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Begin negotiations with Togo on maritime boundary – expert tells govt

The former chairman of the international maritime organization’s legal committee, Dr Kofi Mbiah is backing calls for government to urgently begin negotiations with neighboring Togo regarding its maritime boundary.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on Saturday ruled that Ghana did not violate the right of Côte d’Ivoire,’ by drilling oil around the maritime area shared by both countries.

It further emphasized that Ghana did not violate the provisional measures prescribed by the Special Chamber, in its Order of April 25, 2015.

Many including the governing NPP have since called for proactive steps by government, to safeguard Ghana’s maritime boundary, with Togo.

Speaking at Media General’s News lecture dubbed “Making Sense of the ITLOS Judgement on Ghana-Ivory Coast Maritime Boundary Dispute”, Dr Kofi Mbiah explained that it will be in Ghana’s own interest, to urgently resolve the matter.

When this matter with Cote d’Ivoire came up the issue of Ghana – Togo also came to the fore and therefore it meant that we had to put it on the table and begin to talk.  I told you the first cardinal principle in maritime delimitation is agreement between the states. So if the two of us are able to agree, then nothing happens”.

He added “Sometimes it is better for you to start the negotiation at a time when there are no known resources in that area, but the moment you begin to discover resources in the area then tensions heighten and the negotiations become very difficult. So that is something that Ghana should try as much as possible to work on, in the coming years or months”.

He also explained that none of the parties could file for appeal, since the judgement was binding on both countries.

“The decision is binding upon the parties …the good thing was that when Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the judgement was handed down, they all gave indication that they will respect the judgement of the tribunal”.

By Collins Essuman |3FM92.7|3news.com

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