San Juan River dispute: Both sides told to stay away

Map

Related Stories

The UN's highest court has ordered both Nicaragua and Costa Rica to keep all personnel back from a disputed border.

In November, Costa Rica complained to the International Court of Justice that Nicaragua had illegally sent troops and engineers into its territory to dredge part of the San Juan River.

In ordering Nicaragua to keep its troops out, the court ruled partly in favour of Costa Rica.

But it did not accept that the dredging was damaging the environment.

Both Costa Rica and Nicaragua lay claim to the Portillos Islands in the San Juan River, which forms the border between them.

The court, in The Hague, ruled that both countries must keep all military, police and civilian personnel out of the region.

However, Costa Rica can send civilian staff to monitor any potential damage to the environment.

The court told both countries to "refrain from any actions which might aggravate or extend the dispute".

Both sides welcomed the ruling.

Costa Rican Foreign Minister Rene Castro said the ruling had stopped an "aggressive invasion" by Nicaragua and was an "important step" towards the resumption of dialogue between the two countries.

"The important thing for Nicaragua was the dredging and that has not been stopped," said Carlos Arguello-Gomez, Nicaragua's ambassador to The Netherlands.

"We had already told the court the troops were out and that the small cleaning of the channel was over," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features

  • The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge and Prince GeorgeGorgeous George

    Baby steals show as tour reveals rise in support for monarchy


  • Kim Jong-un visits a children's campThe Notepad Men

    Who are the people who take down Kim Jong-un's every word?


  • Beebcoins logoMaking money

    How easy is to coin your own virtual currency?


  • Donald Tusk7 days quiz

    What made Poland's prime minister become an internet hit?


  • Spanner CrabEdible images

    Are these the best food photographs of the past year?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.