ICJ to rule on Friday on Guyana’s request for provisional measures in border controversy case

ICJ to rule on Friday on Guyana’s request for provisional measures in border controversy case

The International Court of Justice, (ICJ) has announced that it will deliver its decision on Friday on Guyana’s request for provisional measures to be granted in the border case against Venezuela.

Guyana’s request was made following the announcement of the planned Venezuelan referendum on the border controversy. Guyana has objected to a number of the questions that are to be asked in the referendum, and wants the Court to block those questions related to the case before the Court and Guyana’s Essequibo region.

The decision will come two days before Venezuela’s planned referendum.

In its submission before the ICJ, Guyana also stated that Venezuela must refrain from any actions intended to prepare or allow the exercise of sovereignty or de facto control over any territory that was awarded to British Guiana in the 1899 Arbitral Award. Guyana also wants the ICJ order to compel Venezuela to avoid any actions that might exacerbate or extend the controversy before the Court or make it more challenging to resolve.

Guyana has long said that it is not interfering in the domestic affairs of Venezuela, therefore, it does not want the referendum to be nullified, but whereas the referendum includes questions that threatens Guyana’s territorial integrity, it must object.

Two weeks ago, Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that with or without Court’s intervention, the planned referendum on the Essequibo will go ahead.

She ruled out any annexation or invasion of Guyana’s territory, despite her rhetoric and said that the referendum is purely a domestic matter which Guyana, and by extension the ICJ should not interfere in.

The Guyana Government has argued that Venezuela’s continued rejection of the ICJ process is because it is aware that it has a weak case.

Venezuela has once again proposed that the two sides meet and consult on the matter. Guyana has rejected any dialogue on the issue.

With its substantive case, Guyana wants the ICJ to confirm the legality and validity and binding effect of the Award regarding the boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and United States of Venezuela of 3rd October 1899.

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