n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Implications of the Bakassi conflict resolution for Cameroon

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


This paper sketches a conceptual framework of international conflict dynamics and resolution, examines the geopolitics of the Bakassi dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon, and outlines socio-economic implications of its peaceful settlement. Neglect and subsequent discovery of oil deposits subjected the Bakassi Peninsula to claims and counter-claims for sovereignty, military occupation and recourse to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ's ruling in 2002 in favour of Cameroon, although based on sound historical evidence, faced implementation difficulties. However, following mediation by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, good faith by protagonists, the Green-tree Agreement and subsequent instruments, Nigeria completed the withdrawal of its military, police and administration from the Bakassi Peninsula by 14 August 2008. Putting aside disruptive activities by social movements, the entire process could be viewed as a model in peaceful resolution of border conflicts. Implications of the settlement anchor on expenditure-reducing and expenditure-switching effects, wealth-generating effects, and enhanced cross-border activities. Infrastructural developments and effective presence are considered essential elements in border management policies.

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