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Cameroon: Ban Ki-moon welcomes response to killings in Bakassi Peninsula

Cameroon: Ban Ki-moon welcomes response to killings in Bakassi Peninsula

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today he was encouraged by the “prompt and statesmanlike” response of both Cameroon and Nigeria to Monday’s attack by armed gunmen on a Cameroonian military installation in the once-disputed Bakassi Peninsula that left at least 20 soldiers dead.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban offered his “sincere condolences to the Government and people of Cameroon and in particular to the families of those killed and wounded during the tragic incident.”

The statement added that the Secretary-General reiterates the readiness of the UN to support the efforts of the neighbouring countries, “notably within the framework of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, to strengthen border cooperation and bilateral relations overall.”

Nigeria formally withdrew from the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula and transferred authority to Cameroon in August last year, in line with the Greentree Agreement signed by the two nations two months earlier. That accord was itself the result of a negotiation process conducted by the Mixed Commission, which had been set up by the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan to help the nations peacefully resolve the Bakassi border dispute.

Under the agreement, Nigeria recognized Cameroonian sovereignty over the region, in accordance with a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2002. Located on the Gulf of Guinea, the Bakassi had been the subject of intense and sometimes violent disputes between the two countries for decades.