A military parade on Colombia’s Independence Day in San Andres was “disrespectful” towards the International Court of Justice (ICJ) who is currently deciding on the archipelago’s sovereignty, according to Nicaragua’s military chief.
“More than a provocation, this is a lack of respect for the court,” said General Julio Aviles. “Nicaragua has made it very clear to never stop claiming that territory in the Caribbean sea.”
Colombia has controlled the archipelago, which includes the islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, since the 1928 EsguerraBarcenasTreaty. Nicaragua has long disputed the treaty which was put into effect while the country was under U.S. military occupation.
Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Holguin dismissed Aviles’ comments. “San Andres is Colombia. The march took place on Colombian soil.”
The islands are situated less than 150km off of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast and more than 600km from mainland Colombia.
In April, Nicaragua brought its sovereignty claim before the ICJ at the Hague. Although the court ruled in favor of Colombia’s sovereignty over the archipelago in 2007, the present hearings are primarily concerned with maritime boundaries around several small islands that Nicaragua feels were unclearly designated when the treaty was signed over 80 years ago.
A final ruling is not expected for months.