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December 2, 2012

Leaked Syrian government emails indicate weapons supplied to Hamas

Leaked Syrian government emails indicate weapons supplied to Hamas

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

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Emails allegedly hacked from Syrian government accounts, leaked onto the Internet, indicate Iran and Syria are supplying weapons made in Ukraine and Belarus to Hamas in Palestine.

One of the leaked letters from the Syrian Embassy in Tehran, requesting Iranian tourist visas for the Syrian Ambassador’s brother and son, who have Romanian citizenship.
Image: Syrian Embassy.

The online activist group known as Anonymous takes responsibility for the leak, which comprises over 2,000 emails and other files totaling around 1 gigabyte. The leak is part of Anonymous’ ongoing campaign known as ‘#OpSyria’ or ‘Operation Syria’ on the social networking website Twitter.

On Monday at 2030 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), ‘Par:AnoIA,’ one of many Twitter accounts connected to Anonymous, stated that the group would “release a stash of Syrian Government emails in the next 24h, featuring Kofi Annan correspondence, cash & weapon deliveries.” Three hours later the same user announced a leak of “1 Gigabyte [of] internal emails from [the] Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs” onto the internet.

The first email leaked was called a “teaser”, from the Syrian embassy in Tehran on November 20, to the British embassy in Belarus. In the communique, the embassy confirms the Iranians are supplying helicopters and Ukrainian made weapons to Hamas, which operates mostly from the Gaza Strip in Palestine. “1.2D projectiles of Ukraine origin found in Egypt and Syria” are some of the weapons being sent to Palestine along with “EC725 Helicopters“.

“Since 2008 Iran is the main transit point for Palestine armament”, says the email. It also goes on to say the weapons are made in Ukraine as part of “2008 arms trade operations sanctioned by The [Ukrainian] Minister of Defense Anatoly Gritsenko.

Although evidence could suggest Iran’s willingness to supply arms to Hamas, in a report compiled on November 2, by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Iran is trying to stop weapons from being sent into Syria for the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The report quotes Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who called for the FSA “to lay down their arms to be able to deliver their demands to the Syrian government.”((ar)) In regards to the civil war in Syria, Khamenei went on to say that if outside entities “were to provide the opponents in every country of weapons from outside the country, it is natural that the regime responds to opponents”((ar)).

This is not the first time Anonymous has hacked into Syrian government email accounts. In February, the group hacked into 78 Syrian government email accounts and leaked the usernames and passwords associated with them. The accounts accessed reportedly belonged to aides of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. One of the leaked emails, allegedly written by a press aide at Syria’s mission at the UN in New York named Sheherazad Jaafari, talks about Assad’s preparation for a December 2011 television interview with ABC NewsBarbara Walters. In it, Jaafari wrote about ways the Syrian president might be able to manipulate the television audience.

“The American audience doesn’t really care about reforms. They won’t understand it and they are not interested to do so…. American Psyche can be easily manipulated when they hear that there are ‘mistakes’ done and now we are ‘fixing it.’ … Its[sic] worth mentioning also what is happening now in Wall Street [Occupy Wall Street] and the way the demonstrations are been suppressed by police men, police dogs and beatings,” wrote Jaafari.



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October 10, 2009

Former UN head Annan warns Kenya over future poll violence

Former UN head Annan warns Kenya over future poll violence

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

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In parting remarks made after a three-day visit to Kenya late on Wednesday, former UN chief Kofi Annan warned that the country risks returning to ethnic clashes if reforms are not implemented.

Kofi Annan

“My conversations with Kenyans during the last three days have underscored that there is a crisis of confidence in Kenya’s political leadership,” Annan said. “Only Kenya’s politicians can solve that crisis. I urge them to listen to the voices of Kenyans.”

Annan said that he had noted some progress on the reform agenda but warned that time was running out.

Politically-fueled ethnic tensions flared up in early 2008 following a disputed presidential election, plunging Kenya into weeks of deadly turmoil.

Flown in to mediate the crisis, Annan led the two sides to a power-sharing agreement that made incumbent candidate Mwai Kibaki president and his rival, Raila Odinga, prime minister. The deal brought an end to the clashes, but has resulted in a bloated coalition government unchallenged by a real political opposition.

As part of the agreement between the two principle rivals, the new government agreed to undergo a far-reaching reform agenda to prevent the tensions from boiling over in the next election. Critics claim that the government has not followed through on its commitments, an accusation the government strongly denies.

“Kenya is already at — or past — the halfway mark between the formation of the Coalition Government and the next electoral cycle. Kenya cannot afford a recurrence of the crisis and violence that engulfed it after the 2007 election. But that is a serious risk if tangible reform is not achieved,” Annan said, warning that the government’s term is already halfway expired and the 2012 elections are quickly approaching.

Overshadowing the former UN chief’s remarks was a BBC report released on Wednesday that claimed that ethnic groups in the regions most hit by the 2008 violence are now stockpiling guns to prepare for 2012.

The 2008 conflict, the nation’s worst since its independence more than 45 years ago, was carried out chiefly by machete-wielding gangs in the slums and in the affected rural areas by tribal militias armed primarily with spears and bows and arrows.

Hassan Omar, vice chairman of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, said that his group has also received reports about groups purchasing firearms but has as yet been unable to independently verify the claims.

“The allegations are becoming more and more credible,” Omar said. “The Kenya National Commission [on Human Rights] did have these allegations, and we had not necessarily undertaken the time of investigation or documentation towards proving their existence.”

According to the private fears expressed by a senior parliamentary official, another flare-up similar to the 2008 turmoil has the potential to fragment the nation into regional power-centers run by tribal warlords, given the country’s current political climate and simmering ethnic tensions.

However, Kenyan cabinet minister William Ruto, a political leader of one of the ethnic groups named by the BBC report for buying the guns, dismissed the claims as rumors. “The people making these allegations should either come forward with substance to their claims, or they should shut up,” said Ruto; “I don’t think rumor mongering is going to take this country anywhere.”

The United States has threatened fifteen senior Kenyan officials with travel bans if the reform process is perceived as continuing to stall.



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February 28, 2008

Kenyan government and opposition agree on power sharing

Kenyan government and opposition agree on power sharing

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

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The heads of the government and opposition in Kenya have signed a power sharing agreement aimed at ending the crisis over December’s disputed elections. The agreement was reached after a day of talks mediated by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Chairman of the African Union Jakaya Kikwete.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga signed the agreement before international diplomats and representatives of the Kenyan government and opposition.

Chief mediator Kofi Annan said that the two leaders had agreed on a government structure after five hours of intensive talks.

“I am pleased to be able to tell you and all the citizens of Kenya that the two parties this afternoon completed the work on agenda item three, how to overcome the political crisis,” he said.

The two sides agreed to the creation of the posts of prime minister and two deputy prime ministers. The prime minister is accorded authority over the ministries. The prime minister is to be nominated by the largest party or coalition in parliament and can only be removed by a majority vote of the national assembly. The accord also calls for distribution of the ministerial posts according to the relative strength of each party in parliament. And it calls for the changes to be enacted by constitutional amendment, a major demand of the opposition. The Prime Minister post has gone to Odinga.

Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga pledged to ensure that the accord is implemented and called for unity among all Kenyans. Mr. Annan commended the two parties, saying they reached a common position for the good of the nation. And he had a message for the citizens of Kenya.

“Compromise was necessary for the survival of this country,” he said. “Support this agreement, for it is the key to the unity of Kenya. It is the foundation for national reconciliation and it is the springboard for national recovery.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement calling the signing of the power-sharing agreement a “a triumph for peace and diplomacy.”

“Kenya’s leaders have reached a power-sharing agreement that represents a triumph for peace and diplomacy, and a renunciation of the violence that has scarred a country of such enormous potential. Common sense has prevailed, and the Kenyan people have the outcome for which they have hoped and prayed,” the statement said.

Cquote1.svg Support this agreement, for it is the key to the unity of Kenya. It is the foundation for national reconciliation and it is the springboard for national recovery. Cquote2.svg

—Former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan

Brown also thanked Kofi Annan for his work and urged the international community to play their part and support Kenya’s new government. Brown also noted that “Real leadership, patience and tolerance is necessary to ensure that the agreement sticks.”

Kenyans are viewing the deal skeptically, such as 56-year old refugee Paul Waweru, “The deal between Raila and Kibaki will help to cool down the situation but I doubt if it will enable us to get back to our homes.”

Diana Murugi, 72, lost her two sons in the violent fighting that has plagued Kenya since the end of the disputed elections at the close of last year.

“The coalition is about Kibaki, Raila and the big men, what about those of us here in the camp? How will I reconcile with people who killed my sons? It is impossible, even if Kibaki and Raila are in the same government,” she said.

Parliament is to convene next week to enact the measures. Mr. Annan said the negotiations would resume Friday on long-term issues such as constitutional reform and ways to end inequalities in land and wealth distribution.

The two sides have been meeting for nearly five weeks in an effort to find a political solution to the Kenya crisis. One thousand people were killed and several hundred thousand were displaced in the violence that erupted after Mr. Kibaki was declared the winner of a presidential election that the opposition says was rigged.



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December 4, 2006

Kofi Annan: Iraq situation much worse than civil war

Kofi Annan: Iraq situation much worse than civil war

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Monday, December 4, 2006

Kofi Annan

In an interview with BBC’s Lyse Doucet, retiring Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, confessed to sadness at being unable to prevent the war against Iraq. He said that although Saddam Hussein had been a brutal dictator, at least there had been peace in the streets and people were secure in their everyday lives. Saying the war had caused “killing and bitterness”, he said that the situation is now “much worse than a civil war”.

Mr Annan’s comments provoked the anger of Iraq’s national security adviser, Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie, who said he was shocked by what Kofi Annan had said and, in turn, he accused the United Nations of failing in its duty to the Iraqi people.

Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Defence Secretary and one of the architects of the invasion of Iraq by USA and Britain, admitted in a secret memorandum that the strategy in Iraq is not working properly. Just two weeks before his resignation he advocated a change in policy saying “Clearly, what US forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough”.

Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, who heads up the study group commissioned by the President to advise on the situation in Iraq referred to Iraq as being “a helluva mess”. On Wednesday, Colin Powell, former Secretary of State who was in post at the time of the invasion of Iraq, told a conference in the United Arab Emirates that Iraq was in a state of civil war. This was an opinion expressed in March by former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi.

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  • “Rumsfeld Memo Recognizes Need for ‘Major Adjustment’ in Iraq” — Wikinews, December 3, 2006

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October 17, 2006

Eritrea moves troops into UN buffer zone

Eritrea moves troops into UN buffer zone

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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On Monday, the United Nations accused Eritrea of moving some 1,500 soldiers and 14 tanks into a U.N. buffer zone, instituted six-years ago over a border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Eritrea claimed it has the right to move troops into its sovereign area. An Eritrean presidential advisor said the troops were working on development projects in the Temporary Security Zone. Ethiopia sees the action as a provocation.

A U.N. chief spokesman said that Secretary-General Kofi Annan “urges the government of Eritrea to withdraw its troops from the zone immediately, and to cooperate with the United Nations in restoring the cease-fire arrangements.” The U.N. had reduced its troops and military observers from 3,300 to 2,300 in May, and threatened late September to further reduce this number if the two countries do not move forward in their border conflict.

In 1962 the Emperor Haile Sellassie of Ethiopia annexed Eritrea, which lead to the Eritrean War of Independence, until Eritrea regained control in 1991. The current border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia started in 1998, and ended in 2000 with a peace deal that stated the countries were bound to the decision of an independent commission ruling on the border issue. Ethiopia rejected the decision and insisted on further talks. Eritrea responded by hindering the peacekeepers’ movements.

Last Sunday the Sudanese government signed a peace treaty with the united rebel groups at the Sudanese Eastern Front, at the border with Eritrea. The Eritrean government changed their position from previously being the main supporter of the rebels, to striving for a cease-fire.

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October 14, 2006

General Assembly elects Ban Ki-moon as next UN chief

General Assembly elects Ban Ki-moon as next UN chief

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ban Ki-moon

South Korean Ban Ki-moon, 68, has been endorsed unanimously by the general assembly to succeed Kofi Annan as the secretary-general of the United Nations, on October 13.

He will take the position of Secretary General on January 1.

When asked by assembly president Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa to adopt the resolution by an oral vote, the room filled with hundreds of diplomats and UN staff clapping loudly. A formal vote was not conducted as the decision was unanimous.

She banged her gavel after the vote and said, “It is so decided. I have the honor to announce that His Excellency Ban Ki-moon has been appointed by acclamation secretary-general of the United Nations. This is a historic day for the organization as it continues to evolve and live up to the values and principles of the [UN] Charter.”

At the time of the decision itself, the South Korean was the only candidate for the job – when informal polls were carried out within the UN, the other five individuals fared so badly that they all dropped out of the leadership race.

“I will work diligently to materialise our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of humanity and for the peaceful resolution of threats to international security and regional stability,” Mr. Ban told the Assembly.

“The true measure of success for the UN is not how much we promise, but how much we deliver for those who need us most.”

“The UN is needed now more than ever before.”

Mr. Ban, the first Asian Secretary General since U Thant from Burma, said he was committed to meeting U.N. Millennium Development Goals, expanding peace operations and dealing with threats posed by terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, HIV/AIDS and other pandemics, environmental degradation and protecting human rights.

He also mentioned reform of the UN, something the United States — which contributes the largest part of the budget of the UN, with 22 % , but also has arrears of 1.3 billion dollars — has long called for. However, the new Secretary General made clear that any changes would occur at his own pace.

“We reform not to please others, but because we value what this organisation stands for,” he said.

“We cannot change everything at once. But if we choose wisely, and work together transparently, flexibly and honestly, progress in a few areas will lead to progress in a few more.”

Kofi Annan, 68, described Ban as “a future secretary-general who is exceptionally attuned to the sensitivities of countries and constituencies in every continent. A man with a truly global mind at the helm of the world’s only universal organisation.”

He added that he wished Ban strength and courage as he prepared to take over the job and to “have fun along the way.”

“We believe he is the right person to lead the United Nations at this decisive moment in its history, particularly as the UN struggles to fulfill the terms of the reform agenda that world leaders agreed to last fall,” U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton told the assembly.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Gillerman said that it was good for Israel’s standing in the organization.

“If the secretary general is serious and fair and appoints underlings who are serious and fair, and the UN will be serious, clean and organized, this will be good for the Jews,” said Mr. Gillerman.

Mr Ban will hold the position for five years until the next election in 2011.

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  • “Security Council recommends Ban Ki-moon for UN Secretary-General” — Wikinews, October 10, 2006

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October 10, 2006

Security Council recommends Ban Ki-moon for UN Secretary-General

Security Council recommends Ban Ki-moon for UN Secretary-General

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations Security Council has recommended the South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-moon for appointment as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. The UN General Assembly now has to decide on the appointment. Ban Ki-moon placed ahead of India’s Shashi Tharoor, currently UN Under-Secretary-General, in informal voting by the Security Council members.

Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation will be presented to the UN General Assembly.

The current Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, said, in a statement, that he has the “highest respect for Mr. Ban, having had the pleasure of working with him both in his present capacity and when he was Chef de Cabinet to the President of the General Assembly”.

Kenzo Oshima, Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations expressed a hope that the Assembly presidency will act rapidly to elect him.

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October 3, 2006

Ban Ki-moon leads contest for next UN Secretary-General: Poll

Ban Ki-moon leads contest for next UN Secretary-General: Poll

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Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Ban Ki-moon

South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-moon emerged as the likely successor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday when an unofficial poll of Security Council members resulted in Ban being the only candidate to avoid a possible veto by one of the five permanent members of the council.

A formal ballot to choose the next Secretary-General has been scheduled for October 9. The Security Council’s recommendation will then go to the UN General Assembly for ratification which is usually a formality. Annan’s term ends on December 31, 2006.

The 15 members of the council voted “encourage”, “discourage” or “no opinion” beside each candidate’s name on Monday’s straw vote. The ballot was secret, however the five permanent members of the council who have veto rights, the United Kingdom, United States, France, China and Russia, voted on a blue ballot paper in order to demonstrate which candidates, if any, could escape a veto in the formal vote.

Ban received 14 “encourage” votes, 1 “no opinion” and no “discourage” or veto votes. Every other candidate received a veto from one of the five permanent members. Ban, 62, has won all four Security Council straw votes which have been held over the past several months but Monday’s vote was the first straw poll which distinguished votes by veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council from votes cast by the other ten members.

Following the release of the vote results, India’s Shashi Tharoor announced his withdrawal as a candidate saying of Ban “It is clear that he will be our next secretary general.”

“It is a great honour and a huge responsibility to be secretary-general, and I wish Mr Ban every success in that task,” said Tharoor.

Tharoor had placed second in the race receiving 10 “encourage” votes and three “discourages”, one of which was from a country with a veto.

“It is quite clear that from today’s straw poll that Minister Ban Ki-moon is the candidate that the Security Council will recommend to the General Assembly,” said Chinese ambassador Wang Guangya.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani each received four votes in favour. Ghani had three vetoes against him and Surakiart two.

The fifth candidate, Prince Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan had only two votes in favour and eight against, with one veto.

Monday’s vote was not binding.


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August 14, 2006

Speculation grows in race to succeed Kofi Annan

Speculation grows in race to succeed Kofi Annan

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Monday, August 14, 2006

South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki Moon and UN undersecretary Shashi Tharoor of India are the early leaders in the race to succeed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan who retires at the end of this year.

In late July the 15 members of the Security Council conducted a secret straw poll on who should succeed Annan. Monday’s edition of the the Guardian newspaper reports the leaked results which have Ban leading with 12 “encourages”, 1 “discourage” and 2 “no opinions” ahead of Tharoor’s 10 “encourages”, 2 “discourages” and 3 “no opinions”. The other two official candidates thus far are Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and former U.N. disarmament chief Jayantha Dhanapala from Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore is also a possible contender, according to the Guardian but has not officially declared his interest.

Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand dismissed a report, Monday, that she was lobbying for the position calling it “a piece of fiction”. The New Zealand Herald reported in its weekend edition that Clark had sought support for her possible candidacy from British Prime Minister Tony Blair during a recent visit to London.

Coincidentally, Ban was in Auckland Monday seeking New Zealand’s support for his bid. New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters met with Ban but made no public comment on his country’s position on the contest.

Traditionally, the position of Secretary-General rotates among the continents suggesting that Annan’s successor will likely be an Asian, the first since U Thant filled the post from 1961 to 1971.

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Nigeria hands over disputed area to Cameroon

Filed under: Africa,AutoArchived,Kofi Annan,Nigeria,Politics and conflicts — admin @ 5:00 am

Nigeria hands over disputed area to Cameroon

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Nigerian and Cameroonian officials held a joint ceremony to mark the formal handover of the Bakassi peninsula from Nigeria to Cameroon. Nigeria agreed to cede the resource-rich area after a long drawn dispute with Cameroon. The ceremony comes after Nigeria completed the withdrawal of its troop stationed in the northern part of the peninsula. Many Bakassi residents are reported to be opposed to living under Cameroon’s authority.

Map showing the Bakassi Peninsula on the Nigeria-Cameroon border

Long-drawn dispute

The resource-rich Bakassi peninsula was claimed by both Nigeria and Cameroon, leading to military clashes between the two back in 1981. In 1994, Cameroon approached the International Court of Justice(ICJ) to rule on the claims, and the ICJ ruled in 2002 that the area belonged to Cameroon as per a 1913 treaty signed between then colonial powers Britain and Germany. Nigeria finally agreed to the handover in the UN brokered Greentree Agreement signed in New York on June 12th, which gave Nigeria 60 days to withdraw its military forces from the area. The agreement signed by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, was the outcome of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, set up by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to address the issue.

Handover ceremony

The ceremony was held in the capital of northern Bakassi, the fishing town of Archibong, and was witnessed by African Union, British, French, German UN and US officials, as well as the Nigeria’s chief of defence staff, General Martin-Luther Agwai, and the heads of the army, navy, airforce and the police. The Nigerian flag was lowered Cameroon flag was then raised. The Nigerian Justice Minister Bayo Ojo and his Cameroonian counterpart, Maurice Kamto signed the documents Monday transferring authority at exactly 12:30 pm (1130GMT).

Speaking at the event, Mr. Ojo said “We yield ground in order to give way to peace.”, adding, “We have reason to celebrate the peaceful resolution of the Bakassi peninsula dispute”. He tried to reassure Nigerians living in the peninsula, saying the transfer “does not not mean an end in itself. You still have the opportunity of living here if you choose to do so”.

Mr. Kamto told the gathering “”We have the conviction that things will not be different in Bakassi, whose inhabitants have always co-existed in peace as they do in other locations and regions of Cameroon.”

Kieran Prendergast, representative of the UN secretary general at the event called the handover “a good example of taking initiative in conflict prevention and solution”.

Local opposition

The population of Bakassi, mainly Nigerian are reported to be deeply unhappy over the transfer. After Nigeria began its troop withdrawal last week, a group called the Bakassi Self Determination Movement declared Bakassi’s independence from both Nigeria and Cameroon. The group hoisted blue and white flags and declared the creation of the “Democratic Republic of Bakassi”.

Speaking to the IRIN news agency on Monday, the leader of the group, Tony Ene insisted on the “natural right” of Bakassi residents to “determine our future,”, adding that “If Nigeria does not want us, we choose to go it alone and not with Cameroon.”.

Some residents have said that they will fight Cameroonian authority and called for help from militants in the Niger delta region. Complaints by Bakassi Nigerians of harassment by Cameroonian police years ago had led to the deployment of Nigerian troops in the region. Many residents have said that they wish to evacuate the area rather than live under Cameroon.

Cameroon welcomes transfer

The Cameroon state broadcaster, Cameroon Radio and Television said “Today is a beautiful day for Cameroon… (and) Nigeria,” adding that the handover “demonstrated the good faith of Cameroonian and Nigerian authorities to do everything to ensure that their two peoples can continue to live in peace and harmony in Bakassi,”.

Reuters also reports Cameroonians in Yaounde as welcoming the transfer.

Violation of terms by Cameroon alleged

The Nigerian Newspaper, The Daily Champion reports that several villages in the peninsula were “taken over” by Cameroonian security agents prior to today’s formal handover, violating the terms of the handover agreement. The Lagos-based daily reported Brigadier General Felix Chukwuma, a spokesman for the Nigerian Army saying that higher authorities in Nigeria have been notified of this “violation of the UN-brokered agreement on the demilitarisation of the peninsula”. “I am very positive that Nigeria would take this up at the appropriate level,” he said.

Transition arrangement

Nigeria has given Bakassi residents the option of either staying on in Bakassi under Cameroonian authority or getting resettled elsewhere in Nigeria. Under the handover agreement, Nigeria retains civilian authority over the southern section of the peninsula, known as West Atabong and Akwabana for two more years, during which the resettlement can proceed. Cameroon is to take full administrative control after a five year transitional period, during which neither country is expected to allow military presence in the region.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah has said that about a dozen UN civilian observers will monitor the situation following the troop withdrawal to “reassure” the locals of their safety under Cameroonian authority.

The UN Office for West Africa has said in a statement that the next meeting of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission will discuss how to delineate the maritime boundary between the two countries.

Resource-rich region

The 700 sq km Bakassi peninsula lies in the gulf of Guinea, which is estimated to contain up to 10% of the world’s oil and gas reserves as well as being a rich fishing ground. The peninsula is estimated to be home to between 150,000 and 300,000 people.

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