Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14, a historic date in Cameroon!

Cameroon completely takes control over the formerly disputed oil rich Bakassi peninsula today.  The total transfer of sovereignty over the neck of land in the English-speaking Southwest Region which was at the centre of an almost two-decade spat between Cameroon and Nigeria, follows a 2002 ICJ ruling.
To reinforce the ICJ verdict, both nations signed an agreement dubbed “The Green Tree Accord” on June 12, 2006.

Below is a full text of the agreement signed in New York on June 12, 2006.
The Republic of Cameroon (hereinafter referred to as "Cameroon") and the Federal Republic of Nigeria (hereinafter referred to as "Nigeria").

Reaffirming their willingness to peacefully implement the judgment of the International Court of Justice,

Commending the secretary-general of the United Nations for his efforts made in this respect in organizing the tripartite summits and establishing the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission,

Considering that the question of the withdrawal from and transfer of authority over the Bakassi Peninsula should be treated in a forward-looking spirit of goodwill in order to open new prospects for cooperation between the two countries after decades of difficult bilateral relations,

Determined to encourage the consolidation of confidence and peace between their two countries for the well-being of their peoples and for stability in the subregion,

Have decided to conclude the present agreement.

Article 1

Nigeria recognizes the sovereignty of Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula in accordance with the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 10 October 2002 in the matter of land and maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria. Cameroon and Nigeria recognize the land and maritime boundary between the two countries as delineated by the Court and commit themselves to continuing the process of implementation already begun.

Article 2

Nigeria agrees to withdraw all its armed forces from the Bakassi Peninsula within sixty days of the date of the signing of this Agreement. If exceptional circumstances so require, the secretary-general of the United Nations may extend the period, as necessary, for a further period not exceeding a total of thirty days. This withdrawal shall be conducted in accordance with the modalities envisaged in annex 1 to this agreement.

Article 3

1. Cameroon, after the transfer of authority to it by Nigeria, guarantees to Nigerian nationals living in the Bakassi Peninsula the exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in international human rights law and in other relevant provisions of international law.

2. In particular, Cameroon shall:

(a) not force Nigerian nationals living in the Bakassi Peninsula to leave the Zone or to change their nationality;

(b) respect their culture, language and beliefs;

(c) respect their right to continue their agricultural and fishing activities;

(d) protect their property and their customary land rights;

(e) not levy in any discriminatory manner any taxes and other dues on Nigerian nationals living in the zone; and

(f) take every necessary measure to protect Nigerian nationals living in the zone from any harassment or harm.

Article 4

Annex I and the map contained in Annex II to this agreement shall constitute an integral part thereof.

No part of this agreement shall be interpreted as a renunciation by Cameroon of its sovereignty over any part of its territory.

Article 5

This agreement shall be implemented in good faith by the parties, with the good offices of the secretary-general of the United Nations, if necessary, and shall be witnessed by the United Nations, the Federal Republic of Germany, the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America.

Article 6

1. A follow-up committee to monitor the implementation of this agreement is hereby established. It shall be composed of representatives of Cameroon, Nigeria, the United Nations and the witness States. The committees shall monitor the implementation of the agreement by the parties with the assistance of the United Nations observers of the Mixed Commission.

2. The follow-up committee shall settle any dispute regarding the interpretation and implementation of this agreement.

3. The activities of the follow-up committee shall cease at the end of the period of the special transitional regime provided for in paragraph 4 of annex I to this agreement.

Article 7

This agreement shall in no way be construed as an interpretation or modification of the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 10 October 2002, for which the agreement only sets out the modalities of implementation.

Article 8

This agreement is concluded in English and French, both texts being equally authentic.

Done at Greentree, New York, on 12 June 2006

For the Republic of Cameroon: Paul Biya, President

For the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Olusegun Obasanjo, President: Olusengun Obasanjo


For the United Nations: Kofi Ata Annan

For the Federal Republic of Germany: H.E. Gunter Pleuger

For the United States of America: H.E. Fakie Sanders

For the French Republic: H.E. Michel Duclos

For the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — H.E. Koren Pierce

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