- Press Statement of President Guillaume
- ₦ 200
Press Statement of President Guillaume
Case concerning the
Land and Maritime Boundary between
Cameroon and Nigeria
( Cameroon v. Nigeria:
Equatorial Guinea intervening )
Statement to the press
by President Guillaume
The Hague, 10 October
The Court has just delivered its judgment in the case
concerning the Land and Maritime Boundary
between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon vs. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea
intervening). As you have seen, this judgment is a long one, exceeding 150
pages. Thus, it might be helpful if I
provide you with a brief summary.
The Court first decided that the land boundary between
the two countries had been fixed by treaties entered into during the colonial
period and it upheld the validity of those treaties. It moreover rejected the theory of historical
consolidation put forward by Nigeria and accordingly refused to take into
account the effectivites relied upon
by Nigeria. It ruled that, in the absence
of acquiescence by Cameroon, these
effectivites could not prevail over Cameroonâ€™s conventional titles.
the Court decided that, pursuant to the AngloGerman Agreement of 11 March 1913,
sovereignty over Bakassi lies with Cameroon.
Similarly, the Court fixed the boundary in the Lake Chad area in
accordance with the Henderson-Fleuriau Exchange of Notes of 9 January 1931
between France and Great Britain and rejected Nigeriaâ€™s claims to the Darak
area and the neighbouring villages.
Further, the Court drew an extremely precise boundary
between the two States. In this respect,
in Lake Chad it reached the same conclusions as the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
by Nigeria, it then turned to 17 sectors of the land boundary between Lake Chad
and pillar 64. In many cases, the
solutions adopted in this respect are favourable to Nigeria. This is so for the Keraua River, the Mandara
Mountains, the Malo Senche, Jimbare and Sapeo, between Namberu and Banglang,
and in respect of the boundary between the Akbang River and Mount Tosso. The adopted solutions are closer to
Cameroonâ€™s positions in respect of the Kohom River, the area between Mount Kuli
and Bourha, the 602 Federation Weekly Law
December, 2002 village of Kotcha, the Hambere Range area and the
Sama River. The Court adopted intermediate or neutral positions in respect of
Limani, the sources of the Tsikakiri, the course from Beacon No. 6 to Wamni
Budungo, at Tipsan, and from the Hambere Range to the Mburi River.
Court indicated the precise course of the boundary channel of the Akwayafe to
the west of the Bakassi Peninsula.
The Court also fixed the maritime boundary between the
two States. Here, the Court, accepting Cameroonâ€™s contention, began by
upholding the validity of the Declarations of Yaounde II and Maroua, pursuant
to which the Heads of State of Nigeria and Cameroon had in 1971 and 1975 agreed
upon the maritime boundary between the two countries from the mouth of the Akwayafe
to a point G situated at 8o 22â€™ 19â€ longitude east and 4o
17â€™ 00â€ latitude north.
respect of the maritime boundary further out to sea, the Court essentially
endorsed the delimitation method advocated by Nigeria. As the line of delimitation, it adopted the
equidistance line between Cameroon and Nigeria, which in its view produced an
equitable result in this case as between the two States, namely a loxodrome
having an azimuth of 187o 52â€™ 27â€.
Noting, however, that the line so adopted was likely rapidly to encroach
on rights of Equatorial Guinea, the Court confined itself to indicating its
direction without fixing the Cameroon/Nigeria/Equatorial Guinea tripoint.
delimitation thus effected for the most part respects existing oil
installations. It preserves Equatorial
Guineaâ€™s rights, as well as those of Cameroon and Nigeria in regard to their
delimitation with Equatorial Guinea.
Drawing the consequences of its determination of the
land boundary, the Court first held that Nigeria is under an obligation
expeditiously and without condition to withdraw its administration and its
military and police forces from the Bakassi Peninsula, and from the Lake Chad
area falling within the sovereignty of Cameroon.
further decided that Cameroon, for its part, is under an obligation
expeditiously and without condition to withdraw any administration or military
or police forces which may be present on Nigerian territory along the land
boundary between Lake Chad and Bakassi.
Nigeria bears the same obligation in respect of any territory in this
sector which falls within the sovereignty of Cameroon.
reasoning of its judgment, the Court further noted that the implementation of
the judgment would afford the Parties a beneficial opportunity to co-operate in
the interests of the population concerned, in order notably to enable them to
continue to have access to educational and health services comparable to those
they currently  F.W.L.R Press Statement of President
603 enjoy. Such co-operation, the Court added, would be
especially helpful, with a view to the maintenance of security, during the
withdrawal of the Nigerian administration and military and police forces.
The Court also took note of the commitment undertaken
at the hearings by Cameroon that, â€œfaithful to its traditional policy of
hospitality and toleranceâ€, Cameroon would â€œcontinue to afford protection to
Nigerians living in the Bakassi Peninsula and in the Lake Chad areaâ€.
Finally, the Court rejected Cameroonâ€™s submissions
seeking to have Nigeria ordered to repair the injury suffered by Cameroon, in
particular as a result of the occupation of Bakassi. In this respect, the Court noted that
Cameroon had secured recognition of its sovereignty over the peninsula and the
disputed area of Lake Chad. It found that the injury suffered by Cameroon by
reason of the Nigerian occupation was sufficiently addressed by the very fact
of that recognition and of the evacuation of those territories.
rejected, for lack of proof, the submissions of Cameroon concerning the
implementation of its Order of 15 March 1996 indicating provisional measures
and those relating to various border incidents complained of by the two
In sum, the Court finds in favour of Cameroon in
respect of Bakassi and Lake Chad. Its
judgment also settles the other issues concerning the land boundary. It places each of the Parties under an
obligation to evacuate the areas falling within the sovereignty of the other,
and to do so expeditiously and without condition, and at the same time issues a
call for co-operation. It fixes the
maritime boundary beyond the territorial sea in accordance with the method
advocated by Nigeria. Finally, it rejects both Partiesâ€™ submissions concerning
I would add that the Court was happy to learn that the
Heads of State of Cameroon and Nigeria met on 5 September last in the presence
of the United Nations Secretary-General. It welcomed the result of that meeting
and hopes that the judgment which it had delivered today will contribute to
friendly relations between the two brother countries.