Colombia has announced that the country supports Honduras’ requested intervention in a maritime border dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua.
Colombia said it recognizes that Honduras has “legal interests” in the matter, and The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague will decide this week whether or not to accept the intervention. Nicaragua does not support Honduras’ request to become involved.
There has been a prolonged lawsuit between Colombia and Nicaragua over the disputed border in the Caribbean sea. In 2001, the ICJ declared a 1928 treaty relating to the border partially invalid, after a claim was made by the Nicaraguan government. The ICJ agreed with Colombian arguments that disputes relating to the Islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina were not part of the Court’s jurisdiction. However, in its preliminary judgement of December 13, 2007, it ruled that the rest of the border delineated by the treaty was yet to be assigned under maritime law.
Honduras considers 14,000 square kilometres of maritime territory to be “in a situation of uncertainty” and is concerned that this could affect Honduras’ interests, Foreign Ministry advisor Carlos Lopez Contreras told EPA.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega warned in July that his nation may respond militarily if Colombia authorizes oil concessions in disputed territory in the Caribbean sea.
Costa Rica has filed a similar request with the ICJ to involve itself in the dispute. Colombia also supports this intervention, while Nicaragua opposes it.