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Costa Rica Gives Nicaragua Another 24 Hours

The pressure for a peaceful solution to the Costa Rica - Nicaragua conflict is mounting. Costa Rica officials on Thursday accepted to extend the 4pm deadline at the recommendations of the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA). to delay taking action.

Costa Rica announced last night that it would give its northern neighbour another 24 hours to remove its troops from the Isla Calero, the small piece of land on the south side of the San Juan river, which Costa Rica claims its own.

The decision to delay is aimed at buying time for the politician on both sides to plan out their next move and reach a peaceful solution to what is being called "an alarming situation" by many.

Costa Rica's Foreign Minister, Rene Castro, in Washington for the sessions of the Organization of American States (OAS) and meetings and discussions with the foreign ministers of other member countries, said that waiting another day is his country's way of giving peace another chance.On Tuesday, in a special session being held near the conflict zone, Nicaragua's National Assembly categorically backed the government's strategy on its border dispute with Costa Rica. During the special session in the San Carlos municipality, the deputies unanimously approved a declaration giving "absolute and total" support to the approach of President Daniel Ortega's administration.

Meanwhile, the Nicaraguan army has not budged. Actually, reports early this morning (Friday) say that more Nicaraguan soldiers have been spotted on the island.

Late in the day Thursday, Costa Rican officials flew over the conflict zone confirmed that the Nicaraguan soldiers had not left the island, in fact the number of soldiers had increased and the number of camps was now three.

The pictures taken by  the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública and the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional (DIS) - Costa Rica's secret service -  is different than the scene observed by the fly over on Monday by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, when Nicaragua had removed its flag on the island and no soldiers were in sight.

Being discussed by Costa Rican officials is a request to the OAS to expel Nicaragua, to sanctions to allowing armed troops of  other countries defend Costa Rica's border, a situation being seen as very unlikely.

Costa Rican president, Laura Chinchilla,
is optimistic that a peaceful resolution to the
border conflict with Nicaragua can be found through dialogue.

Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, continues
defying Costa Rica's ultimatum and order by
the OAS to remove his troops from the conflict

Daniel Ortega's rise to power in Nicaragua
was published widely and considered
an important conflict during the Cold War.
Ortega, a socialist revolutionary along with the FSLN, was regarded as a threat to the hemisphere's security by Ronald Reagan.
(Source: Wikipedia)

Nicaraguan soldiers wave during a patrol in Rio San Juan, near the border
with Costa Rica, November 11, 2010. A delegation of Nicaraguan legislators
visited the area on Thursday to show their support in the ongoing zone
border dispute with Costa Rica, after holding a special parliamentary
 session in San Carlos, located near Rio San Juan, the previous day.
REUTERS/Cesar Perez/Casa Presidencial/Handout

Nicaraguan soldiers patrol in Rio San Juan, near the border with Costa Rica.
REUTERS/Cesar Perez/Casa Presidential/Handout

Edén Pastora posing with a military official who covered his face with a map
along with soldiers of the Nicaraguan army in the conflict zone. AP photo.

Nicaragua's Army soldiers stand guard aboard the dredging vessel 'Soberania'
as it operates in the San Juan River at the border zone with Costa Rica,
which is part of the two-century-old territorial dispute, Thursday Nov. 11, 2010.
Nicaragua's Vice President Jaime Morales Carazo said he is not planning t
o comply with a diplomatic deadline, recommended by the Organization of
American States, to withdraw troops from a border zone.
AP Photo/Esteban Felix

A tent is used as a command post by Nicaragua's Army in the San Juan River at the border zone with Costa Rica, which is part of the two-century-old territorial dispute, Thursday Nov. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)



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