In February, a case against English-speaking Separatists
with jail ended for 33 of the accused. Two of those who were
members of the RDPC were also convicted of fraud. Throughout
the first half of 2000, the SDF continued its support
campaign for the South Cameroon National Council, which
advocated secession. The same year, the UN reported that
torture and ill-treatment had assumed a "systematic and
general" character in Cameroon police stations.
In June 2002, parliamentary and local elections were
held. The ruling party won most of the seats in the
parliament, which saw serious irregularities during the
election and the opposition demanded re-election. The
Supreme Court therefore decided that re-election should be
conducted in 9 districts.
In 2002, the International Court of Justice in The Hague
issued a ruling in favor of Cameroon in the border dispute
with Nigeria, which had been presented to the Court in 1998.
The conflict started in 1994 when Cameroon demanded
supremacy over the Bakassi Peninsula rich in fish and oil. According to
the conflict quickly developed into a border conflict that
also involved Equatorial Guinea. However, Nigeria rejected
the decision of the International Court of Justice and
retained its soldiers in the area. After a series of
conversations with Cameroon in 2003, Nigeria announced that
the country would retain its troops on the peninsula for at
least another 3 years.
In January 2004, Cameroon and Nigeria presidents signed a
joint agreement to lift security obligations in the conflict
zone between the two countries. Both countries described the
joint patrol as a major step forward, declaring that the
agreement was a friendship agreement. Paul Biya (Cameroon),
Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) and UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan stated at a joint meeting in Geneva that they were
seeking a common solution to the border conflict. The
meeting was termed "friendly" by both presidents, and at the
meeting they also discussed future control over the oil
deposits in the Bakassi Peninsula.
In August, both countries reached a final agreement on
Bakassi. After a series of meetings, it was decided that
Bakassi should finally be transferred to Cameroon by
September 15. Delegates from Nigeria and Cameroon met with a
UN commission to discuss how the October 2002 verdict could
be implemented. Cameroon's delegation was led by Minister
Amadou Ali, Nigeria's Prince Bola Ajibola, while UNOWA
(United Nations Organization for Western Africa) was led by
In December 2004, Biya appointed a new government.
Ephraim Inoni was appointed prime minister and has made his
fight against corruption his main subject upon his
accession. That same month, foreign investors had criticized
the lack of transparency in the country's public finances.
for a year-round report from Transparency International, cf.
which the use of corruption is widespread in Cameroon. In
March of the following year, the government declared that
widespread corruption in the Treasury had cost the country $
2 million. US $ per month. About 500 officials were accused
of putting money in their own pockets at to pay wages to
non-existent employees. Prime Minister Inoni declared that
those known guilty would face harsh penalties.