Friday, May 13, 2005

Bakassi dispute

Let's hope that the territorial dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon over the oil-rich Bakassi doesn't end the same way as the the Ethiopia-Eritrea insanity, one of the stupidest, most pointless wars in recent history.


At 7:26 PM, Blogger Chippla Vandu said...

Relax. Nigeria and Cameroon will not be going to war. The unfortunate thing about the Bakassi issue is the fact that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decisively handed it over to Cameroon – Sorry to say, but I see the dirty hands of France in this. A possible solution to this problem, in my opinion, is a plebiscite. Let the residents of Bakassi decide whether they want to be with Nigeria (most claim to be affiliated with Nigeria) or Cameroon.

Mr. Obasanjo is aware of the backlash he would face if he chooses to abide by the ICJ ruling. The Nigerian parliament recently (a few months back) called for Bakassi to remain part of Nigeria, effectively ignoring the ICJ ruling. Bakassi is a contentious issue in Nigeria and has been since 1994, when Cameroon asked the ICJ to rule on it. It is an issue over which many Nigerians become very patriotic.

You may know that in addition to Bakassi, the ICJ also ruled that Nigeria hand over to Cameroon a piece of land close to Lake Chad. This has been done. Some perspective might help shed a bit of light on this: Bakassi is rich in oil, while the Lake Chad region has a Sahel vegetation with no mineral resources except probably salt. In other words, Nigeria has refused to hand over Bakassi because of the potential oil wealth it could bring. Whenever Bakassi gets tossed into the international spotlight, publications begin appearing in Nigerian dailies stating that Bakassi should not be handed over to Cameroon because it never was part of Cameroon.


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