The International Court of Justice has rejected Costa Rica’s request to be allowed to intervene in the contentious island sovereignty dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.
The president of the court Hisasha Owada explained that Costa Rica had not demonstrated that there was a risk to its “legal interests” by the decision the judges are to deliver regarding the maritime border dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua.
The Costa Rican Ambassador to Colombia Edgar Ugalde, who has been San Jose’s agent in Costa Rica’s request, said that the decision of the court was made in a fair manner and would be respected.
Costa Rica submitted a request to the International Court of Justice in October 2010 to intervene in the dispute. The central american nation feared an overlap of interests on the southern edge of the proposed dividing line as it would affect 200 nautical miles over which it has jurisdiction.
The court will soon decide whether or not to accept the intervention of Honduras in the dispute.
The dispute began in 2001 when Nicaragua tried to claim 31,000 square miles in the Caribbean Sea, an area which included the islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Colombia claimed sovereignty over the San Andres archipelago by virtue of a 1928 treaty, even though they are geographically closer to Nicaragua.
In 2007 the ICJ recognized Colombia’s sovereignty over the Caribbean archipelago, however in July 2010 Nicaragua threatened military action if Colombia allocated oil concession in the disputed area.