UN-chaired commission on Cameroon-Nigeria Bakassi dispute to meet Sunday

UN-chaired commission on Cameroon-Nigeria Bakassi dispute to meet Sunday

A panel established by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to deal with the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula will hold its first meeting on Sunday, a UN spokesman announced today.

A panel established by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to deal with the dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria over the Bakassi peninsula will hold its first meeting on Sunday, a UN spokesman announced today.

The mixed commission, which was established by the Secretary-General on 15 November at the request of President Paul Biya of Cameroon and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, will consider ways of following up on the 10 October ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which essentially awarded Cameroon rights to the oil-rich peninsula.

Two weeks after the Court ruled, Nigeria said in a position paper that the judgment did not consider "fundamental facts" about the Nigerian inhabitants of the territory, whose "ancestral homes" the ICJ has now adjudged to be in Cameroonian territory.

During meetings with the two leaders earlier this month in Geneva, it was agreed that the mixed commission - to be chaired by Mr. Annan's Special Representative, Ahmedou Ould-Adballah - would consider all the implications of the ICJ's decision, including the need to protect the rights of the affected populations in both countries.

The 1 December meeting will be held in the capital of Cameroon, Yaoundé, and that country’s delegation will be headed by its Justice Minister, Amadou Ali. Nigeria’s team will be led by Prince Bola Ajibola, the country’s former Justice Minister and former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.