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General News of Wednesday, 18 January 2017


International tribunal to decide on Ghana-Cote d’Ivoite dispute this year

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The International Tribunal sitting on the case between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will determine the case before the end of 2017.

A press release issued on the ITLOS website said the date was fixed after Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire had filed their memorials and responses, respectively.

The statement indicated that preliminary issues on whether or not Ghana should be stopped from all activities at the disputed area were resolved in April 2015.

The dispute was submitted by way of a special agreement between the two countries, to a special chamber of the tribunal, formed in application of Article 15, Paragraph 2 of the Statute by Order of the Tribunal dated January 12, 2015.

The Tribunal recounted that, on February 27, 2015, Côte d’Ivoire submitted a request for the prescription of provisional measures under Article 290, Paragraph 1 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), requesting the chamber to order that Ghana shall, inter alia, “take all steps to suspend all oil exploration and exploitation operations underway in the disputed area”.

The Special Chamber, on April 25, 2015, directed Ghana to take all the necessary steps to ensure that no new drilling took place in disputed areas under its control.

Currently, ten wells which had been drilled already are currently being developed.

The hearing is expected to take place in the main courtroom of the tribunal, which is opened to the public.

Meanwhile, reports president Akufo-Addo’s government have indicated the government’s willingness to continue with the case at the ITLOS.

According to the report, the transitional team of the new government is currently in touch with Ghana’s technical and legal teams on the case.

The Attorney-General designate, Gloria Akuffo, is expected to lead Ghana’s delegation to Germany next month to battle it out with Cote d’Ivoire.

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