The delimitation of maritime boundaries on Africa’s eastern seaboard

Authors Siqhamo Ntol, Patrick Vrancken

ISSN: 2521-5442
Affiliations: LLM candidate, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; Professor of Law, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Source: Journal of Ocean law and Governance in Africa (iilwandle zethu), 2016, p. 54 – 104


This article analyses the extent to which maritime boundaries have been delimited on Africa’s eastern seaboard. The article starts by discussing the delimitation agreements which have been concluded. Following this, the article discusses two cases that have been submitted to a third party, namely the Eritrean/Yemen arbitration and the Kenya/Somalia dispute concerning maritime delimitation in the western Indian Ocean. The article then moves on to identify and discuss the maritime-boundary delimitations which are outstanding, largely owing to sovereignty disputes over dry land territory which affects claims to maritime zones between disputing States. Lastly, the article identifies and discusses the provisional arrangements of a practical nature that have been put in place by those States that have not yet delimited their overlapping maritime boundaries. The article concludes by suggesting that African States give priority to finalising their delimitations among themselves before attempting to resolve delimitation and related issues with other States in the region.