Bakassi transfer good example of preventive diplomacy, says UN envoy for West Africa

23 October 2013

The United Nations envoy for West Africa has praised Nigeria and Cameroon for their commitment that led to the transfer of sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula from the former to the latter, and cited the process as a good example of preventive diplomacy.

In June 2006, the two countries signed the UN-backed Greentree Agreement, setting the terms and timeframe for implementation of the 2002 ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the demarcation of their border.

In line with the Court’s ruling, Nigeria formally ceded the territory in 2008, followed by a five-year transitional phase that ended on 14 August 2013.

At the final meeting of the Follow Up Committee established to monitor the implementation of the Greentree Agreement, Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa and President of the Committee, commended both parties for their commitment which has allowed them to finalize the process of implementing the Agreement.

This demonstrates “their attachment to the rule of law and the good neighbourly spirit that prevails today between the two countries,” he told the meeting that was held in Geneva on 21 and 22 October.

He also underlined that “this process is a good example of preventive diplomacy,” according to a news release issued by the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

During the meeting, Cameroon and Nigeria signed a joint statement in which they confirmed that the five-year transition period ended on 14 August and that as of this date, Cameroon has full sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula.

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Security Council praises Cameroon, Nigeria for Bakassi Peninsula transition

Members of the United Nations Security Council today welcomed the peaceful conclusion of a special transitional regime established by an agreement between Cameroon and Nigeria concerning the Bakassi Peninsula.