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Case Concerning the Territorial Dispute (Libya/Chad)

International Court of Justice
1994 I.C.J. 6 (February 3)


Facts

The Aouzou Strip (the Strip) is a narrow piece of land located on the border between Chad (defendant) and Libya (plaintiff). Although the Strip is both economically and militarily valueless, Chad and Libya became embroiled in conflict over the location of their common border and title to the Strip after Libya’s independence from Italian colonial rule and Chad’s independence from French colonial rule. Chad argued that the border was established by the 1955 Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighbourliness (the Treaty) between Libya and France, in which Libya acquiesced to France’s claims regarding the borders of Libya’s African colonial possessions. Libya contended that the Treaty was invalid, arguing that Libya’s king had been coerced into signing the Treaty and that the Treaty did not recognize the Chad-Libya border at all. The Treaty did contain provisions allowing either party to terminate the Treaty after 20 years. Diplomatic negotiations broke down after Libya set up a military occupation of the Strip. Libya then invaded and occupied Chad, including land both inside and outside the Strip. In 1983, with Libya still occupying the Strip, the Chad government asked the United Nations Security Council to require Libya’s withdrawal. In 1989, after two more years of negotiations, Chad and Libya agreed to resolve the border dispute within one year using political methods. Chad and Libya also agreed to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a decision if they failed. After failed negotiations, Chad and Libya called upon the ICJ to determine their shared border.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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