June 8, 2020.

The decision was reached after considering the views and arguments of both parties, following Kenya’s request for a postponement of the oral proceedings in the case owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On August 28, 2014, Somalia filed an application instituting proceeding against Kenya with regard to a dispute concerning the delimitation of maritime spaces, claimed by both governments in the Indian Ocean.

In its application, Somalia contended that the parties “disagreed about the location of the maritime boundary in the area where their maritime entitlements overlapped and that diplomatic negotiations had failed to resolve the stalemate.

Somalia requested the court to determine, on the basis of international law, the complete course of the single maritime boundary dividing all the maritime areas appertaining to Somalia and to Kenya in the Indian Ocean.

On October 7, 2015, Kenya raised certain preliminary objections to the jurisdiction of the court and the admissibility of the application.

The court had postponed the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean between Somalia and Kenya to September 2020.

The decision follows a request by Kenya to push the case initially scheduled for next month to September 2020.

It was the second time that Kenya was granted a postponement request with the hearing having been pushed from October to November.

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Politics

Supreme Court of Somalia to hear election-related cases

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Somali judicial officers at a past training
   

The Supreme Court of Somalia announced it will hear cases related to elections. Chief Justice Bashe Yusuf Ahmed said it would be illegal for the federal and state governments not to allow the courts to adjudicate over election cases.

“The Supreme Court is ready to hear any appeal that arises from an administrative decision made by the electoral commissions,” Bashe said.

Bashe was speaking at a judicial conference held in Mogadishu.

The Horn of Africa nation is preparing for parliamentary and peesidential elections in September and October respectively.

Somalia has no constitutional court but there is an electoral dispute resolution committee.

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Race for Villa Somalia

Former foreign minister joins race for Villa Somalia

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Former Foreign minister Fawzia Adam becomes the firs female candidate to announce her candidature for Somalia presidency. Fawzia, who became Somalia’s first and only woman foreign minister and Deputy Prime Minister in 2012, said she is joining the race for Villa Somalia to change the course of the country’s politics. More than 30 other candidates have expressed their interest for the top job. She leads the National Democratic Party.

“My sole aim is to breath a new lease of life into Somalia. Our political ideology and believes are at the heart and soul of our political trajectory in deciding the best way Forward for my nation,” Fawzia said.

“Our people are known for their dynamism, resilience and fruitful thinking when it comes to business. If they are encouraged, the country will surely get rapid development and investment,” she added.

She is running on an anti-corruption platform. Fawzia hails from Somaliland. The Horn of Africa nation will hold presidential elections on October 10.

As foreign minister, Fawzia was instrumental in Somalia’s quest to recover state properties that had been frozen by foreign administrations, institutions and firms after the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991 in order to prevent unauthorized use,  and began a formal assessment and recovery process of Somali national assets, which include ships and planes that are believed to be held in Italy, Germany and Yemen.

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Politics

Farmajo congratulation Abiy Ahmed on his election victory

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President Farmajo (right) and Ethiopian Premier Abiy Aed at a past event
   

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo has congratulated Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed whose party won the just-concluded elections in Ethiopia.

Somalia will continue to work with the government of Abiy Ahmed to further strengthen bilateral relations and benefit peoples of the two countries and the wider region, Farmajo said in a statement. 

“I warmly congratulate PM Abiy Ahmed on regaining a strong mandate from the people of Ethiopia,” Farmaajo said.

Abiy’s new Prosperity Party won 410 out of 436 seats, according to electoral body.

Ethiopia has thousands of troops in Somalia under Amisom, the African Union Mission in Somalia, fighting al Shabab group. Since assuming office in 2018, Abiy has been supportive of the Somali Federal Government unlike his predecessors who supported regional administrations against the government in Mogadishu.

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