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D-Day For Ghana/Cote d’Ivoire Disputed Oil Boundary

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Gloria Akuffo – Attorney General

The International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) sitting in Hamburg, Germany, is expected to give its ruling on the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire today.

The judgement is expected to be read at a public sitting by Judge Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber of the tribunal.

The Attorney-General, Gloria Afua Akuffo, is leading a Ghanaian delegation to witness the delivery of the judgement in respect of the maritime boundary, which Cote d’Ivoire is laying claim to after the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities by Ghana.

Officials from the Ministry of Energy, the Attorney-General’s Department, Maritime Boundary Secretariat, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Petroleum Commission and other state agencies that made inputs into the hearing of the case, are also in Hamburg for the verdict.

Officials from both countries are tight-lipped on their expectations, but some analysts say Ghana stands a better chance of winning the epic case.

President Akufo-Addo has also maintained that his government would not make any pronouncements on the yet-to-be-delivered judgement until after today.

He indicated that “his government was waiting to see what decision would be made and we will see how best we will enforce the decision of the court.”

In 2014, Ghana went to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, seeking a declaration that it had not encroached on Cote d’Ivoire’s territorial waters.

Cote d’Ivoire in February 2015 also filed for preliminary measures and urged the tribunal to suspend all activities on the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case.

The first round of preliminary hearing began in March 2015, under Marietta Bruce Appiah-Opong, then Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The oral hearing of the case was concluded in February 2017.

By Gibril Abdul Razak

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