Nicaragua Patrolling Ex Colombian Waters
According to the Central American nation’s President, Nicaraguan ships are already exercising control over Caribbean waters granted to them by the International Court of Justice
Nicaragua navy patrolling former Colombian waters
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega said on Monday that his country’s navy is already exercising control over the resource-rich Caribbean waters that Colombia was forced to give to the Central American country by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week.
Last week’s case related to seven Caribbean islets and the associated offshore rights surrounding them.
According to Ortega, “our ships took sail to the recovered area on Sunday and at this hour is exercising sovereignty in all territory.”
The “recovered area” consists of 30,000 square kilometers of sea east of Nicaragua that Colombia claimed until last week when the ICJ ruled the islands in the western Caribbean belonged to Colombia, but most of the surrounding waters fell under Nicaraguan maritime territory.
The ruling stated that the territorial waters extending out from the seven islets, which are closer to Nicaragua’s coast than Colombia’s, should not cut into Nicaragua’s continental shelf – reducing the expanse of ocean belonging to Colombia.
Colombia has not recognized the ruling, considering it “a serious error of judgment” on the part of the ICJ judges, and has appealed against it.
Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has contacted Colombia about implementing the court’s ruling, which grants disputed islands to Colombia while offering rights to fishing and oil-filled waters to Nicaragua.
According to Reuters, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos ordered his country’s navy to remain in the area granted to Managua until the ICJ has ruled on an appeal that he is presenting to the court.