Honduras will ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to intervene in the legal battle over maritime borders between Colombia and Nicaragua.
This appeal follows a prolonged lawsuit between the neighboring countries 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.
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.
Contrera added that “if Honduras does not get involved, the court will only take the interests of Colombia and Nicaragua into account.”
Honduras’ strategy will be twofold, to apply to become “a rival, similar to Nicaragua and Colombia,” and if the ICJ rejects the request, Honduras will act “as a neutral intermediary to express our points of view,” the politician announced.
Honduras is concerned that the dispute between the two Latin American countries could affect its own maritime border treaty with Colombia, signed in 1986.
The hearing in The Hague will take place next week, with the Honduran delegation speaking on Monday and Thursday, and Colombia and Nicaragua speaking on Wednesday and Friday.
After the hearings, the court will decide “whether or not to admit Honduras’ intervention and if allowed, to what extent,” Contreras added.
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.