UN Cameroon-Nigeria commission begins trip to raise funds for its work

5 March 2004

A delegation from the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, set up by the United Nations to peacefully resolve their border dispute, today began a tour of the United Kingdom, France and the United States to seek financial support for its work.

Officials will travel to London, Paris, Washington and New York to hold talks with the World Bank, national government officials and others, brief them on the commission's progress and ask for more funds and diplomatic support.

In a statement issued yesterday, the UN Office for West Africa said the Commission remains $6 million short of the money needed over the next two years to demarcate the border between Cameroon and Nigeria. The two countries agreed to increase their own spending on demarcation costs at a summit in Geneva in January.

The Commission was set up in late 2002 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the requests of Presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria. Its aim is to try to solve the countries' long-running border quarrel and implement an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on the case.

Last month two Commission sub-committees completed their field visit to the contested land boundary and to the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula in the Gulf of Guinea.

Cameroon and Nigeria dispute sovereignty over their land boundary, stretching from Lake Chad to the sea, their maritime boundary, and the Bakassi Peninsula. But they have agreed to troop withdrawal and a transfer of authority in the Lake Chad area.

The delegation consists of Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for West Africa; Amadou Ali, Justice Minister for Cameroon; and Prince Bola Ajibola, former Justice Minister and Attorney-General of Nigeria.

 

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