Ondoa pie Guillaume Patrick / 2020 06 01 /
Department of Political Science, University of Yaounde II-Soa,
Abstract: This paper is an evaluation of the public policies undertaken by the Cameroonian government in Bakassi Peninsula in the framework of the Greentree agreements in 2006, which clearly defined the responsibilities of each country (Nigeria and the Cameroon) as a necessity of peacebuilding in the gulf of Guinea. This article is also an analysis of the socioeconomic issues within the framework of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals where Cameroon has made a high level vision by taking a more active part in development issues. At the first part, this paper analyzed the legal arrangements for the retrocession of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon and the applicability of the judgment of the 10th October 2002 and the Greentree Agreements of June 12, 2006 in the second part. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the growing body of work that still affect the expansion of sociopolitical, economic and managerial strategy regarding the geopolitical position of Cameroon.
Keywords: Greentree Agreement, Lekunze Commission, Bakassi Peninsula
WE TALK ABOUT BUILDING OR REBUILDING BAKASSI?
This analysis is of undeniable political and strategic interest because it allows us to judge the applicability of the agreement in the realization of Cameroon’s public policies. Our method of analysis was based on a study trip on the site in question where we touched the reality and the daily life of the people. Our backdrop will be to present on the one hand the modalities of surrender of the peninsula of Bakassi, the public policies undertaken by the Cameroonian State in the spirit of the Lekunze Commission, and some recommendations on the other hand.
2. Method of Research
Participatory Research and Questionnaire are the approaches we used to collect our informations and inputs. We used a range of techniques which was to include multi stakeholders in order to create on them a perspective into public process and socioeconomic development.
3. Legal arrangements for the Retrocession of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.
These legal modalities are the mobilizing expression of the international community on the border dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Cameroon. Before we dwell on the legal process, it will be wise for us to make a brief reminder of the facts and the applicability of the judgment of 10th October 2002 Greentree Agreements.
3.1. A BRIEF REMINDER OF THE FACTS: THE STATE OF THE DISPUTE.
According to the recommendations of the Charter of the United Nations, States or parties to the dispute are requested to go through six Peaceful means of conflict resolution since then, Cameroon has undertaken commissions of inquiry in order to set the guidelines and to come into possession of the zone.
The peninsula of Bakassi, zone of lust between the two belligerents was invaded by Nigeria in 1993, this Nigerian invasion led to the provisional measures of the International Court of Justice three years later, this goes through multiple Meetings and joint commissions that have led to the appointment by the Court of twelve members, thus six Cameroonians and six Nigerians, destined to meet alternately in Yaoundé and Abuja. The Special representative of KOFFI ANAN (former Secretary of the United Nations) for West Africa based in Dakar, Mr. Abraham Ould-Abdallah was designated as the representative of the United Nations, the aim being to pave the way for the implementation of the relevant provisions of the court’s verdict. At the meeting in Geneva on 31st January 2004 the two heads of state and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations noted with satisfaction the significant progress achieved with the adoption of a detailed programmed of work up to the horizon 2005; withdrawal Without clashes of the civil administration of the army and the police forces of the region of Lake Chad, the transfer of authority to the Cameroonian part. This meeting allows us to put in place certain perspectives such as strengthening confidence-building measures (Invitation of Mr. Good luck Jonathan by Mr. Biya Paul at the parade of May 20, 2010, we also note an exchange of ambassador and the opening of consulates along the common border, an existence of joint patrols by securityforces while respecting the spirit of the International Court of Justice on the clauses of conservatory measures and non-aggression.
3.2. THE APPLICABILITY OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE 10TH OCTOBER 2002 AND THE GREENTREE AGREEMENTS OF JUNE 12, 2006
The question that comes to mind is whether the judgment of the International court followed by the Agreements So far the unanimity between the two parties. In accordance with the ICJ’s judgment the sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula is recognized by Nigeria and Cameroon. Nigeria recognizes the land and maritime border as delimited by the decision and agrees to continue the implementation process which has already started. Under the auspices of the Court’s judgment, the agreements that come to clarify the demarcation of the border were signed in New York.
This has assigned to each State party a roadmap to follow until the end of these agreements. The agreement is foreseeing an end to this dispute because they clearly give a general view on the complexity of the situation where, Greentree Agreements Leave While acknowledging Cameroon’s sovereignty over Bakassi, they give it a special status. These agreements provide both parties with a guarantee of compliance with the terms of these agreements by removing Nigerian forces from the area as a first step and subsequently from the Nigerian administration. These agreements require the parties to respect the Work of the Joint Commission within the framework of the demarcation as well as the respect of the rights of citizens living in the region.
Although the Greentree Agreements implement all the provisions of the Nigerian populations of Bakassi, they do not leave full powers in Cameroon over the area because these agreements guarantee that these people have the right to own the land while retaining their Nigerian nationality and being for that purpose administered by the Nigerian administration; This situation cannot be explained by international law. Thus, after the official ceremony of definitive transfer of authority in the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon by Nigeria in accordance with the agreements in the presence of representatives of four control states at Calabar, it was agreed that by 2013, Cameroon will have a complete administration over the peninsula. However, Cameroon will have to tackle the complexity of the environment; Complexity that is explained by the extension of the Calabar to the Atlantic Ocean, previously administered by the Federal Republic of Nigeria has certainly developed groups of pirates in the area and thus insecurity.
4. PUBLIC POLICIES UNDERTAKEN BY THE CAMEROONIAN STATE: ROAD MAP DRAWN UP BY THE GREENTREE AGREEMENTS OF 12 JUNE 2006
The public policies undertaken by the State of Cameroon are nothing more than the fulfillment of the tasks defined in the spirit of the provisional measures of the International Court of Justice and the birth of several commissions among other’s the Lekunze Commission which defines the beacons in terms of the realization of these policies. Thus, in the light of this Commission, we will be discussing or at least taking a critical look between these public policies and their materialization on the ground; this through the various sites that make up the Bakassi peninsula.
4.1. THE LEKUNZE COMMISSION
This Commission was born in the aftermath of the signing of the Greentree Agreements for a good application of the clauses during the transfer of authority Cameroon. The Lekunzecommission is baptized by Jacob Lekunze, Special Adviser Defined during the transfer of authority to Cameroon. From 2008 to 2009, the Prime Minister of Cameroon and Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Cameroon Lekunze Commission Defined the need of the populations of Bakassi, promised that the planned projects will be carried out i.e. the integrated health centers, the gendarmerie companies, as well as the restraining houses for officers.
This Commission did not only defined and directed government policy; it equally played a supervisory role as it reassured the effectiveness of the construction of the area. The Lekunze Commission is therefore a lever for development on Bakassi because it establishes the rules on the security level, it is in fact what allows the setting up Of BIR DELTAin a permanent way it is for this reason that the Chairman of the Committee insisted on the operation of Deterrence: The population census of Bakassi. The Commission also aims to ensure social cohesion by ruling on respect for the rights of the people, their social assistance and their supervision. The Committee is mobilized every month for the verification of work on the site and the daily lives of the people; at the educational level, the Commission has agreed with the European Union through military engineering on the realization of social infrastructures of about 2.3 billion CFA francs. The Commission proposed in 2009 that when voting on the budget of the Cameroonian state, we should integrate the needs of the populations of Bakassi because since the 14 August 2008 this zone is now under Cameroon administration. The Commission is thus seen as a guarantee of respect for the legal bases of international Law of 10 October 2002. According to the dispute resolution mechanisms, the Commission plays a key role in the border dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria, as it reinforces the principle of non-use of force by establishing themeans of confidence between the two states; it also contributes to the establishment of a climate of good neighborliness and respect for individual rights and freedoms. Since the establishment of this Commission, we have asked ourselves a number of questions, whose content is as follows: Are the public policies of the State of Cameroon on the Bakassi Peninsula effective? What has been done specifically on the site and what remains to be done? We will talk about construction rather than reconstruction of Bakassi? In response to the above questions, we will proceed with the analysis of the different localities of the Bakassi Peninsula.
4.2. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC POLICIES IN THE DIFFERENT LOCALITIES OF THE BAKASSI PENINSULA
These public policies are the prerogative of public investment as set out in the Lekunze Commission. To ensure this effectiveness, we went through the following localities:
(1) The locality of Issobo
The population of this locality is mostly Nigerian, the main ethnic group here being known as « Idjo ». Before the handover, Nigeria left important electrical installations, a gendarmerie brigade and a primary school, but with the departure of Nigeria, Cameroon has rehabilitated all these buildings to allow a better adaptability of the population.
However we find that these buildings are completely abandoned. In addition, most of the students are almost absent because they’re assigned to the fishing activity.
(2) The Rio site
Unlike Issobo, the Rio site is the Logistics Base for the BIR DELTA where most activities such as shipboard repair shops are concentrated in the event that they suffered damage during navigation; we also have a bakery for the manufacture of bread, cold rooms for food conservation and a water treatment centre.
However the site is limited in supply given the extent and the number of consumers. At the water Treatment center level it turns out that the water supply capacity remains smaller as well as the packing bottles.
(3) The locality of Akwa
The peculiarity of this site is that Mundemba is passing through Kombo Abedimo directly by the road site. Thus, on 23rd March 2010, the Division general, chief of the Armed Forces, RENE CLAUDE MEKA inauguration the Mundemba – Akwa Road passing via Issangele, 75km section with half a dozen bridges.
In terms of education and health, the government and its partners will have to ensure the construction and rehabilitation of a good number of primary and nursery schools (testimony of Elisabeth ISele, Mayor of Mundemba), on this subject, after the inauguration In 2008 of a school and a health centre, the European Union signed a contract with engineers of 2, 6 billion on the realization of social infrastructure in this locality. The site of Akwa is also a place that marks the birth of Greentree Agreements. However, we notice the almost uninhabited penalty housing, a neglect of the plaque marking the day and the year in which the Bakassi Peninsula was transferred to Cameroon.
(4) The locality of Jabané
As we have already pointed out, the population here is predominantly Nigerian and therefore the main ethnic groups are the « Edupkpono », the « AKPAGAYA ».
On the strategic level, Jabané was the former logistics base for the forces of BIR DELTA but given the problems of boat docking and the phenomenon of piracy, this was reassigned to Issobo.
On the social front, the government undertook through BIR DELTA and other defense forces, a supply of drinking water for the villagers. In 2009, this locality was the victim of a fire seen the straw constructions and a supply of Fuel that is used to start the canoes. As a result, the Cameroonian State has embarked on the reconstruction of the new housing for the victims. Jabanéis also full of a gendarmerie brigade which is in cooperation with the other Defence Forces ensures the safety of the people the peculiarity being just that the complaints are made in an oral manner, so the gendarmerie does not have Real equipment for the suspect in the event of a serious crime.
On the educational and health front, the government has invested in the construction of hospitals and primary schools.
(5) The site of IDABATO
This site is known by the fluctuating activity of fishing. Under the auspices of the Lekunze Commission, in terms of public investment sector, Idabato benefits from a C. E. S., a gendarmerie brigade, administration blocks, washrooms, an integrated health centre, and a border police service.
However, we notice that the sea is moving toward the locality due to the phenomenon of climate change and the people are expressing their fear toward this situation; we have the inefficiency of the administrative staff, the classrooms almost empty.
(6) Strategic site of Rio Del Rey (oil field).
This site is of vital interests to Cameroon because it’s located in the full oil field in the High Sea. It is guarded by elements of the BIR DELTA, the DELTA POLICE and the Marine Forces which are responsible of the security in this strategic area. However, we observe a real difficulty in the traceability of maritime borders, which makes it difficult to comply with the principles of the Law of the Sea.
For an effective occupation of the peninsula it will be necessary to:
a- Encourage the Cameroonian population to stay there and develop other activities outside fishery, which until now has been the main activity: For instance; Agriculture.
b-Regarding the logistics of the BIR DELTA force, there will be an increase in the number of Mechanics and electricians in maintenance workshops and boats. It will also be necessary to increase the number of patrol boats (Nautica) in order to improve the security of the Cameroonian coasts in general and the Bakassi Peninsula in particular.
c-On the social level, the Cameroonian government should increase housing units for gendarmerie personnel, as well as an increase in the points of abduction in drinking water in order to eradicate certain diseases such as cholera.
d- On the health side, it will be advisable for the government to arrange not only the health centers, but also to put in place sensitization systems on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV AIDS, for example the use of condoms.
e- On the security front, the government must consider a high level of awareness regarding safety measures in view of the repetition of the number of fires (Jabané, Idabato). It will also be necessary to consider the construction of a dam to avoid the recurrent rise of the waters on the locality of Idabato.
f-For the smooth operation of Greentree Agreements, the Cameroonian Government should, through the Recruitment of the twenty five thousand employees of the public service, increase the number of staff by introducing a rotation system of these employees (at least two years) in order to mitigate the phenomenon of corruption.
g- We also propose that Cameroon should exercise its sovereignty with a limitation stemming from the right of harmless passage accorded to foreign vessels in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Sea.
Here we are at the end of our analysis focused on post-conflict reconstruction policies. This study enabled us to question the effectiveness of the policies undertaken by the State of Cameroon after the Signature of Greentree Agreements on June 12, 2006 in NEW YORK, when we know that these agreements have drawn each party concern, a roadmap to follow. As a result of our trip in the peninsula, we realized that there was a need to talk about construction of the Bakassi Peninsula rather than the Reconstruction.
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