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Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 09:46 GMT
Nigeria rules out Bakassi war
Fishing village in Bakassi
Bakassi is inhabited by Nigerian fishermen
Nigeria and Cameroon will not go to war over the long-disputed Bakassi peninsula, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said.


I have confidence that we will not have to resort to war

Olusegun Obasanjo,
Nigerian President
Mr Obasanjo will meet his Cameroonian counterpart Paul Biya in Geneva on Friday to discuss the oil-rich peninsula under the auspices of the United Nations, according to his office.

The 1,000-square-kilometre (400-square-mile) area was recently awarded to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice, but Nigeria has refused to accept the decision.

Nigeria and Cameroon have clashed over Bakassi several times during the century-long dispute.

Fishermen

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan met the two leaders in Paris, about a month before the court verdict was delivered in The Hague.

Following that meeting, Mr Annan said both had agreed to accept the court's decision.

Map showing Bakassi peninsula

Mr Obasanjo has said that he made no such promise but says that the dispute can be resolved peacefully.

"I have confidence that we will not have to resort to war" over the dispute, a statement from his office quoted him as saying.

Nigeria has been urged to withdraw its troops from the flashpoint area, which is inhabited mainly by Nigerian fishermen.

Reports say some of the residents have been leaving, fearing a resumption of clashes.

Nigeria accused the World Court judges of colonial-era bias for basing their ruling mainly on a 1913 treaty between Britain and Germany.

President Obasanjo is seeking re-election next year and is under pressure to reject the ruling.

Nigerian community leaders in Bakassi have threatened to secede if he does not.


Key stories

YOUR VIEWS
 VOTE RESULTS
Cameroon / Nigeria border ruling: Was it the right decision?

Yes
 44.91% 

No
 55.09% 

11050 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

29 Oct 02 | Africa
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