Ghana, Togo to resolve maritime boundary dispute
Ghana and Togo have adopted a common methodology for the conduct of fieldwork to establish a land boundary terminus (LBT) as part of moves to resolve the maritime boundary dispute between the two countries.
The LBT helps delimit the parties in a boundary dispute from overlapping claims to each other’s territory.
At the opening of the fifth round of negotiations between the two countries in Accra yesterday, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, commended the parties for agreeing on a common basis and a working document for the negotiations.
He said the survey teams met at Aflao on July 23, 2019 “to adopt a common methodology for the conduct of the field work to establish the LBT. Both survey teams presented a report of the 1929 Boundary Commission signed by the French and the British commissioners and related maps and agreed to use the report as their working document”.
He said Ghana viewed the processes as essential in ensuring that the interests of the two countries were protected and optimised.
Mr Osafo-Maafo drew the parties’ attention to the outstanding issue of provisional arrangements which should be agreed on, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), while negotiations for the formal delimitation of the maritime boundary continued.
The fifth round of negotiations between the two countries began in Accra yesterday.
The two-day meeting is expected to build on previous meetings and lead both countries closer to bringing finality to the matter.
Mr Osafo-Maafo implored the parties to consider the fraternal and economic relationship between Ghana and Togo while striving to reach an amicable settlement.
He said significant progress was made at the last meeting held in Lome, Togo, from July 29 to 30, 2019.
According to him, it was at the last meeting that the parties agreed for their survey teams to jointly explore various possibilities to establish the LBT or Border Pillar One as a requisite for drawing the maritime boundary between the two countries.
The Principal Negotiator for Togo, Mr Dammipi Noupokou, said his country was excited about the progress of the negotiations.
He said it was important for the committee to work expeditiously to prepare a report for onward submission to the Presidents of both countries for a final settlement.
Mr Noupokou expressed appreciation to the Ghanaian team for its warm reception.
The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, later told the Daily Graphic that the meeting was to allow the parties to present their purported boundary lines.
“Both sides are to bring what they deem to be the maritime boundary.
We will sit down to look at the proposed maritime boundaries and agree on a common ground for a final resolution,” he added.