Nigeria's planned pullout of Bakassi Peninsula may be delayed, UN envoy says

14 September 2004
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah

Nigeria's planned withdrawal Wednesday from the resource-rich Bakassi Peninsula, part of its disputed border with Cameroon, may be put on hold because of "unexpected technical difficulties," the United Nations chief envoy for West Africa has announced.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for West Africa and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, said yesterday that after extensive talks with Nigerian authorities, in addition to the head of Nigeria's delegation to the Commission, Prince Bola Ajibola, he remained confident "progress is close at hand."

He stressed that Cameroon's sovereignty in that area was not disputed, but "the planned operation may be delayed due to unexpected technical difficulties."

At the same time, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said, the Mixed Commission is carrying out its other activities to follow up on the implementation of the 2002 ruling by the International Court of Justice on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon in a satisfactory manner.

He added that the demarcation process is progressing well, and that the two nations have submitted their view on how to proceed with a maritime boundary.


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