Hearings for Burkina Faso-Niger border case end at UN International Court of Justice

17 October 2012

The West African countries of Burkina Faso and Niger today completed the presentation of their respective cases in a border dispute to the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is expected to issue its judgment within four to six months.

The Hague-based ICJ, also known as the World Court, has been asked to delineate the border between the two nations from the so-called Tong-Tong marker to the start of the Botou bend.

During the hearings, Burkina Faso explained that the delimitation of the disputed part should be based on a 1927 French colonial decree, when both countries were part of French West Africa, while Niger contended that the decree was not precise enough to define the frontier in certain areas and asked the Court to delimit it by using a 1960 map of the French Institut Géographique as adjusted with factual evidence of territorial sovereignty.

As a result, the frontier line put forward by Niger runs south-west of the one offered by Burkina Faso, with the biggest disagreement relating to the Bossebangou area in the centre of the disputed sector.

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.

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Burkina Faso and Niger refer border dispute to UN World Court

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.