United Nations, United States

The UN Security Council urged Venezuela and Guyana Monday to avoid escalating tensions over an oil-rich region that they both claim.The dispute over Essequibo — which makes up about two-thirds of Guyana’s territory and has been administered by Guyana for more than a century — intensified in 2015 after the discovery of oil deposits by US-based energy giant ExxonMobil.

“The members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the possible escalation of tensions between Venezuela and Guyana,” the council said in a statement.

“They urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint, reminding them of their obligations to comply with the Order of Provisional Measures issued by the International Court of Justice on 1 December 2023.”

That UN court ordered Venezuela not to do anything to change the status quo regarding Essequibo.

But days later Venezuela went ahead and held a controversial, non-binding referendum that approved the creation of a Venezuelan province in the disputed region, sparking fears of a military conflict.

Its congress has enacted a law setting out the defense of this alleged Venezuelan territory.

Both countries pledged last year not to use force to settle the border dispute, which is currently before the UN court.



© Agence France-Presse


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here