Don’t mock Côte d’Ivoire over ITLOS loss – Ghanaians told

Ghanaians have been advised to celebrate in moderation the country’s victory at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea in a  maritime dispute  case with Côte d'Ivoire.

Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Anning who gave the caution on Saturday also admonished Ghanaians not to mock their Ivoirian counterpart in order not to create unnecessary tension between the two sovereign states.

Côte d'Ivoire had accused Ghana of overstepping its maritime boundary in the exploration of oil at the West most part of the Cape Three Points.

But the ITLOS Chamber in a unanimous decision on Saturday held that, there has not been any violation on the part of Ghana on Côte d'Ivoire's maritime boundary.

The Chamber rejected Côte d'Ivoire's argument that Ghana's coastal lines were unstable.

Speaking to Richard Dela Sky on Saturday Dr. Anning while welcoming the landmark decision by ITLOS, also said “it's important for the Ghanaian side that we don't gloat over this victory, that we don't make too much noise and tease the other side.”

“Victory is an emotional thing and it’s crucially important that we don't make the Ivoirians feel that they weren't good enough and that we are smarter than them. Our celebrations must be muted and we must continue to stretch a hand out to the Ivoirians that we are still friends, brothers and that we seek development in a stable, functional, collaborative, inclusive sub region.”

The security analyst further commended the patience exhibited by Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire within the almost a decade long dispute.

“That is the best outcome for all of us. This is good for both for Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, it's good for our institutional processes, good for interstate relations and I think kudos to both parties for having the patience to go through a long rigorous, tiring and sometimes confusion process. So I think as Africans we need to be proud of ourselves today,” he added.

Background
In 2007, Ghana discovered oil and gas in commercial quantities, and this was followed by Cote d'Ivoire staking its claim to portions of the West Cape Three Points.

These claims were renewed in 2010 after Vanco, an oil exploration and production company announced the discovery of oil in the Dzata-1 deepwater-well.

Cote d'Ivoire petitioned the United Nations asking for a completion of the demarcation of its maritime boundary with Ghana, and Ghana responded by setting up of the Ghana Boundary Commission.

This commission was tasked with the responsibility of negotiating with Côte d'Ivoire towards finding a lasting solution to the problem.

But this commission bore no fruit, and in September 2014, Ghana dragged Cote d'Ivoire to ITLOS after 10 failed negotiations.

ITLOS's first ruling in 2015 placed a moratorium on new projects, with old projects continuing after Cote d'Ivoire filed for preliminary measures and urged the tribunal to suspend all activities on the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case.

The moratorium prevented Tullow Oil from drilling additional 13 wells. Tullow thus drilled eleven [11] wells in Ghana's first oil field.


By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Follow @AlloteyGodwin

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