- At least 10 insurgents and two Cameroonian troops were killed in a rebel attack yesterday, in long disputed oil rich Bakassi peninsula which Nigeria is transferring after world court order, Cameroon’s defense minister said.
Minister Remy Ze Meka said his troops had fought off an attack by men in three speed boats.
Spokesman for Niger Delta Defense and Security Council (NDDSC), Mr Ebi Dari, an organization opposing Cameroonian ownership of peninsular, confirmed its fighters were behind the raid.
Mr Dari said his group would continue to launch attacks in the area until Cameroon and Nigeria agreed to renegotiate World Court ruling that recognised Cameroon's ownership of Bakassi without seeking consent of the indigenous populations of the area.
The attack was the second on Cameroonian positions in Bakassi within a week by NDDSC, whose members attacked security patrol in peninsula area over the weekend.
Nigerian forces are due to complete their long-delayed full withdrawal from Bakassi in mid-August to comply with a 2002 World Court order.
But some Nigerians are opposed to handover, including some local inhabitants, most of whom are fishermen. Some Nigerian politicians also voiced their opposition to the handover last year.
Bakassi has been plagued by rebel attacks with recent incidence which involved a local government official and five Cameroonian soldiers abducted in the same area, whose bodies were later found mutilated and almost decomposing several days after the abduction.
Rich in offshore oil, Bakassi peninsula is disputed between Cameroon and neighboring oil giant Nigeria. A 2002 ruling by the International Court of Justice officially ended the border dispute, giving the peninsula to Cameroon. Nigerian government handed over peninsula in August 2006.
Since then, a United Nations-led commission has been handing over pieces of the territory to Cameroon. Handover is expected to end 14 August, bringing to an end a dispute led to a series of bloody clashes between West African neighbours in 1990s.
While Nigeria and Cameroon are sourcing crude oil from peninsula and its offshore areas, increasing insurgency attacks are devastating Nigeria-Cameroon efforts to return the acclaimed land.
The peninsula has been administered by Nigeria since independence from Britain in 1960.
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