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Ghana committed to peaceful resolution of maritime boundary dispute with Togo – Abu Jinapor

Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel A. Jinapor in a group picture with the joint Ghana/Togo Maritime Technical Committee at the opening ceremony of the 7th Meeting

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources , Samuel Abu Jinapor, has assured the government and people of the republic of Togo, Ghana’s neighbour to the east, that President Akufo-Addo and his administration is committed to peaceful and good-natured resolution of the maritime dispute the two countries.

Ghana and Togo have been holding negotiations regarding the common maritime boundary since 2018. These negotiations were as a result of concerns raised by Togo when it noted that the maritime boundaries between her and Ghana were not clearly defined.

Joint Effort

To promote peace and good neighborliness between Ghana and Togo, the Heads of State of the two countries, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Ghana) and President Faure Gnassingbe (Togo) agreed in 2018 that a peaceful and coordinated joint effort rooted in international law and standards, guides the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Togo and Ghana.

The Joint Technical Committee from Ghana and Togo have been holding bilateral meetings since 2018 to peacefully and consensually delimit the common maritime boundary between Ghana and Togo, in accordance with international law.

Representatives from Ghana and Togo have met on six (6) different occasions towards this effort. Three of the meetings were held in Togo and three have been held in Ghana. So far, the Joint Ghana/Togo Maritime Technical Committee have agreed on a road map for the negotiations on the delimitation of the common maritime boundaries.

Lands Minister

In his address at the opening ceremony of the 7th meeting of the joint technical committee meeting at the La beach hotel in Accra today the 23rd of June 2021, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor noted that the long standing relationship between Ghana and Togo which pre-dates colonial rule is the basis on which the two West African countries ought to negotiate their way out of the current maritime boundary dispute.

“Ghana and Togo have longstanding relations, predating our respective colonial experiences. Indeed, most of our people are related by blood, and bonded together by common ancestries and cultural practices. We have peacefully co-existed as neighbours, traded, farmed, fished and married among ourselves. The instant border issue should not and cannot disturb the historic brotherly relations between the Republics of Ghana and Togo” the Lands Minister said.

“In fidelity to our commitment, in both the UN Charter and the UNCLOS, we are poised to resolve these issues through negotiations and hope that the resolutions adopted at the end of this session, will give us a stronger foundation to mutually resolve this boundary issue. The peoples of our respective countries look up to us to offer bold leadership in ensuring peaceful co-existence” Mr. Jinapor further stated.

“They look up to us for the integration of our respective economies and the free movement of people, goods, and services across our borders. What they do not expect from us is protracted, unconstructive and destructive border dispute. The dreams of our forebears of an African which is united, peaceful, prosperous and driven by brotherly cooperation should be our guiding principle throughout these negotiations” Abu Jinapor added.

Togo Delegation

Leader of the Togolese delegation, Mr. Dammipi Noupokou, in his statement expressed satisfaction on the part of the Togolese government on engagements with their Ghanaian counterparts thus far. He added that the Togolese delegation is ready during the 7th meeting to step up efforts to ensure that Ghana and Togo can collaborate to give their countries, the African continent and the whole of the world a model for dispute settlement by negotiation, and listening to each other.

“In view of the goodwill and commitment to frank and sincere negotiations shown by our two parties, I remain convinced that we will succeed as soon as possible in definitively resolving this issue of delimitation of maritime borders. May this Accra meeting allow us to cross this important new milestone and this decisive stage in the process of delimiting the common maritime border between our two countries” the leader of the Togo delegation said.

BC, National Coordinator

National Coordinator of Ghana’s Boundary Commission, Brigadier General Emmanuel Kotia, in a brief statement says he is optimistic that the discussions during the 7th joint meeting of representatives of both sides will pave way for the ultimate goal which is the signing of the Ghana – Togo Maritime Boundary Negotiation Agreement to pave way for both countries to begin the exploitation of the natural resources in their respective territorial jurisdictions.

“Arriving at mutually beneficial decisions and subsequently signing the Ghana – Togo Maritime Boundary Negotiation Agreement will help preserve the peace, security and stability of both states. A consensual agreement will afford both states the chance to finally begin to explore and exploit the oil and mineral resources at the maritime boundary enclave” Brigadier General Emmanuel Kotia noted.

The Negotiation

The Seventh Joint Ghana-Togo Technical Committee meeting is aimed at further deliberations on the technical parameters and most importantly, to determine technical arrangements pending the delimitation of the maritime boundaries.

The successful determination of a common delimitated maritime boundary between the two countries will pave the way for the signing of the final Ghana-Togo Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreement.

The bilateral meeting has the National Commission of Maritime Boundaries of the Republic of Togo representing the Togolese side and the Maritime Technical Committee of the Ghana Boundary Commission representing the Ghana side.

Wilberforce Asare

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