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The Cameroon-Nigeria Border Dispute. Management and Resolution, 1981-2011

Management and Resolution, 1981-2011

Hilary V. Lukong

Publication Year: 2011

At independence, Cameroon and Nigeria adhered to the OAU principle of UTI POSSEDETIS JURIS by inheriting the colonial administrative borders whose delineation in some parts was either imperfect or not demarcated or both. The two countries tried to correct these anomalies. But such efforts were later thwarted by incessant geostrategic reckoning, dilatory, and diversionary tactics in the seventies and eighties that persisted and resurfaced in the nineties with a more determined posture. On two occasions, the border conflict almost boiled over to a full-scale war. First, in May 1981 when there was the exchange of fire between Cameroonian and Nigerian coast guards and second, in February 1994 when Nigeria marched her troops into Cameroonís Bakassi Peninsula. Elsewhere in Africa, border incidents like these have often degenerated into war. But Cameroon and Nigeria together with the international community managed these protracted incidents from escalating into war. This book examines the part played by the disputing parties, Cameroon and Nigeria; the mediation, conciliatory and adjudicatory role of third parties; and the regional and international organisations, in the process of the resolution of the border dispute from 1981-2011. The study situates the nature and dynamics of the dispute historically, and comprehensively explores in detail its causes, settlement and resolution.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-vii


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p. viii-viii


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p. ix-ix

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pp. xi-xii

Cameroon and Nigeria entered the 21st century with optimism as the two countries waited impatiently for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to schedule the public hearing of their border dispute Cameroon deposited at The Hague in March 1994.It was only until ...

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p. xiii-xiii

I am deeply grateful to a number of people who helped me in one way or the other towards the realization of this book. I owe an immense debt of gratitude to Dr Zacharie Saha who read the first outline of the book and suggested invaluable improvements. I also ...

Abbreviations and Acronyms

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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-8

Cameroon and Nigeria share a boundary of some 1950 kilometres (km) from Lake Chad in the north to the Gulf of Guinea in the south; the longest compared to that shared by each of them with any of their neighbours. The two countries gained independence in 1960 ...

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Chapter 1 - Stakes and Causes of the Border Dispute

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pp. 9-36

At independence, Cameroon and Nigeria kicked start the delimitation of their common boundary built on a foundation laid down by European colonizers—Britain, Germany, and France—from 1885 to 1931. As a consequence, in 1964, the two countries adhered to the ...

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Chapter 2 - Bilateral Management of the Border Dispute, 1981-2002

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pp. 37-60

Before the 1981 skirmishes on the Cameroon–Nigeria border, the two countries had put up structures where border issues were handled. This included the Joint Commission set up in 1963 and the Mixed Boundary Commission set up in 1970. There were equally ...

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Chapter 3 - Multilateral Management of the Border Dispute, 1981-2002

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pp. 61-84

Multilateral management of disputes here refers either to the use of third parties to negotiate and arbitrate in what is known as mediation or concerted effort under the banner of regional and international organizations through the provision of necessary good offices to ...

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Chapter 4 - The Settlement of the Dispute through Adjudication by the International Court of Justice, 1994-2002

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pp. 85-116

Dispute settlement entails the resort to an independent adjudicator like the ICJ 1 to make an official decision about who is right. This is opposed to dispute resolution which entails the elimination of the causes of the underlying dispute with the agreement of the parties. ...

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Chapter 5 - The Process of the Implementation of the International Court of Justice Verdict, 2002-2011

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pp. 117-148

The verdict of the ICJ on the Cameroon–Nigeria border dispute case delivered on October 10, 2002 requested both countries to withdraw their administration and military or police from the areas they occupy which fall within the sovereignty of the other, immediately and ...

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Chapter 6 - Confidence Building Measures between Cameroon and Nigeria, 2002-2011

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pp. 149-178

Confidence building became the fulcrum of the resolution of the Cameroon-Nigeria border problem as the two countries found formulas that would satisfy them. These formulas were on two distinct levels: first, resolving the issues that sparked off the dispute ...

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pp. 179-184

The study set out to examine how the protracted border skirmishes between Cameroon and Nigeria from 1981 were managed and eventually resolved by 2011. Through the historical analysis of the Cameroon-Nigeria border dispute, its causes were grasped. This ...


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pp. 185-197


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pp. 199-204


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pp. 205-218

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956726240
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956717590

Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2011