CNMC determined to finalize demarcation process

Since its creation in 2002, the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) has always demonstrated a rigorous commitment to peacebuilding. From August 25-26, the 34th Session in Abuja, Nigeria recognized the notable progress made by the CNMC, while highlighting remaining areas of dispute and proposing ways to resolve these disputes.

The meeting was chaired by President Mahamat Saleh Annadif, while Minister Michel Zoah and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, headed the delegations from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively. During the two-day session, Mr. Malami revealed that the two countries had reduced the main points of disagreement from thirteen to three.

The conclusion of this major terminal construction exercise (lots six A, B and C on the mountain of the Atlantic) is a significant achievement, in particular due to the difficult access to the area. Indeed, it is important to note that there are still areas of border conflict in the marginal territory between Nigeria and Cameroon.

A statement, issued just after the session, said that the parties concerned did not have the same understanding of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the areas of Rhoumski, at the level of terminal 8 and Koja. In response to this, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), Mr. ANNADIF said: “We must redouble our efforts to respect our commitments and finalize the process”.

The 34th session of the CNMC also recommended that the two parties finalize the agreement on the joint exploitation of hydrocarbons along the maritime border. The efforts of the President, Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, were noted by the Attorney General of Nigeria, in view of the increased frequency of CNMC meetings. It is thanks to this diligence that such complex issues have been able to progress at such an impressive pace. In addition, Nigeria reaffirmed its financial commitment to the CNMC to fulfill its obligations under the mandate, while contributions on behalf of Cameroon were also acknowledged. The Commission expressed its gratitude to the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the two governments of Cameroon and Nigeria for their contributions to the demarcation process. SRSG ANNADIF then recognized the crucial role of the international community and called on the latter to continue to support such projects.

The 35th session of the CNMC will be held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the exact date is yet to be determined.

Source: UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel