Djibouti has asked the International Court of Justice to arbitrate in a diplomatic dispute over the death of a French judge in 1995.
By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC News, The Hague
Authorities there had initially deemed Bernard Borrel's death a suicide, but French investigators have indicated he may have been assassinated.
A French judge had summoned high-level witnesses for questioning.
Djibouti argues that France has no right to call witnesses who should have diplomatic immunity.
It also says France is violating its international obligations by not handing over information on the case.
The East African country accuses France of violating mutual co-operation treaties signed in 1977 and 1986.
Before the international court can hear the case, France has to agree to its jurisdiction.
Djibouti says it is confident France will agree to international arbitration in order to bring a legal end to this long, unsolved mystery.
But so far France has not responded to Djibouti's claim.