19 Apr Greentree Agreement between Nigeria and Cameroon
The Greentree Agreement Between Nigeria and Cameroon: A Landmark in International Diplomacy
The Greentree Agreement is a landmark agreement signed on June 12, 2006, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon to resolve a long-standing border dispute between the two countries. The dispute was over the ownership of the Bakassi Peninsula, an oil-rich region on the Gulf of Guinea.
The dispute dates back to the colonial era when Nigeria and Cameroon were both under British rule. In 1913, the British colonial authorities drew a boundary between the two territories, which placed the Bakassi Peninsula within Nigerian territory. However, in 1975, Cameroon contested the boundary, claiming that the Bakassi Peninsula was historically part of its territory.
The dispute led to a series of violent clashes between the two countries, and the international community intervened to find a peaceful solution. The United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) were involved in the mediation process, which eventually led to the Greentree Agreement.
The agreement was named after the Greentree Estate in New York, where the talks between the two countries took place. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by Kofi Annan, the then Secretary-General of the UN.
The Greentree Agreement outlined the modalities for the transfer of sovereignty over the Bakassi Peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon. The agreement provided for a phased withdrawal of Nigerian troops from the disputed territory, the establishment of a Joint Border Commission to demarcate the boundary, and the protection of the rights of the people living in the area.
The agreement also provided for the establishment of a trust fund to provide economic and social development assistance to the affected communities in both Nigeria and Cameroon.
The implementation of the Greentree Agreement was not without challenges. There were concerns over the fate of the Nigerian citizens living in the Bakassi Peninsula, and questions were raised about the compensation to be paid to them. There were also issues over the demarcation of the boundary, which required technical expertise and significant financial resources.
However, despite the challenges, the Greentree Agreement remains a model for conflict resolution in Africa and beyond. It demonstrated the power of diplomacy and the willingness of countries to resolve disputes peacefully.
The Greentree Agreement is a testament to the important role of international organizations such as the UN and the AU in promoting peace and security in the world. It also underscores the importance of dialogue and cooperation in resolving complex issues that threaten regional and international stability.
In conclusion, the Greentree Agreement is a significant achievement in the history of Nigeria and Cameroon. It serves as a reminder that peaceful resolution of disputes is possible through dialogue and diplomacy. The successful implementation of the agreement has set a precedent for other countries to follow, and it remains an inspiration to many who are working towards the promotion of peace and stability in Africa and beyond.