BELIZE-BORDER-ICJ sets time limits in Belize-Honduras dispute


BELMOPAN, Belize, CMC – The Belize government Monday said that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had set May 2 this year for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to file its Memorial in the dispute with Honduras regarding the sovereignty over the Sapodilla Caye

Belize said its Ambassador Assad Shoman had advised the ICJ Registrar that Belmopan intends to file its Memorial on or before the deadline set by the Court.

Honduras has been given December 4, 2023, to file its counter Memorial.

Last November, the government said it had deposited its application with the ICJ Registrar as it seeks a final and binding resolution of the dispute with Honduras concerning sovereignty over the Sapodilla Cayes, including Seal Caye.

“The Government of Belize emphasizes that it has taken this measure to protect the vital interests of Belize in ensuring the full and final settlement of all outstanding territorial disputes to Belizean territory,” the government said in a brief statement, adding “it has done so in support and furtherance of its friendly relations with Honduras.”

In its application, which is posted on the website of the Hague-based ICJ, Belize recalls that “since the early nineteenth century, the Sapodilla Cayes have formed part of the territory of Belize, initially as part of the settlement of Belize and later the colony of British Honduras, and since 1981 as part of the independent State of Belize”.

It argues that under international law, Belize is sovereign over the Sapodilla Cayes and that the Honduran claim to the Sapodilla Cayes, “articulated in its 1982 Constitution, which remains in force as a matter of the internal law of Honduras, has no basis in international law”.

Belize wants the ICJ “to adjudge and declare that, as between Belize and Honduras, Belize is sovereign over the Sapodilla Cayes.”

The area in dispute is located in the southernmost group of islands/cayes in Belizean waters.


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