098- Kasikili/Sedudu Island Case (Botswana vs Namibia)
The Governments of Botswana and Namibia submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) a compromise signed by the two States on February 15th, 1996 regarding the legal status of Kasikili/Sedudu Island and its belonging to one or other of these nations.
The Court rendered its judgment on December 13th, 1999. It was particularly interested in a treaty dating from July 1st, 1890, signed between Great Britain and Germany which purpose was to delimit the spheres of influence of the two colonial powers in the “main channel” of the Chobe River. Botswana argued that the location of that channel followed the island of Kasikili/Sedudu to the north and Namibia bypassing the island to the south. After examining the topographical situation and the elements submitted by both parties, the ICJ concluded that the “the northern channel of the River Chobe around Kasikili/Sedudu Island must be regarded as its main channel”, thus assigning sovereignty over the disputed island to Botswana. The ICJ also concluded that the Parties had guaranteed each other freedom of navigation on the channels around the island for the vessels of their citizens flying national flags.
This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.