Nigeria and Cameroun have agreed to expedite the process for the demarcation of land-based areas, which are yet to be identified in the Bakassi Peninsula.
This was after a United Nations-backed meeting between officials of both countries in Abuja ended last weekend. The meeting was the 30th in a series of meetings on the implementation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgement on the demarcation of the peninsula between the two countries.
According to a statement by the UN headquarters in New York, the joint technical team of surveyors and other experts would be in the peninsula by February 2013 to speed up the process and to commence the pillar emplacement project.
The Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Ambassador Said Djinnit, at the meeting, said addressing the needs of the affected citizens of both countries should be given priority.
This, he said, would not only give a human face to the technical and political processes of the demarcation but would help to foster lasting peace among the communities in the region.
He called for intensified projects in infrastructure, food security, energy and environment, as well as education and capacity building for employment for the affected population.
"The meeting in Abuja also stressed the importance of the fourth component of the mandate, which is addressing the needs of the population affected by the demarcation through confidence-building initiatives and cross border socio-economic projects," the statement said.
Djinnit, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, congratulated Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and his Camerounian counterpart, President Paul Biya, for their unwavering commitment to the peaceful implementation of the ICJ judgement.
To date, more than 1,845 kilometres out of a total boundary distance believed to exceed 2,000 kilometres, have been located on the ground by the joint technical team.
The demarcation of the land boundary is the third component of the mandate of the commission, UNOWA noted. The two countries agreed on the delimitation of the maritime border in 2007, and the withdrawal and transfer of authority in the Lake Chad area, along the land border and in Bakassi Peninsula, was finalised in 2008.