Beside himself with joy like many Ghanaians over the verdict of theTribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Ghana’s favour against Cote D’ Ivoire, in a fiercely battled litigation, vice president Dr. Mahamudu has said that the two countries stillremain brothers and that “there is no winner or loser.”
“There is no winner or loser of this. We are all winners because we will continue to live in peace with one another and cooperate with one another across many spheres,” Dr. Bawumia averred.
Describing the case as a “friendly and brotherly dispute, Dr. Bawumia noted it was imperative to head to ITLOS to resolve it rather than resort to any means which could spark conflict.
“We took a very good way to resolve this dispute – there was no fighting or quarrelling,” the vice president opined Saturday as a special guest of honour at this year’s Kundum Festival of the chiefs and people of Nsein Traditional area in the Western region.
The occasion also marked 50 years since the enstoolment of Awulae Agyefi Kwame II, Omanhene of Nsein Traditional area, capital Axim.
Former President John Mahama has said he has been beaming with smiles following Ghana’s victory in the maritime boundary dispute against neighbours Cote d’Ivoire.
The International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on Saturday, September 23, 2017 unanimously ruled that Ghana did not violate the rights of Cote d’Ivoire in exploring oil at the maritime boundary.
Commenting on the judgment, former President Mahama under whose tenure the case was first sent to ITLOS saluted his former Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong for leading a team of dedicated and committed local and international lawyers.
He added: “Ghana also owes its gratitude to President Nana Akufo-Addo and Attorney General Gloria Akuffo for allowing the litigation to continue and for the wise decision in seeking the collaboration of the former Attorney General in pursuing the case. It shows clearly, what we can achieve together when Government works as a continuum.”
Below is Mahama’s full statement on the ITLOS judgment:
Earlier today, September 23, 2017, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) delivered a unanimous judgement in favour of Ghana. I received the news with great joy.
This marks a successful conclusion of four (4) years of hard work, dedication and commitment by a team of local and international lawyers and experts led by Ghana’s former Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong.
After fourteen (14) meetings of the Maritime Boundary Commission with their Ivorian counterparts over a period of six (6) years, a conclusion was reached in 2014 that negotiations were leading nowhere as La Cote D’Ivoire presented new calculations that claimed even more of Ghana’s recognised maritime territory.
Action became even more urgent after the Programme of Development was signed for work to begin on the TEN Field. Warning letters received from the Ivorian authorities by the TEN partners working legitimately in Ghana’s recognised maritime territory required that a definitive solution to the dispute was needed and urgently.
This was a difficult decision especially considering the very excellent relations established between our two countries. Our sovereignty and our precious resources were at risk and it was necessary to take the bold but difficult decision to issue the notice of arbitration to La Cote D’Ivoire.
I am proud of the results and salute my brother President Alassane Ouatarra that we did not allow this litigation to mar the cordial relations that exists between Ghana and La Cote D’Ivoire.
Ghana owes a debt of gratitude to the following- former Attorney General & Minister for Justice Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine, Solicitor General Helen Ziwu; International Counsels Professor Philippe Sands Q.C. and Paul Reichler; Fui Tsikata and team from Reindorf Chambers; Hanna S. Tetteh, Kofi Buah, Nii Osah Mills, Jane Ahetor and Dr. Joseph Kwadwo Asensuo; Theo Ahwireng and team from Petroleum Commission; Thomas Manu and team from the GNPC; Kojo Efunam and officials of the EPA; Kwame Mfodwo & Professor Martin Tsamenyi from the Maritime Boundary Secretariat; Alex Tait of International Mapping Associates; members of the former Cabinet who endorsed my decision to proceed to ITLOS, and others too many to mention.
Appreciation must also go to former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for his attempts, though unsuccessful, to mediate an amicable resolution of the dispute.
Ghana also owes its gratitude to President Nana Akufo-Addo and Attorney General Gloria Akuffo for allowing the litigation to continue and for the wise decision in seeking the collaboration of the former Attorney General in pursuing the case. It shows clearly, what we can achieve together when Government works as a continuum.
This win means that our sovereignty over the area has been preserved and upheld. It also means that all the billions of dollars’ worth of resources are available for the development and benefit of the good people of Ghana.
God bless our homeland Ghana and may He continue to make us great and strong.
The ITLOS judgment which largely favoured Ghana noted unanimously that the former Gold Coast has not violated the rights of Cote d’Ivoire in exploring oil in the Atlantic Ocean.
Tullow Oil has also welcomed the judgment, promising to resume work at the TEN Fields by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) joined in the chorus to commend the legal team that represented Ghana during the case.
Read the full unedited text signed by Acting General Secretary John Boadu below:
NPP Commends Ghana’s Legal Team For Securing A Favourable Judgement From The ITLOS On The Maritime Boundary Dispute
The NPP has received with great joy and excitement, the landmark ruling of the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the maritime boundary dispute between the Republic of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. The ruling, which was delivered this Saturday, 23rd September, 2017 by the justices of the Special Chamber, largely vindicates Ghana’s long held position on the matter in contention.
The party, accordingly, wishes to commend the legal team of the government and people of Ghana which was led by Ghana’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Madam Gloria Akufo for securing this favourable judgment for the country which brings finality on the four-year maritime boundary dispute between the two countries.
We also applaud the efforts of the immediate past Attorney General of Ghana, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, who was part of Ghana’s team that won this historic case for the country. The party expresses gratitude to the Ivorian team for their cooperation throughout the trial and also thanks the Special Chamber for the courteous and expeditious manner with which it dispensed justice on the matter in issue.
We have also noted with delight, the fact that the implication of this landmark ruling, according to lawyers and petroleum experts, would not affect Ghana’s oilfield; which means that the nation’s oil reserve remains intact. What it also means is that, Ghana can now proceed with exploration activities in the hitherto, “disputed area”.
Indeed, the battle was the Lord’s.
Finally, we call on government to take proactive steps to safeguard Ghana’s maritime boundary with neighbouring Togo in order to forestall any boundary dispute between the two countries in the future.
Once again, congratulations to the good people of Ghana.
General Secretary (Ag)