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Nigeria To Return Bakassi To Cameroon Next May - 2003-10-30

Nigeria says it plans to hand over some disputed territory to neighboring Cameroon, including the Bakassi Peninsula. The two countries have been at loggerheads over their border areas, which extend over one thousand kilometers.

According to a timetable, Nigeria will cede the disputed Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon next May. A meeting will be held in February on Nigeria withdrawing its troops from the area, while the maritime boundary between the countries would be drawn in June. The timetable was released by the joint commission set up by the two nations last year following the landmark judgment in favor of Cameroon by the World Court.

Nigeria initially rejected the ruling, but has since been working to end the dispute amicably. The two countries had come close to full-scale war over the territory several times.

Besides the Bakassi, more than thirty villages in northeastern Nigeria will also be turned over to Cameroon. The villages, in the Lake Chad area, will come under Cameroonian control before the end of the year.