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(Dec 02, 2007) The fate of the Bakkassi, a peninsula said to hold ten percent of the world's oil and gas reserves, is once again up in the air after the Nigerian Senate approved a motion on November 22, 2007, making its handover of the region to Cameroon illegal. The handover was part of the 2002 International Court of Justice decision that provided that the sovereignty of the peninsula lies with Cameroon and followed negotiations brokered by the United Nations.. The rationale behind the Nigerian Senate motion, according to a Nigerian Senator, is that the agreement reached to cede the Bakassi peninsula was not brought before the National Assembly for ratification as mandated by the Constitution of Nigeria.

Tension between the two countries remains high after 21 Cameroonian soldiers were killed in the peninsula two weeks ago. Although Nigeria denied involvement in the killings of the soldiers, it continued to reinforce its military presence in the area. Nigeria had withdrawn its military from the area in 2006, leaving behind a civilian administration that was supposed to remain in Bakassi until 2008. (Bakassi Handover Ruled "Illegal," BBC NEWS: AFRICA, Nov. 23 2007, available at

Author: Hanibal Goitom More by this author
Topic: International affairs More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Cameroon More about this jurisdiction
 Nigeria More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 12/02/2007