Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua, on Thursday asked former Colombian Head of State Alvaro Uribe to persuade current President Juan Manuel Santos to abide by the November ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which saw Colombia cede 30,000 square miles of territorial waters to Nicaragua.
Ortega referred specifically to a promise that Uribe made during the Rio Group conference in 2008, held in the Dominican Republic.
When Ortega asked the former President to remove his battleships from Nicaraguan waters – to the west of the 82nd Meridian, Uribe said: “Rest assured that the only thing we’re waiting for is the ruling of the court in La Haya [the ICJ], and we’ll respect it completely.”
Now the Nicaraguan President is asking Uribe to be a “man of his word” and persuade his successor to respect the ICJ.
After the ICJ’s November ruling left Colombia’s San Andres archipegalo surrounded by Nicaraguan waters, Colombia withdrew from the Bogota Pact, which obliges all signatory nations to abide by the court’s rulings.
Since then tensions have been high, and in the last week President Santos described the ICJ’s ruling as “inapplicable”, because the borders of Colombia “can only be modified through treaties aproved by [Colombia’s] Congress, subsequently ratified by the President of the Republic.”
Ortega said on Thursday that Nicaragua is ready to work together with a Colombian commission to implement the ICJ’s ruling. “The ruling has already been made, now it’s about Colombia and Nicaragua abiding by it.”
Meanwhile the Nicaraguan Congress rejected Santos’s offer to renegotiate the limits of the territorial waters, instead insisting that Colombia hand over all 30,000 square miles specified in the ICJ ruling.