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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

Burkina Faso and Niger settle border dispute

(22 May 2015)

Burkina Faso and Niger have complied with the 2013 International Court of Justice ruling that required the two countries to exchange territory along 620 miles of disputed border. The countries have agreed to swap 18 towns, resulting in Burkina Faso gaining 14 towns and Niger gaining 4, according to the permanent secretary of the Burkina Faso national border commission, Joséphine Kouara Apiou/Kaboré.

The 2013 International Court of Justice ruling stipulated that territories totalling 786 square kilometres be granted to Burkina Faso and 277 square kilometres be granted to Niger. The town swap accomplishes this result and thus ends the lengthy legal dispute between the two countries. Once the town swap has been completed, the residents of the swapped areas will have 5 years to declare their preferred nationality.

According to Niger’s justice minister and government spokesman, Marou Amadou, the town swap resolves border issues dating back to 1926, during the colonial era. “The borders were drawn by non-Africans. Now we have settled this.”


Burkina Faso and Niger exchange 18 towns to settle border dispute, 8 May 2015, The Guardian,

Burkina Faso and Niger to swap towns in border change, 8 May 2015, Zee News,