Effects Of International Law And State’s Sovereignty On The Resolution Of The Nigeria Cameroun Boundary Dispute

Project and Seminar Material for International Relations

Effects Of International Law And State’s Sovereignty On The Resolution Of The Nigeria Cameroun Boundary Dispute


The discovery of oil reserves in the water surrounding Bakassi peninsula subjected it to claims and counter-claims for sovereignty, military occupation and recourse to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on March 1999. Then on October 2002 ICJ delivered its judgment that sovereignty over Bakassi did rest with Cameroun. The growth of the nation of sovereignty and the independent nation state require an acceptable method whereby interstate relations could be conducted in accordance with commonly acceptable standard of behavour, and international law. Subsequent to the resolution of the dispute over land maritime boundary between Nigeria and cameroun, Nigeria Government was faced with the problem of resettling Nigeria in the Bakassi peninsula.

Therefore the aim of this study is to examine the present legal right and sovereignty of Nigeria in the affected area. This research will examine the resolution of the International Court of Justice on the Nigeria-cameroun boundary dispute with a view to pointing out the effects of international law and state sovereignty on the said resolution. This work therefore is a product of the study of the role of ICJ in the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary dispute. To this effect, we ascertained how the implementation of ICJ adjudication on the Bakassi peninsula undermined the human right of Bakassi citizens. How economic interest of Nigeria and Cameroon undermined the peaceful settlement of the Bakassi Peninsula border conflict. We employed the David Easton systems theory as our analytical framework to provide a conceptual foundation for the study. Our method of data collection and analysis are qualitative and qualitative descriptive method respectively.

In the final analysis, we posited facts presented by both parties the conduct of plebiscite that will take into cognizance the human right of the Bakassi, citizen would have been more effective in the settlement of the dispute. Moreso ICJ taken into congnize of all treaties as concerned Bakassi Peninsula issue would have guranted fair hearing which is the cardinal principle of law. Thus the ICJ ignored all these treaties and only relied on 1913 Treaty and Hendersoon Flenrian exchange of notes in 1931 on Bakassi judgment.

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