wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08ABUJA1549
2008-08-06 16:21:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

NIGERIAN MFA SAYS BAKASSI HANDOVER PROCEEDING AS

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PBTS  PHSA  ASEC  CM  NI 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUJA #1549 2191621
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061621Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3580
INFO RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE PRIORITY 0324
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 9732
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
						C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 001549 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, AF/C, INR/AA
DOE FOR GEORGE PERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PBTS PHSA ASEC CM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIAN MFA SAYS BAKASSI HANDOVER PROCEEDING AS
SCHEDULED

REF: A. ABUJA 1543 AND PREVIOUS

B. YAOUNDE 762 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Acting DCM Walter Pflaumer for reasons 1.4. (b & d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 001549

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, AF/C, INR/AA
DOE FOR GEORGE PERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PBTS PHSA ASEC CM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIAN MFA SAYS BAKASSI HANDOVER PROCEEDING AS
SCHEDULED

REF: A. ABUJA 1543 AND PREVIOUS

B. YAOUNDE 762 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Acting DCM Walter Pflaumer for reasons 1.4. (b & d).


1. (C) On August 6, A/DCM spoke with Amb. Chike Anigbo, MFA
African Affairs Department Director (A/S equivalent) to
discuss whether the handover of the Bakassi peninsula to
Cameroon might be delayed by the court case against the
handover recently filed by Bakassi residents (see ref A).
Anigbo insisted that, in the MFA's view, the ICJ ruling
trumps any ruling coming out of the Nigerian Federal High
Court, and expressed confidence that the Justice Ministry
would be able to act to counter the High Court ruling in time
for the handover of Bakassi to proceed as planned on August

14. He said the Yar'Adua government considered itself
committed to the UNSC to carry out the ICJ ruling and the
Greentree Agreement, a position which had already been
conveyed to the GRC.


2. (C) In a later conversation, A/DCM asked Tony Eze, MFA
East and Central Africa Division Director (Office Director
equivalent), about preparations for the handover, and about
any formal ceremony being planned. Eze said the GON was
planning a ceremony for August 14, but had not yet agreed
with the government of Cross River State on the location. He
did not expect these discussions to be completed until
meetings scheduled to take place in Calabar this coming
weekend. While appropriate representatives from the GON and
GRC had been invited to attend the ceremony, he did not know
if the witnesses to Greentree (the U.S., UK and France) would
be asked to do so. He did expect a UN representative as well
as Prince Bola Ajibola, Chairman of the Nigeria-Cameroon
Mixed Commission. (Note: Ajibola, a former Nigerian Justice
Minister, told journalists August 5 that "Nigeria has never
owned Bakassi, ... though we must admit that our people took
possession of its western strip." He added that Nigerian
honoring the ICJ ruling was "a matter of international law."
End note.)


3. (C) According to our British colleagues here, the FCO in
London was contacted by the UN and told that a handover
ceremony would take place in Abana, on the Bakassi peninsula.
(FYI: according to our largest maps, Abana is located about
30km south of Calabar on the southwest side of the peninsula
and about 10km inside what all will now recognize to be
Cameroonian territory. It is only reachable by boat. End
FYI.) The British High Commission is recommending to London
that HMG send no representative, given the security situation
in the vicinity of Bakassi.


4. (C) Comment: While we remain hopeful the handover will
proceed as scheduled, we certainly cannot exclude the
possibility that the court case could delay it. We have an
August 7 meeting scheduled with the Special Assistant to the
Attorney General, and will attempt to learn more about the
GON's legal strategy then. End comment.
PIASCIK