Nigeria Denounces Ruling Over Control of Bakassi Peninsula

The Nigerian government has denounced the ruling that grants control of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon. The Nigerian government is accusing the judges of colonial-era bias.

Nigeria, in a statement issued on Tuesday, accused French, English and German court officials of manipulating the court in favor of their respective countries. "These judges, as citizens of the colonial powers whose action had come under scrutiny, have acted as judges in their own cause and thereby rendered their judgment virtually null and void," it said. The October 10 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague was based on "a legal position which is contrary to all known laws and conventions", said the statement.

The Nigerian government had previously said it accepted the court's decision but added the judgment would not affect the nation's oil and gas reserves.

Cameroon and Nigeria have been fighting over the rights to the Bakassi Peninsula since 1993. Ownership of the Bakassi peninsula in the Gulf of Guinea has implications for fishing and oil rights offshore. It is also of strategic importance for Nigerian naval access to the Atlantic.

In Septemberboth countries agreed to abide by the court's judgment and agreed to end hostilities after talks with the United Nations. The court, which ruled that the maritime boundary between the states should be fixed in line with two declarations the countries made in 1971 and 1975, called on Nigeria to withdraw its officials, military and police swiftly.

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