"The great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Republic of Chad,
On the basis, on the one hand, of the resolutions of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), in particular resolution AHG/Res.6 (XXV) on the Libya/Chad territorial dispute and, on the other hand, of the fundamental principles of the United Nations, namely:
— the peaceful settlement of international disputes;
— the sovereign equality of all States;
— non-use of force or threat of force in relations between States;
— respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State;
— non-interference in internal affairs;
Resolved to settle their territorial dispute peacefully,
Hereby decide to conclude this agreement:
Article 1. The two Parties undertake to settle first their territorial dispute by all political means, including conciliation, within a period of approximately one year, unless the Heads of State otherwise decide.
Article 2. In the absence of a political settlement of their territorial dispute, the two Parties undertake:
(a) to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice;
(b) to take measures concomitant with the judicial settlement by withdrawing the forces of the two countries from the positions which they currently occupy on 25 August 1989 in the disputed region, under the supervision of a commission of African observers, and to refrain from establishing any new presence in any form in the said region;
(c) to proceed to the said withdrawal to distances to be agreed on ;
(d) to observe the said concomitant measures until the International Court of Justice hands down a final judgment on the territorial dispute.
Article 3. All prisoners of war shall be released.
Article 4. The great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Republic of Chad reiterate their decisions concerning the cease-fire established between them and undertake further to desist from any kind of hostility and, in particular, to:
(a) desist from any hostile media campaign;
(b) abstain from interfering directly or indirectly, in any way, on any pretext and in any circumstance, in the internal and external affairs of their respective countries;
(c) refrain from giving any political, material, financial or military support to the hostile forces of either of the two countries;
(d) proceed to the signature of a treaty of friendship, good-neighbourliness and economic and financial co-operation between the two countries.
Article 5. The two Parties decide to establish a Mixed Commission to be entrusted with the task of making the necessary arrangements for the implementation of this Agreement and ensuring that all necessary measures are taken to this end.
Article 6. The Ad Hoe Committee of the Organization of African Unity on the Libya/Chad dispute shall be requested to monitor the implementation of the provisions of this Agreement.
Article 7. The great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Republic of Chad undertake to give notice of this Agreement to the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.
Article 8. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its signature."
"The negotiations referred to in Article 1 of the Accord-Cadre have failed to resolve the territorial dispute between the Parties... and no decision by the respective Heads of State has been reached to vary the procedures established by the Accord.
Accordingly Libya is bound, following the expiry of the year referred to in Article 1, to implement its obligation under Article 2 (a) ‘...à soumettre le différend au jugement de la Cour internationale de Justice'.
For the purposes of the Rules of Court, the dispute (’différend’) submitted to the Court is their territorial dispute (‘leur différend territorial’) referred to in the Accord-Cadre, and the question put to the Court may be defined in the following terms:
‘In further implementation of the Accord-Cadre, and taking into account the territorial dispute between the Parties, to decide upon the limits of their respective territories in accordance with the rules of international law applicable in the matter."’
"determine the course of the frontier between the Republic of Chad and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, in accordance with the principles and rules of international law applicable in the matter as between the Parties".
"those two notifications relate to one single case, referred to the Court in application of the Algiers Agreement, which constitutes the Special Agreement, the principal basis of the Court’s jurisdiction to deal with the matter";
a copy of this letter was addressed to the Agent of Libya by the Deputy-Registrar on 1 October 1990.
For Libya: H.E. Mr. Abdulati Ibrahim El-Obeidi,
Mr. Derek W. Bowett, C.B.E., Q.C., F.B.A.,
Mr. Kamel H. El Maghur,
Sir Ian Sinclair, K.C.M.G., Q.C.,
Mr. Walter D. Sohier,
Mr. Luigi Condorelli,
Mr. Philippe Cahier,
Mr. James R. Crawford,
Mr. Rudolf Dolzer.
For Chad: Mr. Abderahman Dadi.
Mr. Alain Pellet,
Mrs. Rosalyn Higgins, Q.C.,
Mr. Jean-Pierre Cot.
Mr. Thomas M. Franck,
Mr. Antonio Cassese,
Mr. Malcolm N. Shaw,
Mr. Jean-Marc Sorel.
At the hearings, a Member of the Court put a question to one Party who answered in writing; this reply having reached the Registry at the close of the oral proceedings, the other Party submitted written comments upon it in accordance with Article 72 of the Rules of Court.
On behalf of Libya,
in the Memorial, the Counter-Memorial and Reply and at the hearing of 8 July 1993 (mutatis mutandis identical texts):
"Having regard to the various international treaties, agreements, accords and understandings and their effect or lack of effect on the present dispute, as set out in Libya’s Memorial. Counter-Memorial, Reply and oral pleadings;
In view of the other facts and circumstances having a bearing on this case, as discussed above, and in Libya’s pleadings;
In the light of the conduct of the Parties, of the conduct of other States or political, secular or religious forces, whose conduct bears on the rights and titles claimed by the Parties, and of the conduct of the indigenous peoples whose territories are the subject of this dispute;
In application of the principles and rules of international law of relevance to this dispute;
May it please the Court, rejecting all contrary claims and submissions:
To adjudge and declare, as follows:
1. That there exists no boundary, east of Toummo, between Libya and Chad by virtue of any existing international agreement.
2. That in the circumstances, therefore, in deciding upon the attribution of the respective territories as between Libya and Chad in accordance with the rules of international law applicable in this matter, the following factors are relevant:
(i) that the territory in question, at all relevant times, was not terra nullius:
(ii) that title to the territory was, at all relevant times, vested in the peoples inhabiting the territory, who were tribes, confederations of tribes or other peoples owing allegiance to the Senoussi Order who had accepted Senoussi leadership in their fight against the encroachments of France and Italy on their lands;
(iii) that these indigenous peoples were, at all relevant times, religiously, culturally, economically and politically part of the Libyan peoples;
(iv) that, on the international plane, there existed a community of title between the title of the indigenous peoples, and the rights and titles of the Ottoman Empire, passed on to Italy in 1912 and inherited by Libya in 1951 ;
(v) that any claim of Chad rests on the claim inherited from France;
(vi) that the French claim to the area in dispute rested on ‘actes internationaux’ that did not create a territorial boundary east of Toummo, and that there is no valid alternative basis to support the French claim to the area in dispute.
3. That, in the light of the above factors, Libya has clear title to all the territory north of the line shown on Map 105 in Libya’s Memorial, on Map LC-M 55 in Libya’s Counter-Memorial and on Map LR 32 in Libya’s Reply, that is to say the area bounded by a line that starts at the intersection of the eastern boundary of Niger and 18° N latitude, continues in a strict south-east direction until it reaches 15° N latitude, and then follows this parallel eastwards to its junction with the existing boundary between Chad and Sudan."
On behalf of Chad,
in the Memorial, the Counter-Memorial and the Reply, and at the hearing of 14 July 1993 (identical texts):
"The Republic of Chad respectfully requests the International Court of Justice to adjudge and declare that its frontier with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is constituted by the following line:
— from the point of intersection of the 24° of longitude east of Greenwich with the parallel of 19° 30' of latitude north, the frontier shall run as far as the point of intersection of the Tropic of Cancer with the 16° of longitude east of Greenwich ;
— from that latter point it shall follow a line running towards the well of Toummo as far as the fifteenth degree east of Greenwich."
"The determination of the limits of the respective territories of the Parties in this region involves, inter alia, a consideration of a series of international agreements although, in the view of Libya, none of these agreements finally fixed the boundary between the Parties which, accordingly, remains to be established in accordance with the applicable principles of international law."
On this basis, Libya defined the question put to the Court by requesting it:
"In further implementation of the Accord-Cadre, and taking into account the territorial dispute between the Parties, to decide upon the limits of their respective territories in accordance with the rules of international law applicable in the matter."
Chad, on the other hand, in its initial communication to the Court filed on 3 September 1990, indicated that in its view there was a frontier between Chad and Libya, the course of which "was not the subject of any dispute until the 1970s", and stated that
"The object of the present case is to arrive at a firm definition of that frontier, in application of the principles and rules applicable in the matter as between the Parties."
On this basis, Chad requested the Court:
"to determine the course of the frontier between the Republic of Chad and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, in accordance with the principles and rules of international law applicable in the matter as between the Parties".
"Such disputes as may arise from the interpretation and application of the present Treaty and which may prove impossible to settle by direct negotiations shall be referred to the International Court of Justice at the request of either Party, unless the High Contracting Parties agree upon some other method of settlement."
Since however the jurisdiction to deal with the present dispute conferred by the Accord-Cadre has not been disputed, there is no need to consider the question of an additional ground of jurisdiction under the Treaty.
[Translation by the Registry]
"The two High Contracting Parties recognize that the frontiers between the territories of Tunisia, Algeria, French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa on the one hand, and the territory of Libya on the other, are those that result from the international instruments in force on the date of the constitution of the United Kingdom of Libya as listed in the attached Exchange of Letters (Ann. I)."
The Treaty was concluded in French and Arabic, both texts being authentic; the Parties in this case have not suggested that there is any divergence between the French and Arabic texts, save that the words in Arabic corresponding to "sont celles qui résultent" (are those that result) might rather be rendered "sont les frontières qui résultent" (are the frontiers that result). The Court will base its interpretation of the Treaty on the authoritative French text.
"The reference is to [Il s'agit de] the following texts:
— the Franco-British Convention of 14 June 1898;
— the Declaration completing the same, of 21 March 1899;
— the Franco-Italian Agreements of 1 November 1902;
— the Convention between the French Republic and the Sublime Porte, of 12 May 1910;
— the Franco-British Convention of 8 September 1919;
— the Franco-Italian Arrangement of 12 September 1919.
With respect to this latter arrangement and in conformity with the principles set forth therein, it was recognized by the two delegations that, between Ghat and Toummo, the frontier traverses the following three points, viz., the Takharkhouri Gap, the Col d’Anai and Landmark 1010 (Caret Derouet el Djemel).
The Government of France is ready to appoint experts who might become part of a Joint Franco-Libyan Commission entrusted with the task of marking out the frontier, wherever that work has not yet been done and where either Government may consider it to be necessary.
In the event of a disagreement in the course of the demarcation, the two Parties shall each designate a neutral arbitrator and, in the event of a disagreement between the arbitrators, they shall designate a neutral referee to settle the dispute."
It has been recognized throughout the proceedings that the Convention referred to as of 12 May 1910 is actually that of 19 May 1910 mentioned in paragraph 30 above.
"the very nature of a frontier and of any convention designed to establish frontiers between two countries imports that a frontier must constitute a definite boundary line throughout its length" (Interpretation of Article 3, Paragraph 2, of the Treaty of Lausanne, Advisory Opinion, 1925, P.C.I.J., Series B, No. 12, p. 20, emphasis added).
It went on to say that
"It is... natural that any article designed to fix a frontier should, if possible, be so interpreted that the result of the application of its provisions in their entirety should be the establishment of a precise, complete and definitive frontier." (Ibid.)
Similarly, in 1959 in the case concerning Sovereignty over Certain Frontier Land, the Court took note of the Preamble to a Boundary Convention as recording the common intention of the parties to "fix and regulate all that relates to the demarcation of the frontier" and held that
"Any interpretation under which the Boundary Convention is regarded as leaving in suspense and abandoning for a subsequent appreciation of the status quo the determination of the right of one State or the other to the disputed plots would be incompatible with that common intention." (I.C.J. Reports 1959, pp. 221-222.)
"The Government of France and the Government of Libya undertake to grant freedom of movement to nomads from tribes that traditionally trade on either side of the frontier between Algeria, French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa, on the one hand, and Libya, on the other, so as to maintain the traditional caravan links between the regions of Tibesti, Ennedi, Borkou, Bilma and the Ajjers, on the one hand, and those of Koufra, Mourzouk, Oubari, Ghat, Edri and Ghadamès, on the other."
This provision refers specifically to (inter alia) the frontier between French Equatorial Africa and Libya; and it is clear from its terms that, according to the parties to the Treaty, that frontier separates the French-ruled regions of Tibesti, Ennedi and Borkou (indicated on sketch-map No. 1 at p. 16 above), which are sometimes referred to as "the BET", on the one hand, and the Libyan regions of Koufra, Mourzouk, etc. on the other.
"On French territory: by a line which, leaving the frontier to the west of Ghadamès, runs through Tinfouchaye, Timellouline, Ohanet, Fort-Polignac, Fort-Gardel, Bilma, Zouar, Largeau, Fada and continues in a straight line as far as the Franco-Sudanese frontier.
On Libyan territory: by a line which, leaving Sinaouen, runs through Derj, Edri, El Abiod, Ghoddoua, Zouila, Ouaou En Namous, Koufra, and continues in a straight line as far as the Libyo-Egyptian frontier."
Libya has therefore expressly recognized that Zouar, Largeau and Fada lie in French territory. The position of those places is indicated on sketch-map No. 1, on page 16 above. Article 11 of the Convention stipulates that "caravan traffic permits shall be issued... [in] French territory [by the] administrative authorities of... Zouar, Largeau, Fada"; and in "Libyan territory [by the] administrative authorities of... Mourzouk, Koufra and the Oraghen Touareg". According to Article 13, nomads bearing a caravan traffic permit may "move freely across the frontier". The following expressions are also found in the Convention: "on either side of the frontier", "frontier zone" (Art. 15); "cross the frontier" (Art. 16); "the French and Libyan frontier authorities" (Arts. 17 and 20); "cross-border transit" (Art. 18). The use of these expressions is consistent with the existence of a frontier. In the view of the Court, it is difficult to deny that the 1955 Treaty provided for a frontier between Libya and French Equatorial Africa, when one of the appended Conventions contained such provisions governing the details of the trans-frontier movements of the inhabitants of the region.
"It is understood, in principle, that to the north of the 15th parallel the French zone shall be limited to the north-east and east by a line which shall start from the point of intersection of the Tropic of Cancer with the 16th degree of longitude east of Greenwich (13° 40' east of Paris), shall run thence to the south-east until it meets the 24th degree of longitude east of Greenwich (21° 40' east of Paris), and shall then follow the 24th degree until it meets, to the north of the 15th parallel of latitude, the frontier of Darfur as it shall eventually be fixed."
The text of this provision is not free from ambiguities, since the use of the words ‟in principle" raises some question whether the line was to be strictly south-east or whether some leeway was possible in establishing the course of the line. Different interpretations were possible, since the point of intersection of the line with the 24th degree of longitude east was not specified, and the original text of the Declaration was not accompanied by a map showing the course of the line agreed. As noted above (paragraph 28), a few days after the adoption of that Declaration, the French authorities published its text in a Livre jaune including a map; a copy of that map is attached to this Judgment. On that map, a red line, solid or interrupted, coupled with red shading, indicated, according to the map legend, the "limite des possessions françaises, d'après la convention du 21 mars 1899". The red line was continuous where it reflected boundaries defined in that Convention, and a pecked line where it indicated the limit of the "French zone" defined in paragraph 3 of the Convention. The pecked line was shown as running, not directly south-east, but rather in an east-south-east direction, so as to terminate at approximately the intersection of the 24° meridian east with the parallel 19° of latitude north. The direct south-east line and the Livre jaune map line are shown for purposes of comparison on sketch-map No..3 on page 32 hereof (together with the line defined in the Convention of 8 September 1919, dealt with below).
"Supplementary to the Declaration signed at London on March 21, 1899, as an addition to the Convention of June 14, 1898, which regulated the Boundaries between the British and French Colonial Possessions and Spheres of Influence to the West and East of the Niger."
It specified the boundary between Darfour and French Equatorial Africa, and contained various provisions relating to the possible extension eastwards of the French sphere, beyond the 24th degree of longitude. However, its concluding paragraph provided :
"It is understood that nothing in this Convention prejudices the interpretation of the Declaration of the 21st March, 1899, according to which the words in Article 3 ‘... shall run thence to the south-east until it meets the 24th degree of longitude east of Greenwich (21° 40' east of Paris)’ are accepted as meaning ‘... shall run thence in a south-easterly direction until it meets the 24th degree of longitude east of Greenwich at the intersection of that degree of longitude with parallel 19° 30' degrees of latitude’."
This provision meant that the south-easterly line specified by the 1899 Declaration was not to run directly south-east but in an east-south-east direction so as to intersect with the 24th degree of longitude at a point more to the north than would a direct south-easterly line. This Convention, in thus accepting an east-south-east line rather than a strict southeast line, was in effect confirming the earlier French view that the 1899 Declaration did not provide for a strict south-east line, and was in fact, as to the eastern end-point, stipulating a line even further north than the line shown on the Livre jaune map. Sketch-map No. 3, attached below, shows, for ease of comparison, the relative positions of the three lines — the strict south-east line, the Livre jaune line and the 1919 line.
"the limit to French expansion in North Africa, as referred to in the above mentioned letter... dated 14 December 1900, is to be taken as corresponding to the frontier of Tripolitania as shown on the map annexed to the Declaration of 21 March 1899".
The map referred to could only be the map in the Livre jaune which showed a pecked line indicating the frontier of Tripolitania. That line must therefore be examined by the Court in determining the course of the frontier between Libya and Chad, to the extent that it does not result from the Anglo-French agreements of 1898, 1899 and 1919.
— A composite boundary results from these instruments; it comprises two sectors which are separately dealt with in instruments listed in Annex I : a sector to the east of the point of intersection of the Tropic of Cancer with the 16th degree of longitude east of Greenwich, and a sector to the west of that point. This point is hereinafter referred to for convenience as point X, and indicated as such on sketch-map No. 4 on page 39 hereof.
— The eastern sector of the boundary is provided by the Anglo-French Convention of 8 September 1919: a straight line between point X and the point of intersection of the 24th degree of longitude east of Greenwich with parallel 19° 30' of latitude north; this latter point is indicated on sketch-map No. 4 on page 39 hereof as point Y.
— The western sector of the boundary, from point X in the direction of Toummo, is provided by the Franco-Italian Accord of 1 November 1902. This sector is a straight line following the frontier of Tripolitania as indicated on the Livre jaune map, from point X to the point of intersection of the 15° meridian east and the parallel 23° north; this latter point is indicated on sketch-map No. 4 on page 39 hereof as point Z.
— Four instruments listed in Annex I — the Convention of 14 June 1898 coupled with the Declaration of 21 March 1899, the Accord of 1 November 1902 and the Convention of 8 September 1919 — thus provide a complete frontier between Libya and Chad.
By 16 votes to 1,
(1) Finds that the boundary between the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Republic of Chad is defined by the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighbourliness concluded on August 10th, 1955 between the French Republic and the United Kingdom of Libya;
(2) Finds that the course of that boundary is as follows:
From the point of intersection of the 24th meridian east with the parallel 19° 30' of latitude north, a straight line to the point of intersection of the Tropic of Cancer with the 16th meridian east; and from that point a straight line to the point of intersection of the 15th meridian east and the parallel 23° of latitude north;
these lines are indicated, for the purpose of illustration, on sketch-map No. 4 on page 39 of this Judgment.
in favour: President Sir Robert Jennings; Vice-President Oda; Judges Ago,
Schwebel, Bedjaoui, Ni, Evensen. Tarassov, Guillaume, Shahabuddeen,
Aguilar Mawdsley, Weeramantry, Ranjeva, Ajibola, Herczegh; Judge ad hoc Abi-Saab.
against: Judge ad hoc Sette-Camara.
Done in French and in English, the French text being authoritative, at the Peace Palace, The Hague, this third day of February, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-four, in three copies, one of which will be placed in the archives of the Court and the others transmitted to the Government of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Government of the Republic of Chad, respectively.
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