General News of Saturday, 18 February 2017
The International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), will deliver its judgement on the maritime boundary case between Ghana and Ivory Coast at the end of September this year. The two countries ended their oral submissions this week with strong arguments for their stance.
Ghana’s Attorney General Gloria Akufo argued that the two countries already have an agreement on their maritime boundary, albeit informally.
Ivory Coast, on the other hand, rejected that claim, calling on the Chamber to declare that Ghana has indeed violated the sovereign rights of Ivory Coast when it unilaterally undertook drilling activities in that boundary.
In his final arguments at ITLOS yon Thursday, Ivory Coast’s agent and Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Adama Toungara, said,“…to declare and adjudge thirdly that Ghana has violated the provisional measures prescribed by this chamber by its order of 26th of April, 2015. And fourthly, and consequently, [A] to invite the parties to carry out negotiations in order to reach agreement on arrangements for reparations due to Cote D’Ivoire; and [B] to state that if they fail to reach an agreement within a period of six months as of the date of the judgment to be delivered by the special chamber, the chamber will determine the amount of compensation or the arrangements for reparations on the basis of additional recent documents dealing with the subject alone.”
Don’t be swayed by Ivory Coast’s argument – Ghana to ITLOS
Ghana in its final submission called on the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), not to be swayed by Ivory Coast’s argument.
The Attorney General and leader of Ghana’s delegation to the ITLOS, Gloria Akuffo, told the Special Chamber that Ivory Coast was trying to move the boundary to the east to benefit from Ghana’s oil reserves, saying, “they simply cannot escape from years of mutual practice, however hard they try, in implementation of and reinforced by their own official maps, laws and decrees”.
“It was easy to lose count of the different ways in which they tried to portray the coast. Arrows went one way and then the other, coastal directions twisting and turning; land was added; land was removed, depending on what point they wanted to make at any particular moment”, she added.
Both countries are at the ITLOS over their maritime boundary after several bilateral talks failed.