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Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission starts 13th session

Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission starts 13th session

The United Nations-sponsored Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, established to settle border issues between the two West African neighbours, opened a two-day session today to consider reports on the progress of demarcation and the transfer of authority on the Bakassi Peninsula.

"Even though the Mixed Commission had not met since 24 October 2004, the contacts between the parties never stopped, whether at diplomatic, consular, commercial, or humanitarian level. Furthermore in the field, the considerable work relating to the implementation of the demarcation of the boundary resulted in concrete progress," Mixed Commission Chairman Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said at the opening in Cameroon's capital, Yaoundé.

The UN Cartographic Section produced the first maps of the land boundary, which were presented to the Joint Technical Team (JTT) last December, he said, and the pilot field verification covering 62 of the border's 1,600 kilometres was completed in May.

Addressing the Bakassi Peninsula incident of June 2005, when a Cameroonian soldier was killed and another wounded, Mr. Ould-Abdallah said it should not impede the process initiated under the leadership of President Paul Biya of Cameroon and President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and he commended the two sides for agreeing to send in a fact-finding mission.

The two presidents asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to set up the Mixed Commission after the International Court of Justice adjudged in October 2002 that sovereignty rights over the area extending from Lake Chad to the Peninsula, should go to Cameroon.