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Nigeria, Cameroon Discuss Border Demarcation

Representatives of Nigeria and Cameroon are meeting in Abuja to discuss the demarcation of their border as dictated by the 2002 ruling of the International Court of Justice.

Demarcating the 1,600-kilometer land boundary from Lake Chad to the Bakassi peninsula is part of the agreement reached by leaders of Cameroon and Nigeria to resolve their boundary dispute in line with the ruling of the International Court of Justice.

More than 40 villages on Lake Chad and along the land boundary have been transferred, while about 460 kilometers of the border have been demarcated.

Dahiru Bobo, leader of the Nigerian delegation drew attention to some inadequacies in the ongoing mapping of the land boundary.

"The 1913 treaty terminated the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon at certain two physical features; the King point and the Bakassi point," said Bobo. "The map coverage did not extend to that level and I think it is in the interest of Nigeria and Cameroon that we should not leave any vague area in the process of implementing this boundary demarcation. So, we want the maps to be able to extend to that area, which is the terminal point of the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon."

Representatives of the two countries have made substantial progress in implementing the court ruling under the auspices of the U.N. Mixed Commission.

The International Court of Justice ruled that sovereignty rights over certain areas should go to Cameroon, while other areas should go to Nigeria.

Although the Cameroon authorities pressed for the immediate withdrawal of Nigerian troops from Bakassi so that Cameroon could take over and exercise full sovereignty, Nigeria opted for political negotiations to prepare an estimated 300,000 Nigerians occupying the peninsula psychologically and physically for the ultimate choice they would have to make.

Leaders of the two countries signed an agreement in New York last month setting out procedures for the hand-over of Bakassi.