Nigeria -Cameroon Border Disputes on Bakkassi Peninsular and Implication on International Relations, 1999-2015
Abubakar, Umar Faruk
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Conflict in common border areas is a major threat facing not only Nigeria and Cameroon but the world at large. The issues that shape the origin of these conflicts vary from one country to another. The impact of the Nigeria and Cameroon border conflict has been witnessed not only by the two countries but also by their neighbors. This research examined the border relations between Nigeria and Cameroon in the period 1999 to 2015. The study interrogated the changing nature of the border conflict in Nigeria and Cameroon in the period 2008 to 2015 and also identified ways of improving border relations between Nigeria and Cameroon. The study was guided by two theories: Rational choice and securitization theories. The theories analyzed the reasons why actors make claims over borderline areas as well as use the security threats to actualize their goals. The study focused on inhabitants on both sides of the disputed areas in the Bakassi peninsular. The study employed a qualitative approach to research using both primary and secondary sources of data. Thus data was collected from the field, library and archives. The data collected was analyzed thematically and chronologically. Ethical considerations were adhered to during the study. The findings established that oil discovery in Bakassi was the cause of the border conflicts. Another study finding was that since the current Cameroon and Nigeria boundary was established by their respective colonial masters, the signing of the accord or agreements was done without prior consultation of the African people. It was further noted that there was external control of Bakassi in Cameroon by her former colonial power, France. It was observed that the Cameroonian and Nigerian mixed commission helped in bringing about peace to the two countries despite the fact that the agreement was not fully implemented. The study concludes that the withdrawal of Nigerian troops from the disputed Bakassi was an indication that Nigeria was in agreement with the court’s verdict therefore, Cameroonian government has no body in the disputed land. This study recommends that the two countries should embrace community participation in their discussions or agreements over the disputed border area. Also, there is potential for good relations, if the settlers/indigenes voted in a referendum. This research work Targeted 1600 out of it 100 people were selected for interview Bakassi peninsular of Cameroon 50 people and the newly created Bakassi community in Nigeria 50 peoples well as Government officials from both sides.