The United Nations, UN, has said the demarcation of the Cameroon-Nigeria border continues to face challenges due to insecurity in areas affected by the presence of Boko Haram.
This is contained in a ‘Report of the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, UNOWAS’.
Guterres also cited the unrest in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon as partly responsible for the challenges faced by Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission.
He said: “Insecurity in areas affected by Boko Haram continued to hinder the activities of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission in the northernmost regions of the land boundary between the two countries.
“Social and political unrest in the English-speaking north-western and south-western regions of Cameroon raised additional security concerns.
“As a result, the demarcation of the border and the subsequent emplacement of pillars continued to be a challenge.”
Against that background, parties to the Mixed Commission met in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 19 and March 20 to finalise the implementation of reinforced security measures for field operations.
In this regard, Mr Guterres noted the activities of his Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who also serves as Chair of the Mixed Commission.
He said Chambas, on March 18 in Abuja and on May 15 in Yaoundé, “engaged in bilateral consultations with the heads of the Nigerian and Cameroonian delegations to work on outstanding areas of disagreement.
He said: “Overall, the parties reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the judgment of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, of October 2002 and to fully demarcating the land and maritime boundaries shared by the two countries.
“My Special Representative also successfully concluded fundraising efforts to replenish a trust fund for pillar construction along the land boundary.
“Consequently, pillar emplacement is expected to resume in October 2018 at the end of the rainy season.”
On the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, he said UNOWAS supported the ECOWAS Commission in the development of a regional action plan on trans-human.
Guterres said the office also established an informal working group on pastoralism and conflict prevention with the participation of the UN and regional entities working on the issue.
“In Abuja, from April 24 to April 26, UNOWAS participated in a ministerial and experts meeting on conflicts between herders and farmers in West Africa, organised by the ECOWAS Commission and the Government of Nigeria.”