ISSN: 1075-4644

Global Survey Vol. 47 No. 488/17D   February 2017

 

 

Maritime, Territorial, and Water Claims and Disputes

 

ü       Latent or dormant

 

WORLDWIDE

 

ANTARCTICA

The 1959 Antarctic Treaty, signed by 48 states, including 28 consultative nations, is the legal framework for activities on the continent. No claims are recognized or rejected, although 7 countries are making claims: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The Russian Federation and the United States of America have made no formal claims but reserve the right to make claims. Argentina, Australia, and Chile claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) rights.

 

ARCTIC

 

CANADA, DENMARK, NORWAY, RUSSIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: International maritime and territorial dispute over claims to the High Arctic, the North Pole, and its resources.

 

Canada maintained in August 2008 that scientific research conducted together with Denmark proves that the undersea Lomonosov ridge—claimed by Russia but rejected by the United Nations for lack of evidence—is connected to the North American continent. Russia’s president stated in September 2008 that the use of Arctic resources was central to the country’s energy security. In June 2009, the Russian foreign minister said that competing claims on the Arctic seabed must be settled by the United Nations (UN). Canada is planning to submit its claim and detailed justification to the UN in 2013.

 

Denmark’s government expressed its hope in October 2004 to claim the North Pole and High Arctic under a UN convention that allows coastal nations to claim rights to offshore seabed resources. (Denmark, governing in Greenland, qualifies as a coastal nation.) By the end of 2014, Denmark will submit its claim and details to the UN.

 

A deputy prime minister of Russia announced on 6 July 2011 that Russia will apply to the United Nations in 2012 to expand its Arctic borders. The defense minister said on 1 July 2011 that the government would station troops in Arkhangel’sk or Murmansk to protect national interests in the region.

 

AFRICA

 

ü  BENIN-NIGER: International border dispute, since 1965. It was submitted to international arbitration in 2002 and on 12 July 2005 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the main disputed Lete Island along with 15 others in the Niger River along a 150-km border stretch belongs to Niger. Both nations have vowed to abide by the ICJ ruling.

 

BOTSWANA-ZIMBABWE: Dispute about Botswana border security fence, since 2003, which is seen as provocation by Zimbabwe.

 

CAMEROON-NIGERIA: Agreement was reached on 1,600 km of the 1,690 km long border between the two countries but 350 km of the land border needs to be demarcated. The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission on 24 July 2011 directed that areas of disagreement or being inaccessible and those skipped be resolved and that demarcation be completed by the end of 2011 under the 2002 International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision.

 

ü  CAMEROON-NIGERIA: International territorial dispute of the Bakassi Peninsula, since 1975. International arbitration ruling favoring Cameroon was issued on 10 October 2002. Nigeria planned to hand over peninsula in 2004. In April 2005, the marking of the border between the two countries was resumed. On 11 May 2005, the two governments agreed to negotiate a date for the withdrawal of Nigerian troops. On 24 June, Cameroon petitioned the UN Security Council following alleged attacks by Nigerian troops. On 14 August 2008, the territory was formally transferred to Cameroon.

 

COMOROS-FRANCE: International territorial dispute over claim to the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte. On 31 March 2011, the Overseas Collectivity of Mayotte became the 101st Department of France.

 

CONGO (DR)-ZAMBIA: Fishermen and residents living on both sides of the Luapula River border and a source of sometimes violent border violations will be helped by the Zambian government, it announced on 11 November 2011. Officials will engage their counterparts in resolving conflicts and will educate fishermen to respect territorial borders.

 

ü  ERITREA-ETHIOPIA: Border conflict (1998-2000). An arbitration ruling was issued on 13 April 2002, cease-fire agreement signed on 18 June 2000, and a peace agreement on 12 December 2000.

 

ETHIOPIA-EGYPT-SUDAN-UGANDA: International dispute over sharing of waters of the Nile since June 2001. On 13 April 2010, Egypt threatened military action against unilateral upstream projects which would diminish its share.

 

ETHIOPIA-ERITREA:  Border conflict (1998-2000). An arbitration ruling was issued on 13 April 2002, cease-fire agreement signed on 18 June 2000, and a peace agreement on 12 December 2000.

 

ETHIOPIA-SOMALIA: Territorial dispute since 1960 over claim to the Ogaden Region.

 

EQUATORIAL GUINEA-GABON: International territorial dispute over the Corisco Bay since 1972. It was resolved until Gabon reiterated its opposition to claims to an islet by Equatorial Guinea in 2003. Governments agreed on 23 January 2004 to mediation by UN. The presidents of both states on 25 February 2011 repeated their commitment to submit the dispute to the ICJ.

 

GABON-EQUATORIAL GUINEA: International territorial dispute over the Corisco Bay since 1972. It was resolved until Gabon reiterated its opposition to claims to an islet by Equatorial Guinea in 2003. Governments agreed on 23 January 2004 to mediation by UN. The presidents of both states on 25 February 2011 repeated their commitment to submit the dispute to the ICJ.

 

GUINEA-SIERRA LEONE: Border dispute since 1999 over the town of Yenga. It was

submitted to the ICJ for arbitration in October 2003.

 

KENYA-UGANDA: Territorial dispute over claim to Islands of Migingo and Ugingo, Lake Victoria reappeared on 1 June 2011. In an address celebrating the 48th Madaranka Day of Self-Rule, Kenya’s president said: “I also wish to reassure all Kenyans that the Islands of Migingo and Ugingo lie squarely on Kenyan territory in Lake Victoria.  There should, therefore, be no cause for alarm on this issue. Let me also reiterate that as a country, we shall always opt for diplomacy and dialogue whenever an issue arises with our neighbors...” Ugandan authorities told their troops to ignore the Kenyan statement and warned Kenyan fishermen to obey them. They said construction work would continue on Ugingo. The conflict took a new turn when the Kenyan government sent some 50 administration and police officers as well as two ministers to Migingo on 15 August 2011. The survey team which also raised the flag of Kenya will remain there along with the Ugandans until ownership of the rocky island is determined. The arrangement was approved earlier by ministers of both countries.

 

KENYA-TANZANIA: Territorial dispute over claim to Mt Kilimanjaro. The Kenyan government opened talks in April 2004 about return of the mountain area.

 

MADAGASCAR-FRANCE: Territorial dispute over claim to the uninhabited atoll Bassas da India consisting of ten islets in the Indian Ocean.

 

MADAGASCAR-FRANCE: Territorial dispute over claim to Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel

 

MADAGASCAR-FRANCE: Territorial dispute over claim to Glorioso Islands in the Indian Ocean.

 

MADAGASCAR-FRANCE: Territorial dispute over claim to Juan de Nova Island in the Indian Ocean.

 

MAURITIUS-FRANCE-SEYCHELLES: International territorial dispute over claim to Tromelin Island in the Indian Ocean.

 

MAURITIUS-SEYCHELLES-UNITED KINGDOM: International territorial dispute over claim to Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean, since November 1965. Mauritius renewed its diplomatic effort in March 2004, claiming that the separation of the archipelago was illegal. In September 2004, members of the Chagossian community petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to recognize their right to be resettled on the Chagos Islands. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced on 16 November 2004 that a fixed number of Chagossians may visit the graves of their relatives on the islands. Unresolved.

 

NIGERIA-CAMEROON: Agreement was reached on 1,600 km of the 1,690 km long border between the two countries but 350 km of the land border needs to be demarcated. The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission on 24 July 2011 directed that areas of disagreement or being inaccessible and those skipped be resolved and that demarcation be completed by the end of 2011 under the 2002 International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision.

 

ü  NIGERIA-CAMEROON: International territorial dispute of the Bakassi Peninsula, since 1975. International arbitration ruling favoring Cameroon was issued on 10 October 2002. Nigeria planned to hand over peninsula in 2004. In April 2005, the marking of the border between the two countries was resumed. On 11 May 2005, the two governments agreed to negotiate a date for the withdrawal of Nigerian troops. On 24 June, Cameroon petitioned the UN Security Council following alleged attacks by Nigerian troops. On 14 August 2008, the territory was formally transferred to Cameroon.

 

SEYCHELLES-MAURITIUS-FRANCE: International territorial dispute over claim to Tromelin Island in the Indian Ocean.

 

SEYCHELLES-MAURITIUS-UNITED KINGDOM: International territorial dispute over claim to Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean, since November 1965. Mauritius renewed its diplomatic effort in March 2004, claiming that the separation of the archipelago was illegal. In September 2004, members of the Chagossian community petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to recognize their right to be resettled on the Chagos Islands. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced on 16 November 2004 that a fixed number of Chagossians may visit the graves of their relatives on the islands. Unresolved.

 

SIERRA LEONE-GUINEA: Border dispute since 1999 over the town of Yenga. It was

submitted to the ICJ for arbitration in October 2003.

 

SOMALIA-ETHIOPIA: Territorial dispute since 1960 over claim to the Ogaden Region.

 

SOMALIA-Puntland-Somaliland: Regional territorial dispute, since 1991 by the two self-declared separately administered regions. Presidents of the two semi-autonomous regions agreed on 5 September 2011 on peaceful settlement of their dispute and adopted a pact to prevent further hostilities. The agreement was signed at a consultative meeting backed by the United Nations (UN) in New York in the presence of the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) of Somalia and several ministers.

 

SOMALIA-Puntland-Somaliland: Regional territorial dispute over claims to Sanaag and Sool by the two self-declared entities.

 

SOUTH SUDAN-SUDAN: Territorial dispute over Abyei, Janub Kurdufan (Southern Kordofan). The area has special administrative status and its ultimate assignment to South Sudan or Sudan depends on an outcome of a referendum by its inhabitants. Abyei is claimed by both states. The area was occupied by Sudanese troops on 20 May 2011 leading to fears of renewed fighting between north and south which erupted on 6 June 2011. On 3 June 2011 the UN Security Council condemned the takeover and demanded that Sudan immediately withdraw its troops which Sudan rejected on 7 June. On 16 June 2011, the Sudan Armed Forces and pro-Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) fighters agreed to end hostilities. Both sides agreed on 20 June 2011 demilitarize Abyei and assign security functions to UNIFSA. On 19 September, both governments signed an agreement on opening 10 border crossings. Sudan’s foreign minister told the UN General Assembly on 26 September that it is committed to resolving all remaining disputes over the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

 

SUDAN-ETHIOPIA-EGYPT-UGANDA: International dispute over sharing of waters of the Nile since June 2001. On 13 April 2010, Egypt threatened military action against unilateral upstream projects which would diminish its share.

 

SUDAN-SOUTH SUDAN-Abye, see above.

 

TANZANIA-KENYA: Territorial dispute over claim to Mt Kilimanjaro. The Kenyan government opened talks in April 2004 about return of the mountain area.

 

UGANDA-ETHIOPIA-EGYPT-SUDAN: International dispute over sharing of waters of the Nile since June 2001. On 13 April 2010, Egypt threatened military action against unilateral upstream projects which would diminish its share.

 

UGANDA-KENYA: Territorial dispute over claim to Islands of Migingo and Ugingo, Lake Victoria reappeared on 1 June 2011. In an address celebrating the 48th Madaranka Day of Self-Rule, Kenya’s president said: “I also wish to reassure all Kenyans that the Islands of Migingo and Ugingo lie squarely on Kenyan territory in Lake Victoria.  There should, therefore, be no cause for alarm on this issue. Let me also reiterate that as a country, we shall always opt for diplomacy and dialogue whenever an issue arises with our neighbors...” Ugandan authorities told their troops to ignore the Kenyan statement and warned Kenyan fishermen to obey them. They said construction work would continue on Ugingo. The conflict took a new turn when the Kenyan government sent some 50 administration and police officers as well as two ministers to Migingo on 15 August 2011. The survey team which also raised the flag of Kenya will remain there along with the Ugandans until ownership of the rocky island is determined. The arrangement was approved earlier by ministers of both countries.

 

ZAMBIA-CONGO (DR): Fishermen and residents living on both sides of the Luapula River border and a source of sometimes violent border violations will be helped by the Zambian government, it announced on 11 November 2011. Officials will engage their counterparts in resolving conflicts and will educate fishermen to respect territorial borders.

 

ZAMBIA-ZIMBABWE: Territorial dispute over claim to Singabezi Island, Livingstone.

 

ZIMBABWE-BOTSWANA: Dispute about Botswana border security fence, since 2003, which is seen as provocation by Zimbabwe.

 

ZIMBABWE-ZAMBIA: Territorial dispute over claim to Singabezi Island, Livingstone.

 

 

AMERICAS

 

ANTIGUA-DOMINICA-VENEZUELA-USA: International territorial dispute with Venezuela since the 1970s over claim to Aves Island/Isla de Aves/ Bird Island. Earlier, the island was also claimed by the other states.

 

ARGENTINA-UNITED KINGDOM: International territorial dispute over 1816 claim to the Falkland Islands/ Malvinas. There has been no military confrontation since Argentina invaded the islands in 1982, but in March 2004 the UK complained to Argentina about the contravention of rules by a naval vessel and fishing boats. On 15 June 2011, the international jousting with the United Kingdom over the Argentinian claim turned public again when the British prime minister rejected talks about sovereignty unless requested by the territory’s residents. On the following day, the Argentine president who was campaigning for reelection commented rudely on the refusal and called Britain “a crass colonial power in decline.” When it was announced in November that one of the Queen’s grandsons, an active naval pilot, would be deployed to the islands for training, the Argentine government called it a “provocative act.” The Common Market of the South, MERCOSUR, on 21 December agreed to close its ports to ships flying the flag of the islands. The British prime minister, on 23 December, said Britain would “never negotiate” the islands’ sovereignty against the wishes of the islanders.

 

ü  BELIZE-GUATEMALA: International border dispute, since 1880. Both states agreed on an Organization of American States (OAS) draft resolution on the border dispute in September 2002. On 3 May 2004, both governments began talks under auspices of the OAS to reach a just, equitable, and permanent solution. Guatemala requested on 15 March 2005 that the OAS negotiate a settlement.

 

BOLIVIA-CHILE:  Territorial claim to coastal land and access to the ocean which was lost in war of 1879-84 under the truce of 4 April 1884. After discussions between foreign ministry officials on the two countries on 17-18 February 2004 in Chile, the Bolivian deputy minister reiterated his country’s determination to reclaim coastal land from Chile and access to the sea. In October 2010, Peru permitted Bolivia to build port on a coastal strip of land granted in 1992. Bolivia’s president announced on 23 March 2011 that Chile failed the deadline for progress in negotiations and would take the dispute to international courts. The Chilean president said the Peruvian remarks were a “serious obstacle” to relations.

 

CANADA-ARCTIC, see ARCTIC.

 

CANADA-DENMARK: Territorial dispute over competing claims to the 1.3-km long rocky uninhabited Hans Island in Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

Status: A border agreement of 1973 between the two states excluded determination of sovereignty over several islands for a later date. Renewed attention was focused on the matter when the Canadian defense minister included the island on his routine visit of Canadian outposts in the Arctic in July 2005. The Danish government protested but Canada says the islands were discovered by the British and rights were transferred to Canada following confederation in 1867.

 

CHILE-BOLIVIA:  Territorial claim to coastal land and access to the ocean which was lost in war of 1879-84 under the truce of 4 April 1884. After discussions between foreign ministry officials on the two countries on 17-18 February 2004 in Chile, the Bolivian deputy minister reiterated his country’s determination to reclaim coastal land from Chile and access to the sea. In October 2010, Peru permitted Bolivia to build port on a coastal strip of land granted in 1992. Bolivia’s president announced on 23 March 2011 that Chile failed the deadline for progress in negotiations and would take the dispute to international courts. The Chilean president said the Peruvian remarks were a “serious obstacle” to relations.

           

CHILE-PERU: International 1879 maritime boundary dispute. Both nations signed a treaty in 1999 to resolve the dispute but Peru disagrees about the maritime dividing line. Peruvian Congress approved a bill on 3 November 2005 redefining its maritime boundaries and expanding its maritime area by 38,000 square kilometers southward. Chile has rejected the action and says it will continue to exercise full sovereignty in the contested area.

 

COLOMBIA-NICARAGUA: Dispute over 1986 claim to San Andrés Islands. Nicaragua submitted its claim to the ICJ in April 2003. In May 2003, Colombia warned it would use force if Nicaragua proceeded with oil exploration near the island chain.

 

COLOMBIA-NICARAGUA: International maritime dispute over territorial waters.

 

COSTA RICA-NICARAGUA: Border dispute over the boundary on the San Juan River and the position of Calero Island.

 

DOMINICA-ANTIGUA-VENEZUELA-USA: International territorial dispute with Venezuela since the 1970s over claim to Aves Island/Isla de Aves/ Bird Island. Earlier, the island was also claimed by the other states.

 

EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS-NICARAGUA: International maritime dispute on boundaries in the Gulf of Fonseca.

 

ü  GUATEMALA-BELIZE: International border dispute, since 1880. Both states agreed on an Organization of American States (OAS) draft resolution on the border dispute in September 2002. On 3 May 2004, both governments began talks under auspices of the OAS to reach a just, equitable, and permanent solution. Guatemala requested on 15 March 2005 that the OAS negotiate a settlement.

 

GUYANA-SURINAME: 1889 border dispute centering on the Upper Courantyne River.

Unresolved and continued confrontation.

 

GUYANA-VENEZUELA: 1831 border dispute centering on the Essequibo River.

Venezuela does not recognize 1899 border arbitration. In September 2003, both governments asked the UN to reinvigorate talks under UN aegis. On 21 April 2010, the UNJ Secretary General appointed an envoy to assist in resolving the controversy.

 

HAITI-UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: International territorial dispute over claim to Navassa Island.

 

HONDURAS-EL SALVADOR-NICARAGUA: International maritime dispute on boundaries in the Gulf of Fonseca.

 

HONDURAS-NICARAGUA: International maritime boundary dispute, since 1886.

Submitted to the ICJ on 9 December 1999. Both nations agreed on 7 February 2000 to defuse mutual tensions. Continued trading difficulties, occasional troop movements on both sides of the border, and exchange of fire between patrol vessels.

 

NICARAGUA-COLOMBIA: Dispute over 1986 claim to San Andrés Islands. Nicaragua submitted its claim to the ICJ in April 2003. In May 2003, Colombia warned it would use force if Nicaragua proceeded with oil exploration near the island chain.

 

NICARAGUA-COLOMBIA: International maritime dispute over territorial waters.

 

NICARAGUA-COSTA RICA: Border dispute over the boundary on the San Juan River and the position of Calero Island.

 

NICARAGUA-EL SALVADOR-HONDURAS: International maritime dispute on boundaries in the Gulf of Fonseca.

 

NICARAGUA-HONDURAS: International maritime boundary dispute, since 1886.

Submitted to the ICJ on 9 December 1999. Both nations agreed on 7 February 2000 to defuse mutual tensions. Continued trading difficulties, occasional troop movements on both sides of the border, and exchange of fire between patrol vessels.

 

PERU-CHILE: International 1879 maritime boundary dispute. Both nations signed a treaty in 1999 to resolve the dispute but Peru disagrees about the maritime dividing line. Peruvian Congress approved a bill on 3 November 2005 redefining its maritime boundaries and expanding its maritime area by 38,000 square kilometers southward. Chile has rejected the action and says it will continue to exercise full sovereignty in the contested area.

 

SURINAME-GUYANA: 1889 border dispute centering on the Upper Courantyne River.

Unresolved and continued confrontation.

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA–ANTIGUA-DOMINICA-VENEZUELA: International territorial dispute with Venezuela since the 1970s over claim to Aves Island/Isla de Aves/ Bird Island. Earlier, the island was also claimed by the other states.

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-ARCTIC, see ARCTIC.

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-HAITI: International territorial dispute over claim to Navassa Island.

 

VENEZUELA-ANTIGUA-DOMINICA-USA: International territorial dispute with Venezuela since the 1970s over claim to Aves Island/Isla de Aves/ Bird Island. Earlier, the island was also claimed by the other states.

 

VENEZUELA-GUYANA: 1831 border dispute centering on the Essequibo River.

Venezuela does not recognize 1899 border arbitration. In September 2003, both governments asked the UN to reinvigorate talks under UN aegis. On 21 April 2010, the UNJ Secretary General appointed an envoy to assist in resolving the controversy

 

 

 

ASIA

 

EAST CHINA SEA

 

East China Sea gas fields

CHINA-JAPAN: International maritime dispute. Although China has been drilling in recognized Chinese waters since 2003 at Chunxiao gas field but Japan has voiced concern that China may be tapping into its gas resources. Bilateral talks were held on 30-31 May 2005 but no agreement was reached about sharing resources. In July, the Japanese government granted oil test drilling rights to a Japanese company but because of overlapping economic zones, China objected, saying that Japan is drilling in disputed waters. Bilateral talks were resumed on 30 September and both sides agreed to hold the next talks in October.

 

Senkaku Islands/Diaoyutai/Tiaoyutai

CHINA-JAPAN-TAIWAN: International territorial dispute, since 1992. In March 2004, Japan arrested and returned several Chinese activists who had landed and in May prevented a Chinese fishing vessel from entering island waters. China stated on 31 March that any attempt to tighten control over the islands was illegal. Japan began exploration for natural gas in the disputed area on 8 July. The president of Taiwan reiterated on 10 August 2005 that the island chain of the Diaoyutai belongs to Taiwan. On 30 September, Japan complained about Chinese exploration of natural gas in the area. In July 2011, Japan’s Coast Guard warned a Chinese fishery patrol boat not to enter Japanese-controlled waters near the islands.

 

Socotra Rock/Parangdo/Suyan Rock

CHINA-KOREA (ROK): Maritime dispute over claims.

 

SOUTH CHINA SEA

 

Spratly Islands/Nansha Islands (Nansha Qundao)/Truong Sa--Scarborough Shoal/Panatag Shoal/Huangyan Island

BRUNEI, CHINA, MALAYSIA, THE PHILIPPINES, TAIWAN, VIETNAM: International territorial disputes, since 1947. China and the Philippines agreed on 29 September 2002 on a mechanism to resolve dispute known as the ASEAN Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. China, on 17 April 2004, protested a Vietnamese plan to open tourist route to Spratly Islands. In March 2009, China’s foreign ministry reaffirmed its claims to sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) issued a statement on 30 July 2010 declaring that China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the entire South China Sea. The Philippines protested China’s claim to the entire South China Sea to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in April 2011. A month later, both countries pledged to refrain from heightening tensions of the issue. International conflicts over claims were renewed on 9 June 2011. The People’s Republic warned other parties to stop searching for the possibility of exploiting the island resources and again claimed sovereignty over the area. After the Philippines announced that it needed help from the US, China on 14 June warned outsiders and the US to stay out of the dispute. The Philippines sent a warship to the Scarborough Shoal after a Chinese patrol ship was deployed there to protect its northwestern border. The Philippine president on 18 June reserved the right to explore its waters and the US and Vietnam called for freedom of maritime navigation in the South China Sea. Two days later, Singapore which has no maritime claims, called on China to clarify its claims and said its ambiguity was the cause of international concern. On 22 June, China warned the US not to become involved in the dispute with Vietnam and on 26 June the two Asian countries agreed to ease maritime tensions. The US, on 24 June, reassured the Philippines and the Secretary of State said respect for international law and freedom of navigation were in its national interest. Officials from China and Vietnam met in Beijing on 25-26 June. It was agreed to hold talks on how to resolve the conflict which goes back to 1992 and was temporarily eased by the Declaration of the Conduct in the South China Sea agreement reached in November 2002 but which has since been disregarded. A similar consensus was reached between China and the Philippines on 8 July when they decided not let competing interests in the South China Sea harm relations between the two countries. In mid-July, a group of Philippine parliamentarians visited Pagasa/Tithu Island to reiterate their country’s claims, reported BBC on 20 July. There is a military base and a population of 60 civilians on the island. Another step was taken—far short of a resolution of claims—on 20 July before the opening of the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Bali, Indonesia. ASEAN and Chinese officials agreed on draft guidelines to the 2002 Declaration but failed to come up with a binding regional code of conduct. A former high ASEAN official noted that China needs to clarify its claims. One aim of the code would be to restrain competing nations from building facilities on the contested land features before any claims have been settled. China and the Philippines on 1 September announced their agreement for the need of a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. The Philippines government declared on 16 October that it is prepared to defend its territorial claims in the South China Sea, including islets already occupied in the Spratly Islands. China accused the Philippines and the United States of America of planning to seize its resources, Beijing media announced on 16 November. Two days later, India rejected China’s objections to its interests in the area, noting they were purely commercial. The international dispute escalated again toward year’s end when China’s largest patrol ship was deployed in the area.

 

Selected parts of the islands and national presence

China: Chingua Reef, Mischief Reef (occupied since 1995), Subi Reef.

Malaysia: Swallow Reef.

Philippines: Recto Bank, Reed Bank (claiming it is not part of the Spratly Islands and part of the EEZ because of its proximity to Palawan shoreline).

Vietnam: 20 islands, reefs, and cays: Allison Reef, Cowe Island, Wanan Bank.

 

Paracel Islands/Xisha Qundao/Quan Dao Hoang Sa

CHINA-TAIWAN-VIETNAM: International territorial dispute, since 1974. Vietnam’s government accused China in May 2011 of its patrol boats harassing a Vietnamese oil exploration ship on its south-central coast when it conducted a seismic survey. On 5 June, hundreds of people protested against Chinese violation of Vietnamese sovereignty in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi. On 2 September 2011, Xinhuanet reported that China had deployed a large fishing patrol vessel to island waters. On 12 October, China and Vietnam signed an agreement to better manage the dispute, hold meetings twice a year, and install a hotline between the two governments.

 

Pratas Island/Dongsha Islands

CHINA-TAIWAN: Intra-national territorial conflict over claim.

 

PACIFIC OCEAN

 

Okino-Tori shima/Offshore Bird Island

CHINA-JAPAN: International recognition dispute, since 2004.  China is objecting to Japan’s assertion that the two barren rocks—barely protruding above the ocean surface even at low tide—constitute an island thus giving Japan rights of an exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Law of the Sea.

 

AZERBAIJAN—see EUROPE.

 

BRUNEI, see ASIA SOUTH CHINA SEA.

 

CAMBODIA-THAILAND: Dispute over Preah Vihear temple, Preah Vihear Province (Cambodia) and access. One day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 18 July 2011 ordered Cambodia and Thailand to withdraw their troops from around the disputed temple site, Thailand balked and insisted on bilateral talks before pulling out its military. The temple, dedicated to the Hindu Shiva deity, is located next to Sisaket Province of Thailand and was awarded to Cambodia by the ICJ in 1962 based on a French survey produced in 1907 which did not follow original mapping which had placed the temple inside Thailand.  The government in Bangkok never really accepted the finding and fighting—and damage to the temple—erupted again in October 2008,  April 2009, 2 February 2011, and between 22-30 April. Although several cease-fires were agreed upon, they were broken and intermittent fighting continues and has forced at least 85,000 civilians to leave their homes. Military tension has eased it was reported on 20 August, and Cambodia withdrew troops for the fifth time. The bi-national border committee met on 24 August 2011 and prime ministers of the two countries met on 15 September in a move to restore relations.

 

CHINA, see ASIA EAST AND SOUTH ASIA SEAS, PACIFIC OCEAN.

 

CHINA-INDIA: International dispute over Ladakh, sporadic aerial patrol intrusion (denied by China), intrusion of border area, military patrolling and exchange of fire.

 

CHINA-INDIA: Territorial dispute over border and territories in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim since 1963. China refuses to fully recognize contested territories as part of India. Both governments agreed in June 2003 to appoint special envoys to settle the dispute. In April 2005, the two governments signed an agreement on political guidelines on demarcation of the 2,000-km long Sino-Indian border. The 6th meeting on border issues was held on 26-27 September 2005 in Beijing between representatives of the two states continuing discussions on a framework for settlement of outstanding border issues. The 15th meeting was held on 15-17 January 2011 at which the Chinese representative continued to call the Arunachal border sector “disputed.”  Military reinforcements have been deployed on both sides. An eight-member military delegation began a five-day visit to Beijing and Urumqi on 19 June 2011 after a one-year suspension of defense contacts.

 

CHINA-INDIA: Territorial conflict over claim to Aksai Chin, currently occupied by China. Occasional military and verbal threats are exchanged. Bilateral talks scheduled to start on 28 November 2011 were postponed, reportedly after China had objected to a planned address to an international religious meeting by the Dalai Lama.

 

CHINA-INDIA: Territorial dispute over border of Jammu & Kashmir. There are reports of

occasional intrusions, military patrolling, and exchange of fire.

 

CHINA (PRC)-TAIWAN (ROC): International/intra-state conflict over reunification or self-determination and independence of Taiwan (Republic of China) since 1927, renewed in 1949. In November 2003, the PRC declared that Taiwan’s push for independence might trigger war. Occasional PRC military threats. Cross-straits talks and limited commerce were halted from 1998 to 2008 but have since then been resumed and expanded.

 

CHINA-TAIWAN-Pratas Island: Intra-national territorial dispute over claim to Pratas Islands/Dongsha Islands in the South China Sea.

 

ü  CHINA-TAJIKISTAN: International border dispute over land in the Pamir Mountains, since 1900s. Tajikistan’s House of Representatives, on 12 January 2011, approved the cession of 1,000 square kilometers of land to China under a 1999 agreement.

 

INDIA-CHINA: International dispute over Ladakh, sporadic aerial patrol intrusion (denied by China), intrusion of border area, military patrolling and exchange of fire.

 

INDIA-CHINA: Territorial dispute over border and territories in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim since 1963. China refuses to fully recognize contested territories as part of India. Both governments agreed in June 2003 to appoint special envoys to settle the dispute. In April 2005, the two governments signed an agreement on political guidelines on demarcation of the 2,000-km long Sino-Indian border. The 6th meeting on border issues was held on 26-27 September 2005 in Beijing between representatives of the two states continuing discussions on a framework for settlement of outstanding border issues. The 15th meeting was held on 15-17 January 2011 at which the Chinese representative continued to call the Arunachal border sector “disputed.”  Military reinforcements have been deployed on both sides. An eight-member military delegation began a five-day visit to Beijing and Urumqi on 19 June 2011 after a one-year suspension of defense contacts.

 

INDIA-CHINA: Territorial conflict over claim to Aksai Chin, currently occupied by China. Occasional military and verbal threats are exchanged. Bilateral talks scheduled to start on 28 November 2011 were postponed, reportedly after China had objected to a planned address to an international religious meeting by the Dalai Lama.

 

INDIA-CHINA: Territorial dispute over border of Jammu & Kashmir. There are reports of

occasional intrusions, military patrolling, and exchange of fire.

 

INDIA-PAKISTAN: Military conventional confrontation in an international territorial and border war over Jammu and Kashmir and armed irregular warfare in struggle for independence by Kashmiris since 1947. Waged by security forces of India and Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Army of Mohammed (JEM), Army of the Righteous (LT), and Movement of Combatants (HUM).  India Pakistan agreed on a framework for peace dialogue and a six-month schedule on 17 February 2004. To move toward resolution of the international armed conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir, defense secretaries of both countries met in New Delhi on 30-31 May 2011 to seek withdrawal of troops from Siachen Glacier. At the 12th meeting it was agreed to meet again.

Another round of meetings between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan on 23-24 June 2011 in Islamabad ended without reaching agreements other than meeting in New Delhi in July before the foreign ministers meet.

 

INDONESIA-VIETNAM: Maritime boundary dispute over the boundary line of the continental shelf near Natuna Island in the Natuna Sea.

 

INDONESIA-MALAYSIA (Sabah): International territorial dispute over the Sebatik, Sipidan and Ligitan islands.

 

JAPAN, see ASIA EAST CHINA SEA AND PACIFIC OCEAN.

 

JAPAN-KOREA (ROK): International maritime dispute over claim to Takeshima/Tok-do/Liancourt Rocks in the Sea of Japan. Japan formally claimed the uninhabited islets, controlled by South Korea, on 17 March 2005, provoking numerous anti-Japanese demonstrations in Korean cities. Renewed attention was brought to the maritime dispute with Korea (ROK) when the Justice Ministry in Seoul on 30 July 2011 banned a member of the Diet and three colleagues from visiting the nearby administrative center on Ulleung island. The four members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said they wanted to “deepen their understanding” of the South Korean claim to Takeshima/Tok-do/Liancourt Rocks in the Sea of Japan. The two main islands are uninhabited, except for the presence of coast guard and police, and have been claimed by Japan, first in 1905 and again since 1945. In mid-July, it was reported that South Korea will be expanding its naval base on Ulleung which is located 87 km from the Rocks.  The South Korean attitude was bolstered when the Japanese Foreign Ministry on 14 July banned its staff from using Korean Air for one month because of the airline’s test flight over disputed islands.

 

JAPAN-RUSSIA: International territorial dispute over the claim to the so-called Northern Territories or Kurile islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, and Shikotan Islands since occupation by the USSR in 1945. Bilateral talks remain stalled but informal agreement was reached on 14 April 2004 that substantial discussions should be launched to resolve the dispute. The Russian foreign minister however said on 23 May 2011 that Japan’s claim to the islands was groundless under international law. The Russian defense minister repeated on 29 July that Russia had no plans to make territorial concessions to Japan. The Russian foreign minister again rejected the Japanese claim on 9 September, reported RIA Novosti, but declared readiness to discuss a peace treaty without preliminary conditions. Japan’s prime minister and the Russian president, on 14 November 2011, agreed to discuss the dispute “in a quiet atmosphere.”

 

KAZAKHSTAN-AZERBAIJAN-IRAN-RUSSIA: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states. Kazakhstan’s foreign minister told a Caspian Sea working group on 22 November 2011 that resolving the disputes between coastal states is a key strategic task of the government.

 

KOREAN PENINSULA: State of armistice exists since 1953 after the 1950-1953 international conflict and conventional war. Numerous armistice violations. Potential for outbreak of armed hostilities as a result of provocative missile and nuclear tests, naval confrontations, shelling, and threats.

 

KOREA (ROK), see ASIA EAST CHINA SEA.

 

KOREA (ROK)-JAPAN: International maritime dispute over claim to Takeshima/Tok-do/Liancourt Rocks in the Sea of Japan. Japan formally claimed the uninhabited islets, controlled by South Korea, on 17 March 2005, provoking numerous anti-Japanese demonstrations in Korean cities. Renewed attention was brought to the maritime dispute with Korea (ROK) when the Justice Ministry in Seoul on 30 July 2011 banned a member of the Diet and three colleagues from visiting the nearby administrative center on Ulleung island. The four members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said they wanted to “deepen their understanding” of the South Korean claim to Takeshima/Tok-do/Liancourt Rocks in the Sea of Japan. The two main islands are uninhabited, except for the presence of coast guard and police, and have been claimed by Japan, first in 1905 and again since 1945. In mid-July, it was reported that South Korea will be expanding its naval base on Ulleung which is located 87 km from the Rocks.  The South Korean attitude was bolstered when the Japanese Foreign Ministry on 14 July banned its staff from using Korean Air for one month because of the airline’s test flight over disputed islands.

 

MALAYSIA, see ASIA SOUTH CHINA SEA.

 

MALAYSIA (Sabah)-INDONESIA: International territorial dispute over the Sebatik, Sipidan and Ligitan islands

                                   

MALAYSIA-PHILIPPINES: Territorial conflict over claim to Sabah and adjacent waters.

 

MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE: Territorial dispute since 1965 over claim to Pulau Batu Puteh/Pedra Branca Islands, Straits of Johor.  Claimed by both states and referred to the ICJ in early January 2003 for arbitration.

 

PAKISTAN-INDIA: Military conventional confrontation in an international territorial and border war over Jammu and Kashmir and armed irregular warfare in struggle for independence by Kashmiris since 1947. Waged by security forces of India and Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Army of Mohammed (JEM), Army of the Righteous (LT), and Movement of Combatants (HUM).  India Pakistan agreed on a framework for peace dialogue and a six-month schedule on 17 February 2004. To move toward resolution of the international armed conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir, defense secretaries of both countries met in New Delhi on 30-31 May 2011 to seek withdrawal of troops from Siachen Glacier. At the 12th meeting it was agreed to meet again.

Another round of meetings between foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan on 23-24 June 2011 in Islamabad ended without reaching agreements other than meeting in New Delhi in July before the foreign ministers meet.

 

PHILIPPINES, see ASIA SOUTH CHINA SEA.

          

PHILIPPINES-MALAYSIA: Territorial conflict over claim to Sabah and adjacent waters.

 

SINGAPORE-MALAYSIA: Territorial dispute since 1965 over claim to Pulau Batu Puteh/Pedra Branca Islands, Straits of Johor.  Claimed by both states and referred to the ICJ in early January 2003 for arbitration.

 

TAIWAN, see ASIA EAST AND SOUTH CHINA SEAS.

 

TAIWAN (ROC)-CHINA (PRC): International/intra-state conflict over reunification or self-determination and independence of Taiwan (Republic of China) since 1927, renewed in 1949. In November 2003, the PRC declared that Taiwan’s push for independence might trigger war. Occasional PRC military threats. Cross-straits talks and limited commerce were halted from 1998 to 2008 but have since then been resumed and expanded.

 

TAIWAN-CHINA: Intra-national territorial dispute over claim to Pratas Islands/Dongsha Islands in the South China Sea.

 

ü  TAJIKISTAN-CHINA: International border dispute over land in the Pamir Mountains, since 1900s. Tajikistan’s House of Representatives, on 12 January 2011, approved the cession of 1,000 square kilometers of land to China under a 1999 agreement.

 

THAILAND-CAMBODIA: Dispute over Preah Vihear temple, Preah Vihear Province (Cambodia) and access. One day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 18 July 2011 ordered Cambodia and Thailand to withdraw their troops from around the disputed temple site, Thailand balked and insisted on bilateral talks before pulling out its military. The temple, dedicated to the Hindu Shiva deity, is located next to Sisaket Province of Thailand and was awarded to Cambodia by the ICJ in 1962 based on a French survey produced in 1907 which did not follow original mapping which had placed the temple inside Thailand.  The government in Bangkok never really accepted the finding and fighting—and damage to the temple—erupted again in October 2008,  April 2009, 2 February 2011, and between 22-30 April. Although several cease-fires were agreed upon, they were broken and intermittent fighting continues and has forced at least 85,000 civilians to leave their homes. Military tension has eased it was reported on 20 August, and Cambodia withdrew troops for the fifth time. The bi-national border committee met on 24 August 2011 and prime ministers of the two countries met on 15 September in a move to restore relations.

 

ü  TIMOR LESTE-AUSTRALIA: International Arafura Sea maritime border dispute, since 2002. Timor Leste maintains that border should be at the midway point between the two countries. On 19 April 2004, the East Timorese prime minister accused Australia of illegally exploiting offshore oil and gas resources. Australia and East Timor reached agreement on 6 July 2005, ending the dispute.

 

TURKMENISTAN-AZERBAIJAN: International maritime dispute over claims to oil fields in the Caspian Sea.

 

VIETNAM, see ASIA SOUTH CHINA SEA.

 

VIETNAM-INDONESIA: Maritime boundary dispute over the boundary line of the continental shelf near Natuna Island in the Natuna Sea.

 

Uzbekistan Unchanged Situation

September 2016

 

President Karimov officially declared dead 2 Sept, buried in Samarkand

next day. PM Shavkat Mirziyoyev chosen by parliament as acting president

8 Sept; apparent support from political and security elites prompting

expectation among observers that he will be formally elected president

during 4 Dec presidential election, with broad continuity with his

predecessor’s policies. Border guards services reported their withdrawal

from Ungar-Too Mountain, border area disputed with Kyrgyzstan, 18 Sept.

 

 

EUROPE

 

ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN: International conflict over independence or union of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Leaders of the two states did not agree on resolving the dispute over the enclave but noted that common understanding had been reached on some issues. The Russian president mediated at the meeting on 24 June 2011in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan.

 

AZERBAIJAN-ARMENIA: International conflict over independence or union of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Leaders of the two states did not agree on resolving the dispute over the enclave but noted that common understanding had been reached on some issues. The Russian president mediated at the meeting on 24 June 2011in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan.

 

AZERBAIJAN-KAZAKHSTAN-IRAN-RUSSIA: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states. Kazakhstan’s foreign minister told a Caspian Sea working group on 22 November 2011 that resolving the disputes between coastal states is a key strategic task of the government.

 

AZERBAIJAN-TURKMENISTAN: International maritime dispute over claims to oil fields in the Caspian Sea.

 

ü  CROATIA-SLOVENIA: International territorial dispute about division of the Piran Bay, since 1991. Both countries negotiated and signed a draft agreement about division of the bay and access to the Gulf of Trieste in 2001 but Slovenia does not accept division along a center line. Diplomatic exchanges in progress. The dispute erupted again in October 2005 after the Slovenian parliament passed a bill on environmental protection in Adriatic waters which provoked the Croatian parliament to approve a resolution reprimanding Slovenia for its latest action. Occasional fishing incidents in territorial waters.

 

CYPRUS-GREECE-TURKEY: Intra-state conflict since 1964 over equal representation of Turkish Cypriots. International conflict over the unilateral establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. Also involved are the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). Leaders of Cyprus and the TRNC held the first of 19 meetings on 25 July 2011 in New York. The talks, supported by the United Nations, are aimed at reunifying the island and to resolve the conflict.

 

DENMARK-High Arctic and the North Pole, see ARCTIC.

 

DENMARK-CANADA: Territorial dispute over competing claims to the 1.3-km long rocky uninhabited Hans Island in Nares Strait between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

Status: A border agreement of 1973 between the two states excluded determination of sovereignty over several islands for a later date. Renewed attention was focused on the matter when the Canadian defense minister included the island on his routine visit of Canadian outposts in the Arctic in July 2005. The Danish government protested but Canada says the islands were discovered by the British and rights were transferred to Canada following confederation in 1867.

 

DENMARK-ICELAND: International dispute over the uninhabited Rockall islet in the North Atlantic Ocean. Claimed by Iceland since 1978 and by Denmark since 7 May 1985.

 

DENMARK-ICELAND-IRELAND-UNITED KINGDOM: International dispute over the continental shelf in the North Atlantic Ocean.

 

FRANCE-COMOROS: International territorial dispute over claim to the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte. On 31 March 2011, the Overseas Collectivity of Mayotte became the 101st Department of France.

 

FRANCE-MADAGASCAR: Territorial dispute over claim to the uninhabited atoll Bassas da India consisting of ten islets in the Indian Ocean.

 

FRANCE-MADAGASCAR: Territorial dispute over claim to Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel.

 

FRANCE-MADAGASCAR: Territorial dispute over claim to Glorioso Islands in the Indian Ocean.

 

FRANCE-MADAGASCAR: Territorial dispute over claim to Juan de Nova Island in the Indian Ocean.

 

FRANCE-MAURITIUS-SEYCHELLES: International territorial dispute over claim to Tromelin Island in the Indian Ocean.

 

FRANCE-VANUATU: Territorial dispute over claim to the uninhabited Hunter and Matthews Islands in the South Pacific.

 

FRANCE-VANUATO: Territorial dispute over claim to Eastern New Caledonia.

 

GEORGIA-RUSSIA: Conflict over Russian assistance and recognition of unilateral separation and declaration of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, presence of Russian troops, military protection, and establishment of bases. The ultimate goal of South Ossetia is the reunification with North Ossetia of the Russian Federation (RF).

 

GREECE-CYPRUS-TURKEY: Intra-state conflict since 1964 over equal representation of Turkish Cypriots. International conflict over the unilateral establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. Also involved are the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). Leaders of Cyprus and the TRNC held the first of 19 meetings on 25 July 2011 in New York. The talks, supported by the United Nations, are aimed at reunifying the island and to resolve the conflict.

 

ICELAND-DENMARK: International dispute over the uninhabited Rockall islet in the North Atlantic Ocean. Claimed by Iceland since 1978 and by Denmark since 7 May 1985.

 

ICELAND-DENMARK-IRELAND-UNITED KINGDOM: International dispute over the continental shelf in the North Atlantic Ocean.

 

IRELAND-DENMARK-ICELAND-UNITED KINGDOM: International dispute over the continental shelf in the North Atlantic Ocean.

 

KOSOVO-SERBIA: International dispute over unilateral declaration of independence. No matter what government is in place, Serbia will pursue membership in the European Union (EU), the Serbian foreign minister said on 23 June 2011 but warned it will “never” recognize Kosovo. Negotiators with the mediation of the European Union (EU) agreed on 2 July 2011 on a series of subjects, including freedom of movement and reciprocal recognition of academic degrees. At a meeting on 1-3 December 2011, representatives of Kosovo and Serbia agreed on measures to control the common border. Crossing points will be jointly staffed by Albanian and Serb customs and police officials. Serbs in Kosovo rejected the agreement although Serbia’s president told them to remove all barricades.

 

ü  LITHUANIA-RUSSIA: Both countries agreed to a borderless park area on the Curonian Spit/Kursiu Nerija/Kurshkaya Kosa, it was reported on 3 May 2011.

 

MOLDOVA-Transdniestr: Opposition to the 1991 unilateral declaration of independence.

 

MOLDOVA-RUSSIA: Dispute over the continued presence of Russian troops in Transdniestr.

 

NORWAY-Arctic, see ARCTIC.

 

NORWAY-RUSSIA: International maritime dispute over 1977 extension of economic zone around Spitsbergen and Svalbard in the Barents Sea. Following pursuit of Russian fishermen by the Norwegian coast guard on 18 October 2005, a Russian minister declared on 23 October that his government never agreed with the parameters of the Norwegian fishing-protection zone around Spitsbergen.

 

ü  NORWAY-RUSSIA: International maritime dispute over division of part of the Arctic Ocean and the Barents Sea. On 30 March 2011, Russia’s Federal Council approved a bilateral delimitation agreement. After approval by legislatures of both countries, foreign ministers of the two countries, on 7 June, ratified the agreement which became effective on 7 July.

 

RUSSIA-Arctic, see ARCTIC.

 

RUSSIA-AZERBAIJAN-IRAN-KAZAKHSTAN: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states. Kazakhstan’s foreign minister told a Caspian Sea working group on 22 November 2011 that resolving the disputes between coastal states is a key strategic task of the government.

 

ü  RUSSIA-CHINA: International border dispute over Bolshoy Ussuriysky and Tarabov Isles since 1969. A Russian-Sino agreement defining the border line in the upper reaches of the Argun River and the two isles in the Amur River was signed on 14 October 2004 and ratified by China on 31 May 2005 thus resolving all border issues between the two countries. The dismantling of Russian military facilities was completed on 31 May and about 130 square kilometers of land on the two islands were turned over to China.

 

RUSSIA-GEORGIA: Conflict over Russian assistance and recognition of unilateral separation and declaration of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, presence of Russian troops, military protection, and establishment of bases. The ultimate goal of South Ossetia is the reunification with North Ossetia of the Russian Federation (RF).

 

RUSSIA-JAPAN: International territorial dispute over the claim to the so-called Northern Territories or Kurile islands of Kunashiri, Etorofu, and Shikotan Islands since occupation by the USSR in 1945. Bilateral talks remain stalled but informal agreement was reached on 14 April 2004 that substantial discussions should be launched to resolve the dispute. The Russian foreign minister however said on 23 May 2011 that Japan’s claim to the islands was groundless under international law. The Russian defense minister repeated on 29 July that Russia had no plans to make territorial concessions to Japan. The Russian foreign minister again rejected the Japanese claim on 9 September, reported RIA Novosti, but declared readiness to discuss a peace treaty without preliminary conditions.

 

ü  RUSSIA-LITHUANIA: Both countries agreed to a borderless park area on the Curonian Spit/Kursiu Nerija/Kurshkaya Kosa, it was reported on 3 May 2011.

 

RUSSIA-MOLDOVA: Dispute over the continued presence of Russian troops in Transdniestr.

 

RUSSIA-NORWAY: International maritime dispute over 1977 extension of economic zone around Spitsbergen and Svalbard in the Barents Sea. Following pursuit of Russian fishermen by the Norwegian coast guard on 18 October 2005, a Russian minister declared on 23 October that his government never agreed with the parameters of the Norwegian fishing-protection zone around Spitsbergen.

 

ü  RUSSIA-NORWAY: International maritime dispute over division of part of the Arctic Ocean and the Barents Sea. On 30 March 2011, Russia’s Federal Council approved a bilateral delimitation agreement. After approval by legislatures of both countries, foreign ministers of the two countries, on 7 June, ratified the agreement which became effective on 7 July.

 

RUSSIA-UKRAINE: The maritime border dispute arose when Ukraine declared independence from the USSR on 24 August 1991 and unilaterally based its borders on former administrative borders whose existence the Russian Federation kept denying. Foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine signed a border demarcation agreement which also covers the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait on 8 July 2010 which was ratified by legislatures of both countries.

 

SERBIA-KOSOVO: International dispute over unilateral declaration of independence. No matter what government is in place, Serbia will pursue membership in the European Union (EU), the Serbian foreign minister said on 23 June 2011 but warned it will “never” recognize Kosovo. Negotiators with the mediation of the European Union (EU) agreed on 2 July 2011 on a series of subjects, including freedom of movement and reciprocal recognition of academic degrees. At a meeting on 1-3 December 2011, representatives of Kosovo and Serbia agreed on measures to control the common border. Crossing points will be jointly staffed by Albanian and Serb customs and police officials. Serbs in Kosovo rejected the agreement although Serbia’s president told them to remove all barricades.

 

ü  SLOVENIA-CROATIA: International territorial dispute about division of the Piran Bay, since 1991. Both countries negotiated and signed a draft agreement about division of the bay and access to the Gulf of Trieste in 2001 but Slovenia does not accept division along a center line. Diplomatic exchanges in progress. The dispute erupted again in October 2005 after the Slovenian parliament passed a bill on environmental protection in Adriatic waters which provoked the Croatian parliament to approve a resolution reprimanding Slovenia for its latest action. Occasional fishing incidents in territorial waters.

 

SPAIN-MOROCCO: Territorial disputes over claims to Ceuta/Sebta, Melilla, and the Leila/Tourah/Isla Perejil (Parsley) Island, since 1962.

 

SPAIN-UNITED KINGDOM: Territorial dispute over 1713 Spanish claim to Gibraltar.

Occasional bilateral diplomatic exchanges. The government of Gibraltar and the majority of inhabitants are opposed to the return of the territory to Spain and reject a proposed Anglo-Spanish joint sovereignty scheme. Government of Spain and the United Kingdom with the agreement of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, agreed on 27 October 2004 to establish a three-sided forum for dialog on Gibraltar.

 

UKRAINE-RUSSIA: The maritime border dispute arose when Ukraine declared independence from the USSR on 24 August 1991 and unilaterally based its borders on former administrative borders whose existence the Russian Federation kept denying. Foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine signed a border demarcation agreement which also covers the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait on 8 July 2010 which was ratified by legislatures of both countries.

 

UNITED KINGDOM-ARGENTINA: International territorial dispute over 1816 claim to the Falkland Islands/ Malvinas. There has been no military confrontation since Argentina invaded the islands in 1982, but in March 2004 the UK complained to Argentina about the contravention of rules by a naval vessel and fishing boats. On 15 June 2011, the international jousting with the United Kingdom over the Argentinian claim turned public again when the British prime minister rejected talks about sovereignty unless requested by the territory’s residents. On the following day, the Argentine president who was campaigning for reelection commented rudely on the refusal and called Britain “a crass colonial power in decline.” When it was announced in November that one of the Queen’s grandsons, an active naval pilot, would be deployed to the islands for training, the Argentine government called it a “provocative act.” The Common Market of the South, MERCOSUR, on 21 December agreed to close its ports to ships flying the flag of the islands. The British prime minister, on 23 December, said Britain would “never negotiate” the islands’ sovereignty against the wishes of the islanders.

 

UNITED KINGDOM-DENMARK-ICELAND-IRELAND: International dispute over the continental shelf in the North Atlantic Ocean.

 

UNITED KINGDOM-MAURITIUS-SEYCHELLES: International territorial dispute over Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, since November 1965. Mauritius renewed its diplomatic effort in March 2004, claiming that the separation of the archipelago was illegal. In September 2004, members of the Chagossian community petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to recognize their right to be resettled on the Chagos Islands. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced on 16 November 2004 that a fixed number of Chagossians may visit the graves of their relatives on the islands. Unresolved.

 

UNITED KINGDOM-SPAIN: Territorial dispute over 1713 Spanish claim to Gibraltar.

Occasional bilateral diplomatic exchanges. The government of Gibraltar and the majority of inhabitants are opposed to the return of the territory to Spain and reject a proposed Anglo-Spanish joint sovereignty scheme. Government of Spain and the United Kingdom with the agreement of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, agreed on 27 October 2004 to establish a three-sided forum for dialog on Gibraltar.

 

 

 

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

 

Unresolved territorial issues: The Kurds and the Palestinians.

 

 

EGYPT-ETHIOPIA-SUDAN-UGANDA: International dispute over sharing of waters of the Nile since June 2001. On 13 April 2010, Egypt threatened military action against unilateral upstream projects which would diminish its share.

 

IRAN-League of Arab States (LAS) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): International dispute over claim and occupation of Abu Musa, Greater and Lesser Tunb islands, since 1971. Iran seized the latter two islands in 1971 and in 1992 it annexed Abu Musa. Sharja and Ras al-Khaima of the UAE continue to claim the islands although the United Arab Emirates (UAE) relinquished their claim in December 1996—and are nominally backed by the GCC and the Arab League. In March 2005, the GCC reaffirmed its position and called on Iran to end the occupation of the islands and resolve the dispute in direct negotiations or through international arbitration. Unresolved.

 

IRAN-AZERBAIJAN-KAZAKHSTAN-RUSSIA: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states. Kazakhstan’s foreign minister told a Caspian Sea working group on 22 November 2011 that resolving the disputes between coastal states is a key strategic task of the government.

 

ISRAEL-LEBANON: International maritime dispute over expanded claim to coastal rights. Israel’s cabinet on 10 July 2011 approved an agreement with Cyprus delineating the claim to exclusive economic rights off the coast of Haifa. The area  includes the Leviathan and Tamar fields of natural gas and oil reserves. While the agreement is based on a memorandum of cooperation with Cyprus signed in December 2010, neighboring Lebanon is contesting the expanded Israeli claim but not the two fields.

 

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Conflict over the creation of future independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state, continued occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, and expanding Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and occupied Palestine. After meeting Israeli officials on 29 July, the UN Secretary General said that the Israeli government needs to take more steps to lift the 2007 blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow the free import of construction materials.

 

ISRAEL-SYRIA: Territorial dispute over the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967 and administered under a 1981 law but not formally annexed. Frequent Syrian verbal agitation against the occupation.

 

ü  KUWAIT-SAUDI ARABIA: Territorial dispute over claim to Qaruh and Umm al Maradim islands in the Persian Gulf.

 

LEBANON-ISRAEL: International maritime dispute over expanded claim to coastal rights. Israel’s cabinet on 10 July 2011 approved an agreement with Cyprus delineating the claim to exclusive economic rights off the coast of Haifa. The area  includes the Leviathan and Tamar fields of natural gas and oil reserves. While the agreement is based on a memorandum of cooperation with Cyprus signed in December 2010, neighboring Lebanon is contesting the expanded Israeli claim but not the two fields.

 

MOROCCO-SAHRAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (SADR)/WESTERN SAHARA: Conflict over sovereignty and territory in the struggle for independence by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) with support from inside Algeria. Representatives of Morocco and POLISARIO met for the 7th round of UN-backed informal talks on 5-7 2011 June in Greentree, Long Island, New York. Discussions centered on electoral mechanisms for self-determination but no agreement was reached, except to meet again in July. The representatives met for the 8th round of UN-backed informal talks on 19-21 July 2011 in New York. Discussions centered on the future status of the Western Sahara but both parties rejected each other’s proposals and no agreement was reached..

 

MOROCCO-SPAIN: Territorial disputes over claims to Ceuta/Sebta, Melilla, and the Leila/Tourah/Isla Perejil (Parsley) Island, since 1962.

 

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY-ISRAEL: Conflict over the creation of future independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state, continued occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, and expanding Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and occupied Palestine. After meeting Israeli officials on 29 July, the UN Secretary General said that the Israeli government needs to take more steps to lift the 2007 blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow the free import of construction materials.

 

SAHRAWI ARAB DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (SADR)/WESTERN SAHARA-MOROCCO: Conflict over sovereignty and territory in the struggle for independence by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO) with support from inside Algeria. Representatives of Morocco and POLISARIO met for the 7th round of UN-backed informal talks on 5-7 2011 June in Greentree, Long Island, New York. Discussions centered on electoral mechanisms for self-determination but no agreement was reached, except to meet again in July. The representatives met for the 8th round of UN-backed informal talks on 19-21 July 2011 in New York. Discussions centered on the future status of the Western Sahara but both parties rejected each other’s proposals and no agreement was reached.

 

ü  SAUDI ARABIA-KUWAIT: Territorial dispute over claim to Qaruh and Umm al Maradim islands in the Persian Gulf.

 

ü  SAUDI ARABIA-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE): Dispute over final border agreement, since 1949. Under the Jeddah Agreement of August 1974 a partial solution was arrived which does not have full international status but is respected in practice. In March 2005, the Saudi foreign minister said that both countries are working to find a simple partial settlement and technical matters such as defining the water passage are being worked on.

 

SYRIA-ISRAEL: Territorial dispute over the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967 and administered under a 1981 law but not formally annexed. Frequent Syrian verbal agitation against the occupation.

 

TURKEY-CYPRUS-GREECE: Intra-state conflict since 1964 over equal representation of Turkish Cypriots. International conflict over the unilateral establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. Also involved are the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). Leaders of Cyprus and the TRNC held the first of 19 meetings on 25 July 2011 in New York. The talks, supported by the United Nations, are aimed at reunifying the island and to resolve the conflict.

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)IRAN-League of Arab States (LAS) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), see also IRAN.

 

ü  UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)-SAUDI ARABIA: Dispute over final border agreement, since 1949. Under the Jeddah Agreement of August 1974 a partial solution was arrived which does not have full international status but is respected in practice. In March 2005, the Saudi foreign minister said that both countries are working to find a simple partial settlement and technical matters such as defining the water passage are being worked on.

 

 

OCEANIA

 

ü  AUSTRALIA-TIMOR LESTE: International Arafura Sea maritime border dispute, since 2002. Timor Leste maintains that border should be at the midway point between the two countries. On 19 April 2004, the East Timorese prime minister accused Australia of illegally exploiting offshore oil and gas resources. Australia and East Timor reached agreement on 6 July 2005, ending the dispute.

 

FIJI-TONGA: Maritime dispute over claims to North Minerva/Teleki Tokelau and South Minerva/Teleki Tonga reefs, two submerged atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Tonga claimed the reefs on 24 February 1972, annexed them on 15 June and received recognition by the South Pacific Forum (SPF) in September. On 27 May 2011, Fiji declared that the refs are Fiji territory since they are within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as determined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS).

 

TONGA-FIJI, see above.

 

VANUATU-FRANCE: Territorial dispute over claim to the uninhabited Hunter and Matthews Islands in the South Pacific.

 

VANUATO-FRANCE: Territorial dispute over claim to Eastern New Caledonia.

 

 

Notes

ü       Latent or dormant

 

ICJ = International Court of Justice

 

References: World: Disputed States and Territories, Global Survey Reference, May 2009, no. 9-2009.

 

Completion: Includes information dated 31 December 2011 or earlier.

 

(Replacing Maritime and Territorial Claims and Disputes: Status, International Observer No. 425, November 2005, Survey No. 398.)

 

Published by The International Observer of Washington DC USA.

 

 

WW1CLAIMS1112

08-02-12

IO no. 486 Dec 2010 Conflicts and Crises

GS no. 382 June 2011

GS no. 385 September 2011

 

 

 

 

WW1CLAIMSNnew2015

ADD to CLAIMS

 

Burundi

Congo (DR)

Eritrea

Ethiopia

Kenya

Rwanda

South Sudan

Sudan

Tanzania

Uganda

 

Riparian and water dispute: Nile Basin--see Egypt1

 

EGYPT

Riparian and water dispute: Nile Basin—Burundi, Congo (DR), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,

Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda: Threats over water rights1                       

 

1 Waters of Nile are shared by 10 nations and equitable use by the riparian states remains in dispute. On 14 May 2010, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda signed a Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) to replace the 10-nation 1999 Nile Base Initiative (NBI) which expired in 2012.   Egypt had threatened war over any diminution of its “historic right” to waters of the river and wants to preserve its so-called historic right of veto power over upstream projects and declared the agreement was not binding. It had been party to the 1929 agreement that was entered between Egypt and Britain acting for its African colonies—now sovereign states which held the past treaties as unfair and in need of revision. Besides Egypt and the five CFA signatories, NBI also includes Burundi and Congo (DR) and Eritrea and Sudan also subscribe to the pact. South Sudan, the 11th riparian state, became independent after NBI and CFA agreements were reached.

 

ž East China and South China Seas, Pacific Ocean: International maritime and

territorial disputes and conflicts over claims among eight Asian governments*6                       

            Scarborough Shoals, claimed by China, Japan, and Philippines

            Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands** administered by Japan and claimed by China and Taiwan.

            Spratly Islands/Nansha Islands (Phil.: Kalayaan), Huangyan Island

Second Thomas Shoal (Phil.: Bajo De Masinloc), South China Sea, administered by Philippines and claimed by China and Vietnam

*Brunei, China, Japan, Korea (ROK), Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

**The Senkaku Islands (China: Diaoyu Dao; Taiwan: Tiaoyu Tai) consist of 5 islets and 3 rocks with an area of

6.3 square kilometers. They are located in the East China Sea about 200 km northeast of Taiwan and about

400 km each east of the Chinese Mainland and west of Okinawa (Naha).

 

6 The disputes over small islands and rocky outcrops are going back decades but have been revived by a new found assertiveness of Chinese diplomacy and rising nationalism. At the same time, Beijing is trying to resolve matters its way, preferably bilaterally. US declarations of freedom of the sea clearly run counter to Chinese claims of sovereignty, especially over the South China Sea.

Sino-Japanese tension has led China to withdraw from conferences in Tokyo, cancellation of visits, and to a sizeable drop of the sale of Japanese cars in China. In addition, both China and Japan have sent small naval units and aircraft to the contested site. Vietnam which also claims the Spratly Islands agreed with China on 20 September 2012 to implement a consensus reached previously by the leaders of both countries regarding the South China Sea so as to solve the issue via negotiations and dialog.

 

Azerbaijan

Maritime and territorial disputes: Iran-Kazakhstan-Russia: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states.

 

BRUNEI

ž Brunei-China: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and

South China Seas6, see ASIA                                                                                        

 

BURMA

Water dispute: Cambodia-China-Laos-Thailand-Vietnam: Potential conflict over use of water of the Mekong River12.

 

CAMBODIA

Water disputes: Burma-China-Laos-Thailand-Vietnam: Potential conflict over use of water of the

Mekong River 12.

 

12 The planned construction of the Xayaburi dam in Laos was halted temporarily, reported AP on 22 July 2011.

 

 

CHINA

ž Brunei-Japan-Korea (ROK)-Malaysia-Philippines-Taiwan-Vietnam: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and South China Seas6, see ASIA                                  

 

Water disputes: Burma-Cambodia-Laos-Thailand-Vietnam: Potential conflict over use of water

of the Mekong River 12. 

 

JAPAN

ž China-Japan: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and

South China Seas6, see ASIA                                                                                        

 

KAZAKHSTAN

Water dispute: Azerbaijan-Iran-Russia: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states.

 

KOREA (DPRK)

ž China-Korea (ROK): Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China

and South China Seas6, see ASIA                                                                                 

 

LAOS

Water disputes: Burma-Cambodia-China-Thailand-Vietnam: Potential conflict over use of water of the Mekong River 12. 

 

MALAYSIA

ž China-Malaysia: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and

South China Seas6, see ASIA                                                                                        

 

PHILIPPINES

ž China-Philippines: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and

South China Seas6, see ASIA

 

TAIWAN

ž China-Taiwan: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and

South China Seas6, see ASIA

 

TAJIKISTAN

Water dispute: Tajikistan-Uzbekistan: Dispute over impoundment of Vakhsh River

(Surkhob) in Tajikistan for Rogun dam, economic blockade.                                            

 

THAILAND

Water disputes: Burma-Cambodia-China-Laos-Vietnam: Potential conflict over use of water of the Mekong River12. 

 

VIETNAM

ž China-Vietnam: Maritime and territorial conflicts over claims to the East China and

South China Seas6, see ASIA                                                                                        

Water disputes: Burma-Cambodia-China-Laos-Thailand: Potential conflict over use of water of the Mekong River12. 

 

CYPRUS

Maritime dispute: Cyprus-Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)-Turkey: Conflict over

Turkish offshore gas and oil drilling (2012).                                                                      

 

RUSSIA

Water disputes: Azerbaijan-Iran-Kazakhstan: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states

 

 

IRAN

Water disputes: Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan-Russia: International disputes over the division of resources of the Caspian Sea among the littoral states.

 

IRAQ

Water disputes: Syria-Turkey: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

 

ISRAEL

Water disputes: Jordan-Lebanon-Syria: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Jordan River

 

JORDAN

Water disputes: Israel-Lebanon-Syria: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Jordan River. 

 

LEBANON

Water disputes: Israel-Jordan-Syria: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Jordan River11. 

 

SYRIA

Water disputes: Iraq-Turkey: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Euphrates and

Tigris Rivers.

Water disputes: Israel-Jordan-Lebanon: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Jordan River. 

 

TURKEY

Water dispute: Iraq-Syria: Potential conflict over common use of water of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

 

 

NEW

TIM AU I SIT CLAIM

 

East Timor tears up oil and gas treaty with Australia after Hague dispute

Updated 9 January 2017, 14:55 AEDT

By political reporter Henry Belot

East Timor will tear up an oil and gas treaty with Australia that has been at the centre of espionage allegations, international arbitration and a bitter diplomatic dispute.

The disputed territory contains large oil and gas deposits worth an estimated $40 billion. (Credit: ABC) 

East Timor will tear up an oil and gas treaty with Australia that has been at the centre of espionage allegations, international arbitration and a bitter diplomatic dispute.

The two countries have been locked in an ongoing disagreement over maritime borders in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, related to access to oil and gas deposits worth an estimated $40 billion.

Australia lost its bid to stop East Timor from forcing compulsory conciliation in The Hague in September last year, months after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejected calls for fresh negotiations.

A history of treaties in the Timor Sea

  • In 1989 Australia and Indonesia signed the Timor Gap Treaty when East Timor was still under Indonesian occupation.
  • East Timor was left with no permanent maritime border and Indonesia and Australia got to share the wealth in what was known as the Timor Gap.
  • In 2002 East Timor gained independence and the Timor Sea Treaty was signed, but no permanent maritime border was negotiated.
  • East Timor has long argued the border should sit halfway between it and Australia, placing most of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in their territory.
  • In 2004 East Timor started negotiating with Australia again about the border.
  • In 2006 the CMATS treaty was signed, but no permanent border was set, and instead it ruled that revenue from the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field would be split evenly between the two countries.

A joint statement from both countries said the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) would be no longer apply after a three-month transition period.

"The Government of Australia has taken note of this wish and recognises that Timor-Leste has the right to initiate the termination of the treaty," the statement said.

The statement said Australia and East Timor had agreed to "an integrated package of measures to facilitate the conciliation process", which included abandoning the deal.

ANU professor of international law Don Rothwell said the carefully worded joint statement indicated conciliation talks between the countries were progressing.

"The statement gives some indication that the conciliation process is constructively moving forward and there is a hint that perhaps Australia has conceded that they are prepared, for the first time, to settle on a permanent maritime border with East Timor," he said.

"If that is the case, then that is a significant change to Australia's position however we still don't know what the permanent boundary will be."

The CMATS treaty outlined a 50-year freeze on negotiations for a permanent maritime border, but East Timor claim this treaty is invalid given Australian intelligence operations in 2004.

An earlier 2002 maritime treaty will apply after the three-month transition period, with East Timor and Australian representatives set to meet before the Conciliation Commission later this year.

Video: East Timor-Australia maritime border dispute set to be negotiated at The Hague (ABC News)

Tense relations

Diplomatic relations have been tense since East Timor officials accused Australia of spying on cabinet ministers in 2004 amid negotiations on the treaty to divide the oil and gas fields.

In 2013, Canberra-based lawyer Bernard Collaery, who was representing East Timor in the spying case at The Hague, claimed his office had been raided by the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation.

East Timor's former president Xanana Gusmao has also accused Australia of taking advantage of the country in 2002, when the country was struggling to establish itself after attacks by pro Indonesian militias.

East Timor maintains Australia has unfairly claimed the oil and gas reserves within its own territory.

 

 

BELA UKR Border

Ukraine, Belarus agree to complete border demarcation soon

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-28 20:21:33|Editor: xuxin

KIEV, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced Friday that his country and Belarus have agreed to complete border demarcation in the near future.

"We agreed to complete the demarcation of our state borders in the near future, which unfortunately has not been carried out in the recent years," Poroshenko told reporters after his working visit to Belarus, where he held talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Ukraine and Belarus signed a border agreement in May 1997 and started border demarcation in November 2013.

The two ex-Soviet neighbors share a land border of around 1,084 km.

 

DJI

16 JUNE AlJ

Djibouti accuses Eritrea of occupying disputed area

Official says Eritrean soldiers occupied moved contested border territory, days after Qatar pulled its peacekeepers out.

Eritrea Djibouti map [Al Jazeera]

Djibouti's foreign minister has accused neighbouring Eritrea of occupying a disputed territory along their border shortly after Qatar peacekeepers left the location this week.

Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said on Friday Djibouti's military was "on alert" and that it has lodged complaints to the United Nations and the African Union.

"Qatari peacekeepers withdrew on June 12 and 13. On the same day, there were Eritrean military movements on the mountain," Ali Youssouf told the Reuters news agency.

"They are now in full control of Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Island. This is in breach of the UN Security Council resolution," he added, referring to areas that the neighbours dispute.

Authorities in Eritrea were not immediately available for comment.

Qatar announced that it was pulling its contingent out on June 14, days after the two East African countries sided with Saudi Arabia and its allies in a major diplomatic standoff with Doha.

Qatar's foreign ministry did not give a reason for the move.

On June 5, a Saudi-led bloc of countries announced they were cutting ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting "terrosists" - allegations Doha strongly denies.

READ MORE: Djibouti alleges Eritrean incursion

Djibouti, a close Western ally, hosts French and US military bases and is the main route to the sea for Eritrea's arch foe and Washington's top regional ally, Ethiopia.

Eritrea has fractious ties with the West, which had previously accused it of backing Somali and other regional armed groups. Asmara denies the charges.

According to Abdullahi Boru Halakh, a Horn of Africa analyst, the territorial dispute at the border "has always been there, but for the past years Qatari forces that had been deployed there had kept peace". 

Speaking from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, he argued that Eritrea is trying to take advantage of the Gulf crisis.

"Eritrea is in the cold and under UN sanctions," he told Al Jazeera.

"They also have a territorial dispute with Ethiopia which has been simmering for years. The UN ruled in favour of Eritrea but the ruling has not been enforced. Eritrea now sees this as an opportunity to come back from the cold and maybe get aid from the UN which it desperately needs."

Clashes broke out between the Horn of Africa countries in June, 2008, after Djibouti accused Eritrea of moving troops across the border, raising fears the spat could engulf the entire region.

The dispute triggered several days of fighting that killed a dozen Djiboutian troops and wounded dozens.

Eritrea had initially denied making any incursions, accusing Djibouti of launching unprovoked attacks.

The UN Security Council then requested both sides withdraw from the area, before the neighbours accepted a Qatari request to mediate and deploy peacekeepers.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Africa Djibouti Eritrea