Tuesday, 31 January

Emerging security threats: A call to jointly manage our common land & maritime boundaries – Owusu-Bio to Ghana/Cote d'Ivoire boundary c’ssions

General News
The participants in a group picture

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio has urged the Boundary Commissions of Ghana and La Cote d'Ivoire to consider the emerging security threats confronting the West African Region, as a clarion call for both countries to jointly manage their common Land and Maritime boundaries to help intensify the safeguarding of territorial integrities of both countries.

The Deputy Minister made this statement during the opening session of the second Joint Ghana/La Cote d'Ivoire Boundary Commissions Technical Meeting held in Accra on Wednesday, 30th November, 2022.

He opined that due to the many similarities the two countries share, it is essential that, as one people, they decide to come together to deliberate on issues fundamental to their welfare, unity, peace, and most importantly, security, adding that he is extremely glad to observe such significant strides made by the Ghana Boundary Commission and the National Boundary Commission of La Côte d’Ivoire in organising such Joint Technical meeting.

"Such high levels of dedication are crucial for the management and preservation of our shared common boundaries. I, therefore, commend the two Boundary Commissions for their dedication and diligence," he commended.

Mr Owusu-Bio urged the sub-committees to work assiduously for the common benefit of Ghana and La Côte d’Ivoire. He also hoped that this two-day meeting would facilitate the further strengthening of existing collaboration between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire towards the implementation of future joint cross-border activities as well as address identified challenges along the common boundaries of the two countries.

Addressing the officials, he noted that the objective of the two-day meeting is significant towards the overall goal of properly managing the common international boundaries between the two countries and hoped that at the end of the meeting a plan of action would be developed for the implementation of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruling.

Another important expectation of the meeting he said is to develop strategies for the implementation of cross-border activities between Ghana and La Côte d’Ivoire, and make projections for joint re-affirmation of land boundaries between the two States.

On behalf of Government and the people of Ghana, he urged the two Boundary Commissions to continue the good work for the common good of both countries.

The Ivorian Ambassador to Ghana, Tiemoko Moriko, in brief remark hoped that the meeting will aid both countries find a common ground on deliberations and strengthen their bilateral relationship.

He also hoped that the two countries will capitalise on the good relationship between the leaders of both countries to strengthen their ties.

"I really hope that after this meeting, we will arrive at an acceptable solution because I believe we are one nation. We share the same culture values, religion heritage among others and this should strengthen our boundaries even better."

In his welcome address, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia said the commission has over the few years in operation been engaging neighbouring countries to build the necessary relationships, goodwill and consensus to enable Ghana live peacefully with her neighbours including La Cote d'Ivoire based on agreed defined International boundaries.

Stating the purpose of the meeting, General Kotia said the meeting will afford participants the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues on future joint activities in areas including The Operationalisation and Reaffirmation of Land boundaries, implementation of International tribunal for the Law of Sea ruling between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, setting up of joint committees on Maritime and Land Boundary issues among many others

He noted that the two countries will be aiming at coming out with a blue print to address current challenges of our common Land boundaries. This he said includes "destruction of Boundary Pillars and Landmarks along our common International Boundary Line".

"We shall also be aiming at providing guidelines for early warning mechanism on all issues that can endanger our good relations that currently exist among our border communities by jointly undertaking sensitisation and other cross-border developments and programmes," he indicated.

The Executive Secretary of the La Cote d'Ivoire Boundary Commission, Mr. Diakalidia Konate in his address expressed his profound gratitude to the Deputy Minister and the National Coordinator for the warm reception given to him and his delegation.

He said beyond colonial trajectory, the two countries are linked on many levels in history and therefore is hopeful that after the deliberations at the meeting, they would come to great conclusions that will further promote the stronger cooperation between the countries.

He entreated both parties to put their shoulders to the wheel and put in place a good framework to ensure sustainable solutions to the boundary issues of both nations and also help achieve joint successes.

Source: Classfmonline.com