Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Niger)
Overview of the case
On 20 July 2010, Burkina Faso and Niger jointly submitted a frontier dispute between them to the Court, pursuant to a Special Agreement signed in Niamey on 24 February 2009 and which entered into force on 20 November 2009. In Article 2 of the Special Agreement, the Court was requested in particular to determine the course of the boundary between the two countries in the sector from the astronomic marker of Tong-Tong to the beginning of the Botou bend.
In its Judgment of 16 April 2013, the Court first observed that Article 6 of the Special Agreement, entitled “Applicable Law”, highlighted, amongst the rules of international law applicable to the dispute, “the principle of the intangibility of boundaries inherited from colonization and the Agreement of 28 March 1987”. It noted that the first two Articles of that Agreement specify the acts and documents of the French colonial administration which must be used to determine the delimitation line that existed when the two countries gained independence. It then interpreted and applied the relevant instruments to determine the frontier in the sector in question.
he Court decided that, having regard to the circumstances of the case, it would nominate at a later date, by means of an Order, the experts requested by the Parties in Article 7, paragraph 4, of the Special Agreement to assist them in the demarcation of their frontier in the area in dispute. By an Order of 12 July 2013, the Court nominated the said three experts. The case was thus completed and was removed from the Court’s List.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.