African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 392

Full Length Research Paper

Icj Judgment On Bakassi Peninsula And Lake Chad: Litmus Test For Peace And Integration In Africa

Ambily Etekpe
Department of Political Science, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 August 2013
  •  Published: 30 September 2013


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled against Nigeria on the disputed Bakassi (Backassey) Peninsula and parts of Lake Chad territory with Cameroun on 10 October 2002, and Nigerian government has complied to a large extent. Ordinarily, the case has been foreclosed from further discussion.  But, like any other human judgment, it has created its own problem bordering on security and integration of West African sub region and Africa.  The paper argues that this has necessitated the opening of two “windows” for revisiting the case, i.e., conducting a referendum, and consideration of additional 5 colonial/post-colonial treaties earlier ignored.  The fear here is that France may block re-opening the case in the Security Council by relying on the doctrine of “peace at all cost”. Notwithstanding, the study argues that there is merit in re-opening the case. The study adopts the “doctrine of collective security and peaceful settlement” framework, and applies secondary data collection method. The method was complemented by interviews of the affected indigenous communities and stakeholders; and finds that ICJ is not the appropriate forum to resolve such a political issue. It then recommends a diplomatic-negotiation paradigm to prevent an imminent Nigeria and Cameroun war1


Key words: Bakassi Peninsula, Lake Chad, Treaty, Sovereignty, Peace, and Integration.