Burkina Faso – Niger agreement to go to the ICJ


It was really heartening that Burkina Faso and Niger, two neighboring African countries, have agreed to take their border dispute to the International Court of Justice, a subsidiary body of the UN, to help resolve their conflict. Some years ago, Bahrain and Qatar had taken a similar border dispute to the ICJ and abided by its verdict. If countries facing such disputes utilize the ICJ, which was set up for the purpose of resolving tangled issues between countries through its legal opinions, the world would be a much more peaceful place. Why cannot contentious border issues, which have led to war and the spilling of blood, such as the China-India border dispute, the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, and yes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, be taken up before the ICJ? These countries would be well advised to learn from the wisdom displayed by Burkina Faso and Niger in settling their dispute rather than allowing such problems to fester, which boomerang upon them with unpredictable consequences. Will our leaders learn to adopt the path of arbitration and move on, or continue to be mired in intractable issues with no hope for a resolution?


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