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07.02.2006 General News

Calls for demarcation of western maritime boundary


Sekondi Feb. 7, GNA - Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence, on Monday said the maritime boundary on the western border between Ghana and La Cote d'Ivoire should be clearly demarcated.

Speaking during a courtesy call on Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister at Sekondi as part of a one-day visit to Sekondi-Takoradi, Dr Addo-Kufuor said the maritime border was not clearly defined and this could cause problems in future. He said Ghana was prospecting for petroleum in the area and when this is successful, it would be difficult to ascertain the maritime boundary.

"We have to draw lessons from history and demarcate the maritime border to prevent strain in relations between the two countries," Dr Addo-Kufuor said and urged the Regional Minister to ensure that the boundary is properly demarcated.

Mr Aidoo briefed the Defence Minister about the security situation in the region and assured him that the current political unrest in La Cote d'Ivoire did not pose any problems to the Ghanaian side of the border.

"The Regional Security Committee is monitoring events at the border and so far, there is no security threat."

However, land and chieftaincy litigation, and galamsey (illegal mining) are threats to the internal security of the region, Mr Aidoo said, adding that the Regional Security Committee was mediating to resolve the numerous land and chieftaincy disputes in the region. "Illegal mining is an intractable problem and the assistance of the Armed Forces would be required from time to time to handle the problem. Dr Addo-Kufuor also held a meeting with Service commanders of the Two Garrison, at the Western Naval Command and assured them that infrastructure would be provided under a 10 million-dollar loan to facelift facilities under the Garrison.

The Two Garrison comprises the Takoradi Air Force Station, the Western Naval Command and the Second Battalion of Infantry at Apremdo. Dr Addo-Kufuor said a team from France had conducted an audit of the Ghana Air Force to pave the way for negotiation for a loan from the European Union to upgrade facilities of the Unit.

Commodore Frank Daley, Garrison Commander and Flag Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, expressed concern about encroachment of lands of the Garrison.