June 12th, 2006 07:14 EST
Nigeria-Cameroon accord expected after Annan brokers talks on border dispute
Secretary-General Kofi Annan is conducting intensive diplomacy with the leaders of Nigeria and Cameroon in a bid to achieve a breakthrough over their border dispute, a United Nations spokesman said today, predicting that an accord could be finalized on Monday.
“Since Friday, the Secretary-General and his staff have held a series of meetings with the delegations of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, which is chaired by his Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah,” the spokesman said.
The UN-sponsored Mixed Commission was established to help implement a 2002 judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ruled that sovereignty rights over certain of the areas extending 1,600 kilometres from Lake Chad to the Bakassi Peninsula should go to Cameroon, while other areas should go to Nigeria.
At stake are rights over the oil-rich land and sea reserves and the fate of local populations.
Mr. Annan, who has been closely involved with the issue, is expected to meet the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, this evening, and the President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo tomorrow morning, according to the spokesman.
“We expect that, following a joint meeting with the two presidents and the Secretary-General, scheduled to take place on Monday at the Greentree Estate in Manhasset, New York, an agreement will be finalized,” the spokesman said.