Ghana and Togo have resolved a long-standing land boundary dispute between the two countries at the Pulmakom border in the Pusiga District in the Upper East Region.
The resolution was based on an agreement that per the legal and national demarcation documents of 1927, the Kolpelig River, a tributary of the White Volta, was the official boundary separating the two countries.
This followed a meeting between the Ghana Boundary Commission, led by the National Coordinator, Major General Emmanuel Kotia, and the Togo Lands Commission, led by Secretary to the Lands Commission of Togo, Douti Lardja, at Cinkassé in Togo last Thursday.
The meeting was attended by the traditional authorities from both Cinkassé and Pulmakom.
Major General Kotia explained that the demarcation map noted that the Kolpelig River was the internationally accepted boundary separating the two countries.
The countries, he said, also agreed that places which were not accessible to Ghanaians should now be opened, adding that “we have also come to the understanding that our security agencies should now patrol the areas.”
He stated that the boundary commissions of the two countries would continue to work together to construct new boundary pillars to avoid recurrence of the dispute.
Additionally, he said the commission would ensure that a joint sensitisation programme was carried out for the people of Cinkassé and Pulmakom to understand the outcome of the meeting.
“I think there is a breakthrough as far as this discussion is concerned and we hope that the peaceful co-existence that exists between the people of Cinkassé and Pulmakom would continue,” the coordinator said.
On his part, Mr Lardja stated said that the two countries have agreed to a permanent resolution to the boundary matter and assured that the Togo government would abide by the agreement.
He, therefore, called on the traditional authorities in both Cinkassé and Pulmakom to sensitise their people to fully appreciate that the Kolpelig River was the internationally accepted boundary separating the two countries.
He advised the people of the two countries to pursue peace since they were same traditionally and historically.
The two countries, have, for years, disagreed over a pillar and landmark boundary along the Kolpelig River situated between the towns of Konugu in Togo, and Gariki and Beliting in Ghana.
While the local and traditional authorities at Cinkassé claimed that the boundary was beyond the river towards Gariki, their counterparts at Pusiga also maintained that the Kolpelig River was the accurate demarcation separating the two countries.
The situation led to the Togolese authorities preventing their counterparts in Ghana from constructing a bridge at Gariki and extending electricity to Beliting.
Meanwhile, Ghana and Burkina Faso have agreed to form a special joint technical committee to work towards solving encroachment challenges on the boundaries separating the two countries.
The committee, which would be meeting twice every year would work out strategies to address the activities of the Youga Mining Company, a Burkina Faso based gold mining firm and other illegal mining activities at the boundary separating the two countries at Sapeliga in the Bawku West District.
It would also work to address the deteriorating nature and disappearance of the landmark boundary pillars at the Paga border in the Kassena-Nankana West District and preserve the territorial integrity of the two countries.
The move was agreed upon when the Ghana Boundary Commission and the Burkina Faso National Boundary Commission met at Paga in the Upper East Region to discuss ways of solving boundary encroachment challenges facing the two countries especially along the Sapeliga and Paga borders.
Major General Kotia noted that the special joint technical committee would assess the mining activities at Sapeliga and the Paga areas and formulate appropriate solutions to the issues.
Madam Zagre Leontine, Permanent Secretary of the Burkina Faso National Boundary Commission, said the formation of the special joint technical committee and the regularisation of the meetings was in the right direction to begin co-operation between the two countries and expressed the hope that stakeholders concerned would work peacefully to resolve the issues amicably.
BY TIMES REPORTER