Page 115 - Atouts Economiques Cameroun-2019-GB
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                 However, leaders of the two countries cannot afford to rest on their laurels as it is true that peace in Bakassi as elsewhere is an ongoing quest, a work never completed. In this respect, the “After Calabar” calls for a strengthening of trade and cooperation between Yaoundé and Abuja. Fully aware of the fact that borders do not constitute sufficient grounds for confrontation bet- ween African countries already experiencing the pangs of poverty and disease, Cameroon and Nigeria are now facing their new challenges.
New projects: Intensifying and strengthening bilateral cooperation, opening a new chapter in the pediment of the long-standing friendship that binds the two friendly and brotherly countries are high in the list of the projects to be carried out. And again, no one should be fooled. The battle is not a foregone conclusion. Instead, the task is arduous and the road full of pitfalls. Yet it is a requirement, the pathway to the guarantee of a better future for Africa.
The Nigerian withdrawal from the Bakassi Peninsula is a victory of law and diplomacy over strength. It is an example that is gaining ground; it gives concrete expression to the determination of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Paul Biya to work for a full implementation of the judgment of the International Court of Justice. With the with- drawal of Nigerian troops from Bakassi, Abuja implemented an outstanding act of trust that
should usher in a new era of peace and coope- ration between the two capitals. Bakassi that was for many years a bone of contention between Nigeria and Cameroon has become a strong symbol of peace and brotherhood.
In addition to the withdrawal of Abuja’s troops from the peninsula of Bakassi, it should be noted that two important milestones were reached in the process of normalization between Cameroon and Nigeria. In 2003 and 2004, the withdrawal of public services, armed forces and police as well as the transfer of authority took place in the Lake Chad area where 33 villages were transferred from Nigeria to Cameroon, and 3 from Cameroon to Nigeria. As for the delimitation work of the land border of 1600 km long, from Lake Chad to the Bakassi Peninsula, it has started and is going on with the financial and technical support from partners of Abuja and Yaoundé.
Throughout the border dispute settlement process between Nigeria and Cameroon, President Paul Biya was able to keep cool, even when spirits were warmed as aftermath of the invasion of the peninsula of Bakassi by the Nigerian army. Although the territorial sovereignty of Cameroon was infringed upon, Paul Biya opted for a pea- ceful settlement. His approach was based on the fact that everything is settled with time. The Head of State of Cameroon who is favourable to pea- ceful solution by nature even ventured to take action against a fringe of national opinion, playing the card of international law against that of armed confrontation. The accuracy of this choice is today evidenced.
President Paul Biya certainly played a key role in the peaceful implementation of the verdict of the International Court of Justice, but it is worth noting that it may not have been easy to reach the cur- rent result without unequivocal commitment of President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and the personal involvement of UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan during the process. The action of the three individuals is in keeping with a synergy involving the United States, France, Britain and Germany.
As an innovative approach in the resolution of conflicts between States, the Joint Committee Nigeria- Cameroon allowed both states to main- tain between each other dialogue opportunity to interact and gradually overcome obstacles to the implementation of the ICJ judgment with the sup- port of the United Nations. Chaired by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the World Organization, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, the Joint Committee Nigeria-Cameroon was man- dated to cover the following aspects:
President Biya has always committed to good neighbourly relations

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