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Cablegate: Greentree Agreement Follow-Up Committee Meeting:

VZCZCXRO7178
RR RUEHPA
DE RUEHGV #0537/01 1971017
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151017Z JUL 08
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6719
INFO RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 0301
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0233
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0521
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0889
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 0111
RUEHJL/AMEMBASSY BANJUL 0146
RUEHRY/AMEMBASSY CONAKRY 0159
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU 0175
RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 0867
RUEHFN/AMEMBASSY FREETOWN 0251
RUEHPC/AMEMBASSY LOME 0162
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2794
RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA 0336
RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 0122
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT 0112
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU 0155
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3315
RUEHPA/AMEMBASSY PRAIA
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0089
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 0300
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2789

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GENEVA 000537

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
DOE FOR GEORGE PERSON, CHAYLOCK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PBTS PREF SMIG KDEM CM NI
SUBJECT: GREENTREE AGREEMENT FOLLOW-UP COMMITTEE MEETING:
MOVING TOWARD AUGUST 14 TRANSFER OF BAKASSI PENINSULA TO
CAMEROON

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In a July 11 meeting of the Greentree
Agreement Follow-up Committee attended by the U.S. and other
witness states, Nigeria and Cameroon reaffirmed their
commitment to carrying out the transfer of the Bakassi
Peninsula to Cameroon on August 14, although both also said
they needed to continue work on security arrangements ahead
of that event. Committee Chair Kieran Prendergast suggested
that participants in the agreement meet with UN SyG Ban in
New York in October to offer the Greentree Agreement as a
model to resolve other bilateral disagreements, an idea both
sides welcomed. Following the meeting, Prendergast told us
the Nigerian government was still working on where to hold
the transfer ceremony, and was considering doing so in Abuja
to give it more publicity and counter those who remain
critical of it. END SUMMARY.

GOOD ATMOSPHERICS, AGREEMENT TO MOVE AHEAD WITH TRANSFER
--------------------------------------------- -----------

2. (U) Atmospherics were good throughout the July 11
Greentree Agreement Follow-up Committee meeting. In opening
remarks, Committee Chair Prendergast welcomed the progress to
date and stressed that SyG Ban would remain engaged in the
process for as long as necessary, while also noting the
positive role of the witness states. (Representatives of the
UK, Germany and France joined us in attending the session.)
The Cameroon delegation head, Minister Delegate in the
Justice Ministry Maurice Kamto, said his government would do
all it could to fulfill the agreement within the timetable.
The Nigerian delegation head, Justice Minister Aondoakaa,
said his government plans to transfer the Bakassi Peninsula
by August 14. Both delegations echoed Prendergast in
expressing their appreciation for the attendance of the
witness states, which, they stressed, had played an important
role in the negotiations.

3. (U) General David Kattah, Chair of the UN team to the
Mixed Commission, summarized the report of the Commission's
May 10-16 mission to the peninsula. He stressed both sides'
cooperation in implementing the mission and the peaceful
conditions under which it was conducted. Kattah noted in
particular the report's recommendation that the UN help with
projects on water, medical systems, electricity, roads and
erosion prevention. The Nigerian delegation noted that the
mission would have taken place earlier but was delayed to
ensure full security arrangements, expressed appreciation for
the social amenities Cameroon had provided in the peninsula,
and underscored its commitment to further working with
Cameroon on security in Bakassi. Cameroon's delegation said
the report confirmed the peaceful situation on the peninsula,
pledged to work hand-in-hand with Nigeria to avoid
infiltration by elements that may wish to disrupt the
security situation on the peninsula, and said that the GoC's
current budget includes more funding for Bakassi.

NIGERIA STILL WORKING OUT MODALITIES OF TRANSFER
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. (U) Turning to the arrangements for the peninsula's
transfer, the Nigerian delegation said cooperation and
flexibility would be needed to ensure that it was carried out
safely and effectively. Aondoakaa expressed appreciation

GENEVA 00000537 002 OF 002


that Cameroon would respect customary land rights and
stressed that Nigeria would allow free access in and out of
Bakassi following the transfer. The Cameroon delegation
underscored that Nigerian citizens could stay in Bakassi
without having to change citizenship. Kamto reiterated that
both sides should work together to ensure that there is no
security vacuum that could be exploited by those seeking to
disrupt the agreement, and said he hoped that by the
beginning of August, the two sides will have succeeded in
elaborating security plans.

5. (SBU) Following the meeting, Prendergast told us privately
that he was optimistic about the August 14 transfer but that
some work still remained. He added that Nigeria was working
out where to hold the transfer ceremony, and was considering
holding it in Abuja to maximize its profile and counter those
who remain critical of the agreement.

OIL INSTALLATIONS IN THE PENINSULA
----------------------------------

6. (SBU) In a final formal agenda item, Nigeria handed to
Cameroon a communication on Nigerian oil installations in
Cameroonian territorial waters. The Cameroon delegation
responded that it was not able to reciprocate at present
because it needed to prepare the information in ways that
would protect information that the involved oil companies did
not want to make public. (Prendergast last told us he
believed Cameroon would have nothing to offer on the subject
in any case.) Although the Committee Secretariat had earlier
told us that this agenda might spark controversy, there was
no further discussion or disagreement.

PLANS TO LAY OUT AGREEMENT IN NEW YORK
--------------------------------------

7. (U) Prendergast concluded the session by suggesting that
both sides consider traveling to New York to meet with SyG
Ban in October, on the margins of the Sixth Committee, to
present the agreement's implementation. This would allow
them to highlight the agreement as a model to resolve other
countries' bilateral agreements. Both sides expressed
general support for the idea.

STORELLA

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