Monday, 26 November 2012

Nigeria: Angry protests in Bakassi

With the closure of Nigeria's window of opportunity to appeal the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decision granting sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon, increasing tensions in the region have forced the UN team which is demarcating the maritime boundary to suspend their activities.

On 21 November, local people, angry about Abuja's failure to appeal the ICJ ruling, demonstrated in front of the building in Ikang where members of the demarcation team were meeting local officials. The crowd, composed mainly of youths holding placards condemning the UN's 'contempt' for self-determination of the Bakassi people, prevented the demarcation team from moving to the peninsula.

Their leader, Augustine Omini Iwara, said that it was surprising the demarcation was being undertaken despite the fact that local people had filed a case affirming their right to self-determination.

The crowd was already angered by the presence of three ships carrying Cameroonian gendarmes on to the beaches at Ikang. The ships were reportedly connected with the demarcation process but provoked a confrontation with around 300 local youths. The demarcation committee is now consulting with the Federal Government about its next step.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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