The Resolution of the Bakassi Crisis

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Goddy Alunge Nzonji
  • Goddy Alunge Nzonji
4. semester, Udviklingsstudier, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This work attempts a conceptual framework of the most serious territorial dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria. Referred to as the Bakassi crisis, this dispute for sovereignty over the Bakassi peninsula and its controversial land and maritime boundaries unveiled some of the major complications surrounding territorial conflicts in Africa as their origins predate independence. Rendered more complex by geopolitcal gaming, natural resources’ rat race, ideological defferences, claims from various interest groups, national pride, quest for political legitimacy, socio-cultural and political labyrinth due to colonialism and the quest for a peaceful settlement without recourse to war, the work seeks to examine the dynamics that made a peaceful resolution possible. It equally seeks to outline political and socio-economic implications of the peaceful settlement; first to the territories and people involved, second to Africa as a continent and finally to the world of which the territories concerned are an integral part of.

Rising from abject neglect to claims and counter-claims for sovereignty after the discovery of oil and other natural resources, the Bakassi peninsula witnessed the presence of military occupation by the protagonists, deadly clashes and an eventual recourse to the International Court of Justice. Though basing its ruling on historical facts, the 2002 verdict of the ICJ that ensued did not go unchallenged by parties that considered it unjust as it met with implementation difficulties. Nonetheless, the genius in mediation by the then UN Secretary-General, as well as the good faith of the protagonists gave birth to the Green-tree agreement that finally put the crisis to rest. The complete withdrawal of the Nigerian administration, military and police from the peninsula earn the resolution a kudos that is difficult to challenge in a world that is incessantly marred with disrutive crisis which undermind peaceful settlements, even at the cost of great socio-economic and human devastations.

However, the resolution of the Bakassi crisis which is only like a drop of water in an ocean would only have more meaning and outstanding implications in a world run by manly men who give unassailable value to justice, peace and human nature.
Udgivelsesdato1 okt. 2012
Antal sider59
ID: 68713099