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
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
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the treaty was no longer in force.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).