The Governments of Cameroon and Central African Republic (C.A.R.) have agreed to demarcate several hundred kilometres of their shared border joining efforts to stop escalating territorial violence.
Defense ministers and police chiefs from Cameroon and the Central African Republic agreed on the new terms on 15 June. The CAR’s Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralisation and Local Development, Bruno Yapande, led his country’s delegation to the three-day talks in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.
Cameroon shares close to 900 kilometres of mostly porous border with C.A.R. The countries have long competed in claiming villages and towns along the undefined border, which had become Central African rebels’ stronghold to launch raids.
The Cameroon-C.A.R. border was established in 1908 under the supervision of colonial masters from Germany and France. Human activity, erosion, and floods have since destroyed many boundary markers; both countries neglected to maintain borders as a conflict against C.A.R. rebels erupted when the Republic gained independence from France in 1960.
Minister Yapande reportedly praised the new agreement as it aims to improve security and living conditions for civilians. He then added that Presidents of the two countries have promised that the demarcation of the border will begin within a month to make border towns and villages safe from violence.
Neither country has said when the demarcation project will end but agreed to respect the findings of the joint demarcation commission.
The two parties have further announced that some 2,500 of 300,000 Central African refugees who fled conflict to Cameroon would return home by the end of the year.
Just recently, Cameroon has also agreed on the demarcation of its shared borders with Gabon. A committee attended by delegates from France, Germany, the United Nations (UN), and other global groups has advised a three-year plan to define the border.
Gabon is the latest country to join the diverse family of nations forming the Commonwealth. President Ali Bongo Ondimba made a televised address earlier this year announcing that the country will become the 55th member of the organisation in 2022.