A United Nations (UN) special representative on Wednesday assured Cameroonian authorities that “remarkable progress” was being made in demarcating the disputed Cameroon-Nigeria maritime border over the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula.
“The UN is doing everything it can to continue to make progress,” said Mohammed Ibn Chambas, special representative of the secretary-general and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in the capital, Yaounde, after briefing Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute.
“We have not allowed anything to stand in its way. In spite of the rough terrain and security challenges, the work continues,” Chambas added.
Chambas, also chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC), stressed that goodwill of both countries was essential to completing the demarcation process.
“The work that is left is something that can be managed as long as the good faith between the two sides remains,” he said.
According to the UNOWAS, the CNMC aims to facilitate the implementation of the October 2002 judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Cameroon-Nigeria boundary dispute.
Both countries claimed ownership of the more than 2,000-km maritime border over the oil- and fish-rich Bakassi Peninsula, which is located on the Gulf of Guinea. The situation escalated into military confrontation in 1993. In 2002, the ICJ court gave sovereignty over the peninsula to Cameroon.
Since then, the Cameroonian and Nigerian governments have undergone tense negotiations over the control of the peninsula.
Boundary demarcation is the last step in the UN-backed process to end border tensions between Cameroon and Nigeria.