International Court Backs Nicaragua in Maritime Conflict

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has ruled in favour of Nicaragua in a conflict with Colombia over waters in the Caribbean Sea.


The judges of the UN organization rule that the conflict is taking place in Nicaragua’s exclusive economic zone in this sea. Colombia violates Nicaragua’s sovereignty by patrolling it and hindering Nicaraguans’ activities, such as fishermen and researchers.

Nicaragua and Colombia have long argued over waters east of Central America and a number of islands, including San Andrés and Providencia, which belong to Colombia.

In the late 1920s, Nicaragua agreed with a treaty that the waters and islands belong to Colombia. But the country has disputed the validity of the treaty since 1980. It has previously been argued that waters in the western Caribbean Sea would be part of Nicaraguan’s sphere of influence.

Colombia does not care about that for the time being. Nicaragua also has border disputes with neighbouring countries Costa Rica and Honduras.

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