Ghanaians optimistic about Saturday's maritime ruling

File picture: Ghana’s former Attorney General introduced her successor at the tribunal[/caption] Saturday’s ruling by by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS)  on maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast will certainly go in the way of Ghana, experts assessed. Ghana resorted to the Germany-based tribunal after about three years of diplomatic jaw-jaw with its neighboring country claiming parts of the oil and gas-rich Cape Three Points and other investment, fell through. After years of sitting, the court set Saturday, September 23 to bring finality to the impasse. Mr. Ishmael Edjekumhene, Executive Director of KITE, admitted that the two countries are sitting on tenterhook, but due to the “solid case” presented by Ghana “I am confident Ghana will win”. In an unlikely event that the court rules in favour of Ivory Coast, he told TV3 Midday Live on Friday, it will affect Ghana’s future revenue but there is no way all the investments made by Ghana would be made to go waste. A legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu who wades into the conversation explained that Ivory Coast win have to “reimburse Ghana for its investment” based on “principle of equity” if Ghana loses. He also noted the possibility of the two countries being asked to jointly exploit the resources. Having perused similar rulings by the tribunal such as the Norway and UK, Netherlands and UK, and Tunisia and Morocco, Mr. Kpebu declared: “Based on what we are hearing and reading, we should be successful.” Maritime lawyer and former Shippers Authority boss Dr. Kofi Mbiah had told Starr FM Saturday’s ruling will favour Ghana. “I’m very positive on the basis of the law, not only on the basis of nationalism. I have reviewed the very recent decision and I have seen the approach that has been taken by the court in recent times and I’m very convinced that it will go in Ghana’s favour”.

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Timeline of events 2007: Ghana discovers oil and gas in commercial quantities. Cote d’Ivoire stakes claim of ownership to portions of the West Cape Three Points. 2010: Cote d’Ivoire renews claim of ownership of the disputed sea, days after Vanco, an oil exploration and production company, announced the discovery of oil in the Dzata-1 deepwater-well. 2010: Ivorian government petitions the United Nations asking for a completion of the demarcation of its maritime boundary with Ghana. March 2010: Ghanaian authorities responded with the setting up of the Ghana Boundary Commission (GBC) tasked with the responsibility of negotiating with Côte d’Ivoire towards finding a lasting solution to the problem. September 2014: Ghana drags Cote d’Ivoire to ITLOS after 10 failed negotiations. April 2015: ITLOS makes first ruling, places moratorium on new projects and asks old projects to continue. 2017: Case concluded and judgement expected on September 23, 2017. Source: |Ghana]]>