Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today with representatives from Nigeria and Cameroon in what was the first high-level meeting between the three parties since the successful transfer last August of the oil-rich region known as the Bakassi Peninsula from the former country to the latter.
The Peninsula, located on the Gulf of Guinea, had been the subject of intense and sometimes violent disputes between the African neighbours for decades until they agreed to a UN-backed process to settle the matter.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) resolved the issue with a ruling in 2002. That was followed by the 2006 Greentree agreement – signed under the auspices of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan – by which Nigeria recognized Cameroonian sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula.
“As well as marking a critical milestone in the implementation of the ICJ ruling, Cameroon and Nigeria have provided the world with a powerful illustration of respect for the rule of law as an effective tool for the peaceful settlement of disputes and a prime example of good neighbourliness,” according to a statement issued following today’s meeting.
The statement added that the representatives of the two countries agreed to expedite remaining tasks in carrying out other aspects of the Court’s ruling, particularly delimitation and demarcation of their common land boundary.
The Nigerian and Cameroonian officials attending the meeting are members of their respective delegations to the Follow-up Committee set up under the 2006 agreement to monitor the implementation of the accord.