Case Concerning the Territorial Dispute (Libya/Chad)
(Chad-Libya and the Aouzou Strip)
1994 I.C.J. 6 (Feb. 3)

  • Aouzou Strip was a barren strip of land between Libya and Chad. Libya had troops there, but Chad claimed the land.
    • Chad felt 'national pride' about the territory, even though there was no value to it.
    • Libya wanted the land to protect Berbers living there.
  • Libya claimed that the border was never properly demarcated in the 1955 Treaty between Libya and France.
    • At the time, Chad was a French colony.
    • Libya further argued that even if it were, that Treaty was void because Chad was not a party, and the Treaty was only written to be in effect for 20 years anyway.
  • Chad claimed that the Aouzou strip was demarcated as part of Chad in an older Treaty between Britain and France.
    • Back in the colonial days, Europe divvied up Africa.
  • The countries went to the ICJ for an adjudication.
    • Chad couldn't force Libya out militarily, so they wanted international help.
  • The ICJ found for Chad.
    • The ICJ found that the 1955 treaty established the boundary, and that boundary remains even though the treaty was no longer in force.
  • The basic point of this case is that treaties that delineate borders are considered to be permanent. Even if the treaty expires or the countries change governments, the border is the same (unless a new treaty moves the border).