Nigeria – Cameroon seek funds to end border dispute

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Limbe Cameroon

Limbe Cameroon

Nigeria and Cameroon on Tuesday appealed for international funds to help mark the last 250 kilometers (155 miles) of their disputed border that remains undecided, officials said.

The appeal was made at a meeting of ministers from both sides with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who wants to see the decades old border dispute settled by the end of next year.

Maurice Kamto, Cameroon’s deputy justice minister, told a meeting of a joint commission that an international trust fund that has been paying for the demarcation had no money left.

Ban called the meeting with Kamto and Nigeria’s Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke to give a new push to the mediation efforts between the two countries, which frequently clashed over their border during the 1980s and 1990s. A 2002 accord proved the turning point in the dispute.

The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) set up in 2002 has been overseeing the efforts to bury the hostility. Since 2008 hundreds of concrete pillars delineating the border have been sunk into the ground.

The main disputes have been over the potentially oil rich Bakassi peninsula and around Lake Chad.

In 1993, Nigeria invaded and occupied the peninsula. The International Court of Justice ruled in 2002 that it was part of Cameroon.

After initially rejected the ruling, Nigeria evacuated part of Bakassi in 2006 after a the UN brokered a peace deal. It handed over the land to Cameroon in August 2008.

“Many important tasks remain with respect to the demarcation of your boundary,” Ban told the meeting.

“The continued commitment of all will be essential in completing this final chapter in the implementation of the court’s ruling,” he added.

“One main challenge will be to protect the livelihoods and human rights of the affected populations, whether they are Cameroonian or Nigerian, and whether they live along the boundary or in the Bakassi peninsula.


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