Nigeria and Cameroon to Meet in Geneva Over Bakassi Dispute

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, will host a summit between Nigeria and Cameroon in Geneva later this week to discuss the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice over the Bakassi Peninsula.

Obasanjo has said Nigeria could not accept the Hague court ruling because it was not in its national interest. But he expressed confidence on Monday in Abuja that the two sides would not resort to war and confirmed he would meet Biya in Geneva.

Annan, who met both leaders near Paris in September, invited them to meet with him again after the ruling. "This has now been agreed with all concerned," a brief U.N. statement said. Ownership of the disputed area 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.

The court decided the land boundary had been set by treaties entered into between European colonial powers Germany and Britain before World War One and it upheld the validity of those pacts. It also called on Nigeria to swiftly withdraw its officials, military and police from the territory of 400 square miles.