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UN court orders Nicaragua to fill in canal

November 22, 2013

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations’ highest court on Friday ordered Nicaragua to fill in a trench that almost links a river along its border with Costa Rica to the Caribbean sea.

The International Court of Justice gave Nicaragua two weeks to complete the work in a border region that is at the heart of a long-running dispute between the Latin American neighbors.

The court said in its ruling that if the canal is not filled in it could connect the San Juan river to the Caribbean during periods of heavy rain and permanently alter the river’s course.

Costa Rica asked for the order as part of a case with Nicaragua at the Hague-based court that centers on land close to the San Juan river as it enters the Caribbean.

Judges at the world court also told Nicaragua to withdraw military, police and civilian personnel from the disputed region and said Nicaragua must not carry out any dredging or other work in the disputed region or on two new canals it built there.

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