Burkina Faso and Niger refer border dispute to UN World Court

The International Court of Justice

21 July 2010 – The West African countries of Burkina Faso and Niger have submitted a dispute over their common border to the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) as part of a wider agreement by the two States to resolve the situation peacefully.

In a joint letter filed yesterday, the ICJ – which is also known as the World Court – has been asked to delineate the border between the two nations from the Tong-Tong marker to the start of the Botou bend.

The court has also been asked to observe the two countries’ agreement on the results of the work of a joint technical commission set up by Burkina Faso and Niger on two other sections of their shared border.

The decision to refer the matter to the ICJ is in line with a special agreement signed by the two countries last year in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

Established in 1945 under the UN Charter, the ICJ is one of the six principal organs of the world body. It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions on legal questions that have been referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies. The court is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

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