BEIJING, Aug. 3 -- The Somali parliament on Saturday overwhelmingly
rejected a controversial maritime agreement signed between the governments of
Somalia and Kenya last April.
The Memorandum of Understanding 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 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 daily attacks on its troops
and African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu. Most of the lawmakers said the
agreement "compromises the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the
war-torn horn of Africa country.
Soundbite: Mohamed Qanyare Afrah, a Somali MP "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."
Since the agreement was signed in April, controversy
over the maritime deal has been growing in its rejection by Somali parliament.
It is not clear whether the MOU could affect the
Limits of the Continental Shelf of the two countries.
Xinhua News Agency correspondents reporting from