Equatorial Guinea and Gabon take their territorial conflict to International Court of Justice

The agreement was achieved through the exchange of ratification instruments by the Ambassadors from Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Anatolio Ndong Mba and Javier Biang respectively, in the presence of the United Nations General Secretary, Antonio Guterres, on the morning of 4th march, at the institution’s headquarters in New York.

The territorial and maritime conflict on the sovereignty of the islands of Mbañe, Cocotero and Conga has been crating a misunderstanding between the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Gabon since 1972, and thus the two countries have sought the best mechanism to peacefully resolve the conflict, in which, following its relaunch in 2003, the President of the Republic, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has played a key role aimed at bilateral dialogue, until in 2016, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon signed a commitment in Marrakesh with the mediation of the former United Nations General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, through which they promised to take the matter to the International Court of Justice.

After ratification of the commitment by the two sides, the Ambassadors from Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Anatolio Ndong Mba and Javier Bang, proceeded with the exchange of instruments through a ceremony aimed at facilitating a peaceful solution to the long border dispute, thus allowing the two countries to present the dispute before the International Court of Justice.

“This step shows the firm commitment of the United Nations to peaceful solutions to international controversies, and underlines the relevance of the various multilateral instruments within the evolved international context”, said Antonio Guterres, who also pointed out that Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, in addition to reaffirming their commitment to the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter, had been working tirelessly for over two decades in order to arrive at this point.

Anatolio Ndong Mba, for his part, declared that the act showed the firm will of the two Heads of State, Their Excellencies Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Ali Bongo Ondimba, to resolve the controversy through dialogue and agreement. In that sense, he paid homage, in the name of the Equatoguinean Head of State, to both the former UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, and the current one, Antonio Guterres, together with the mediators in the conflict and those from the United Nations Legal Affairs Department, for having worked in order to achieve this aim.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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