8.14.2013

Bakassi Peninsula Comes Under the Possession of Cameroon

After well over a decade, Cameroon and Nigeria have finally settled their territorial dispute over the Bakassi peninsula. The peninsula, which rests south of Calabar, Nigeria and north of Douala, Cameroon, is thought to have vast reserves of oil, natural gas, and other natural resources. The border dispute was referred to the International Court of Justice in 1994 by Cameroon who claimed sovereignty.

In 2002 the International Court of Justice decided in favor of Cameroon and ruled to begin the official transition of the territory to Cameroonian control. Despite the ICJ ruling, Nigeria was reluctant to relinquish its control. While Nigeria was not happy with the decision initially, the transition has progressed thanks to the combined efforts of Nigerian Presidents Jonathan and Obasanjo and Cameroonian President Biya.

On August 14, 2008 the Bakassi peninsula was formerly ceded by Nigeria to Cameroon and was placed into a 5-year transitional phase which ended yesterday. The 40,000 Bakassi inhabitants now need to either register for Cameroonian visas or apply for Cameroonian citizenship.

Now that the peninsula is now officially under Cameroonian control it will need to be equipped with the necessary resources to combat oil piracy which is ever increasing in the Gulf of Guinea. With the territorial dispute is resolved, the Cameroonian government can focus its efforts on utilizing the strategic peninsula to protect neighboring waters from the various opportunistic armed militias with the help from the 5 Cameroonian military bases on the peninsula, 

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