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International Disputes

CountryDisputes
Saint Helenanone
Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea
  • Saint Lucia
  • Joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelonnone
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Joins other Caribbean states to counter Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation, a criterion under UNCLOS, which permits Venezuela to extend its EEZ/continental shelf over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea
  • Samoanone
    San Marinonone
    Sao Tome and Principenone
    Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia has reinforced its concrete-filled security barrier along sections of the now fully demarcated border with Yemen to stem illegal cross-border activities
  • Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue discussions on a maritime boundary with Iran
  • Tiran and Sanafir islands transferred from Egypt to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, ending dispute
  • Senegal
  • The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau attempt to stem separatist violence, cross border raids, and arms smuggling into their countries from Senegal's Casamance region, and in 2006, respectively accepted 6,000 and 10,000 Casamance residents fleeing the conflict; 2,500 Guinea-Bissau residents fled into Senegal in 2006 to escape armed confrontations along the border
  • Serbia
  • Serbia with several other states protest the U.S. and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaring itself as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008
  • ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary
  • several thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers under UNMIK authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo
  • Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute
  • Seychelles
  • Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Islands (UK-administered British Indian Ocean Territory)
  • Sierra Leone
  • As domestic fighting among disparate ethnic groups, rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone gradually abates, the number of refugees in border areas has begun to slowly dwindle
  • Sierra Leone considers excessive Guinea's definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa rivers and protests Guinea's continued occupation of these lands including the hamlet of Yenga occupied since 1998
  • Singapore
  • Disputes persist with Malaysia over deliveries of fresh water to Singapore, Singapore's extensive land reclamation works, bridge construction, and maritime boundaries in the Johor and Singapore Straits
  • Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh/Horsburgh Island) sovereignty was awarded to Singapore by the ICJ in 2008, and Middle Rocks to Malaysia, but the ICJ did not rule on maritime regimes, boundaries, or disposition of South Ledge
  • Indonesia and Singapore continue to work on finalization of their 1973 maritime boundary agreement by defining unresolved areas north of Indonesia's Batam Island
  • piracy remains a problem in the Malacca Strait
  • Slovakia
  • Bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continued in 2006 between Slovakia and Hungary over Hungary's completion of its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube
  • as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Slovakia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules
  • Slovenia
  • The Croatia-Slovenia land and maritime boundary agreement, which would have ceded most of Piran Bay and maritime access to Slovenia and several villages to Croatia, remains unratified and in dispute
  • Slovenia also protests Croatia's 2003 claim to an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic
  • as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Slovenia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to curb illegal migration and commerce through southeastern Europe while encouraging close cross-border ties with Croatia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Since 2003, Regional Assistance Missions to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), consisting of police, military, and civilian advisors drawn from 15 countries, has assisted in reestablishing and maintaining civil and political order while reinforcing regional stability and security
  • Somalia
  • Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007
  • "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera to landlocked Ethiopia and have established commercial ties with other regional states
  • "Puntland" and "Somaliland" "governments" seek international support in their secessionist aspirations and overlapping border claims
  • the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region
  • Kenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading south across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists
  • South Africa
  • South Africa has placed military along the border to apprehend the thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing economic dysfunction and political persecution
  • as of January 2007, South Africa also supports large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (33,000), Somalia (20,000), Burundi (6,500), and other states in Africa (26,000)
  • managed dispute with Namibia over the location of the boundary in the Orange River
  • in 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Briefly occupied by military force in 1982 - claimed by Argentina in constitution but declares it will no longer seek settlement by force
  • South Sudan
  • South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation;
  • Abyei Area final sovereignty status pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan;
  • periodic violent skirmishes with South Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic;
  • the boundary that separates Kenya and South Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times
  • Southern Ocean
  • Antarctic Treaty defers claims (see Antarctica entry), but Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, NZ, Norway, and UK assert claims (some overlapping), including the continental shelf in the Southern Ocean
  • several states have expressed an interest in extending those continental shelf claims under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to include undersea ridges
  • the US and most other states do not recognize the land or maritime claims of other states and have made no claims themselves (the US and Russia have reserved the right to do so)
  • no formal claims have been made in the sector between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west
  • Spain
  • In 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any "shared sovereignty" arrangement- the government of Gibraltar insists on equal participation in talks between the UK and Spain
  • Spain disapproves of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy
  • Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas, and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; both countries claim Isla Perejil (Leila Island)
  • Morocco serves as the primary launching site of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa
  • Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz
  • Spratly Islands
  • All of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China (including Taiwan) and Vietnam; parts of them are claimed by Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines
  • despite no public territorial claim to Louisa Reef, Brunei implicitly lays claim by including it within the natural prolongation of its continental shelf and basis for a seabed median with Vietnam
  • claimants in November 2002 signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," which has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct"
  • in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands
  • Sri Lankanone
    Sudan
  • The effects of Sudan's almost constant ethnic and rebel militia fighting since the mid-20th century have penetrated all of the neighboring states
  • Chad wishes to be a helpful mediator in resolving the Darfur conflict, and in 2010 established a joint border monitoring force with Sudan, which has helped to reduce cross-border banditry and violence;
  • as of 2006, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda provided shelter for over half a million Sudanese refugees, which includes 240,000 Darfur residents driven from their homes by Janjawid armed militia and the Sudanese military forces
  • Sudan, in turn, as of January 2011 hosted about 138,700 Eritreans, 43,000 Chadians, and smaller numbers of Ethiopians;
  • in February 2006, Sudan and DROC signed an agreement to repatriate 13,300 Sudanese and 6,800 Congolese
  • Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups
  • Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebel groups;
  • efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia proceed slowly due to civil and ethnic fighting in eastern Sudan
  • Sudan claims but Egypt de facto administers security and economic development of Halaib region north of the 22nd parallel boundary
  • periodic violent skirmishes with Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral populations along the border with the Central African Republic
  • South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation;
  • Abyei Area final sovereignty status pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan;
  • Suriname
  • Area claimed by French Guiana between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa)
  • New River - Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne
  • Guyana seeks United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) arbitration to resolve the long-standing dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters
  • Svalbard
  • Despite recent discussions, Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone
  • Swaziland
  • In 2006, Swazi king advocates resort to ICJ to claim parts of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa
  • Swedennone
    Switzerlandnone
    Syria
  • Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied with the almost 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) patrolling a buffer zone since 1964
  • lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute
  • since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms in the Golan Heights
  • 2004 Agreement and pending demarcation settles border dispute with Jordan
  • approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan


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