UN commission observer panel set to visit Cameroon-Nigeria boundary

19 November 2004

An observer panel, set up under a United Nations commission to help Cameroon and Nigeria resolve a boundary dispute, will make its first visit to villages where the withdrawal and transfer of authority took place this summer.

The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission Observer Personnel is scheduled to carry out its first quarterly visit to the land boundary between the two countries - which stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres - next Monday and Tuesday.

In two previous visits to the Lake Chad area, the observers have reported that, in general, peaceful and good relations are prevailing among the population and the new authorities in the area, although issues related to property rights continue to remain.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the region, the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) announced that it will host a workshop on security reform and conflict prevention from 22 to 23 November in Dakar, Senegal.

The meeting is expected to bring together senior military and security officials, from Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, as well as the finance and defence ministries of those countries.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for West Africa, said that "too often security forces in Africa themselves are a major factor of insecurity and instability."

He added that when security forces "actually ignite conflict in some cases rather than serve as forces for conflict prevention, this makes reform more essential than ever. In this sense, security sector reform is conflict prevention."


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