22 November 2011
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Encourages Cameroon, Nigeria to Complete


Border-Demarcation Process in 2012


NEW YORK, 22 November (Department of Political Affairs) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hosted a high-level meeting in New York today with representatives of the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria in order to review the progress of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission and encourage the parties to complete their border-demarcation process by 2012.  The delegation of Cameroon was led by Maurice Kamto, Deputy Minister for Justice, and the delegation of Nigeria by Mohammed Bello Adoke, Minister for Justice and Attorney-General.

The Secretary-General congratulated both countries for the peaceful implementation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice of 10 October 2002 on their territorial dispute.  Mr. Ban said he was pleased with the achievements of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission and the Follow-up Committee on the Greentree Agreement related to the Bakassi peninsula.  He also thanked the witness States to the Greentree Agreement attending the meeting for their continued support to the process of withdrawal and transfer of authority in the Bakassi peninsula.  “The commitment of Cameroon and Nigeria to peacefully resolve their border dispute should be a source of inspiration for countries around the world that face similar challenges,” the Secretary-General said.

The United Nations has supported efforts by Cameroon and Nigeria over the past nine years to resolve their boundary dispute in an effort considered a model of successful conflict prevention.  Progress achieved so far includes the withdrawal and transfer of authority in the Lake Chad area and in the Bakassi peninsula, the final agreement on the maritime boundary, the 1,700 kilometres of already agreed land boundary, as well as the absence of border incidents since the inception of the process.

During the meeting, both countries agreed to discuss the exit strategy of the Mixed Commission.  Ahead of the tenth anniversary of the International Court of Justice ruling, Cameroon and Nigeria have reiterated their determination to finalize the demarcation process by 2012.  To this end, they welcomed the readiness of the United Nations to support the assessment of the remaining 250‑kilometre land border as well the consideration of outstanding issues of disagreement.  In order to ensure the successful completion of the exercise, the Secretary-General encouraged them to maintain the forward-looking approach that has helped so far to overcome delicate legal and administrative obstacles.

The Secretary-General highlighted the importance of implementing confidence-building measures to encourage the affected population to live in sustainable peace.  He further stated that the United Nations system — including through the joint efforts of the United Nations country teams in Cameroon and Nigeria — will continue to work with both Governments to promote cross-border economic activity to benefit the people of the two countries.

For more information, please contact Jared Kotler, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, United Nations Department of Political Affairs, tel: +1 917 367 5264 (office); +1 646 496 6075 (mobile), e-mail: kotler@un.org, website: http://www.un.org/depts/dpa; or Laurence Gerard, Public Information Officer, United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), tel: +221 33 869 8560 (office), +221 77 332 4928 (mobile), e-mail: gerardl@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record