Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire have been urged to consider the emerging security threats confronting the West African Region as an incentive to jointly manage their common land and maritime boundaries to safeguard the territorial integrities of both countries.
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, who made the call, said as countries with common interests, it was critical they come together, deliberate on issues fundamental to the welfare, unity, peace, and most importantly security of the people.
To this end, he advocated further strengthening of the existing collaboration between the two countries towards the implementation of future joint cross-border activities as well as address identified challenges along the common boundaries.
The Deputy Minister was speaking in Accra yesterday during the opening session of the Second Joint Technical Meeting of Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire Boundary Commissions.
The establishment of a Joint Technical Committee to work on borders issues by the two countries, he said, was a step on the right direction and urged the members to work assiduously for the common benefit of Ghana and La Côte d’Ivoire.
Mr Owusu-Bio noted that the Meeting provided the platform for the Committee to develop a plan of action for the implementation of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruling which was necessary in properly managing the common international boundaries between the two countries.
He tasked the Committee 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 countries.
The Ivorian Ambassador to Ghana, Tiemoko Moriko, said, the meeting would aid both countries find a common ground on deliberations and strengthen their bilateral relationship.
He also expressed the hope that the two countries would capitalise on the good relationship between the leaders of both countries to strengthen their ties.
“We need to arrive at an acceptable solution because I believe we are one nation. We share the same culture values, religion and heritage. And this should strengthen our boundaries even better,” he stated
National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia, said the Commission had over the few years, engaged neighbouring countries to build the necessary relationships and consensus to enable peaceful coexistence based on agreed defined international boundaries.
He noted that the meeting would focus on 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 others
Major General Kotia said a blue print to address current challenges of the common land boundaries would be developed, adding that the Committee would provide guidelines for early warning mechanism on all issues that could endanger the good relations that currently exist among border communities through sensitisation and other cross-border developments.
The Executive Secretary of the La Cote d’Ivoire Boundary Commission, Diakalidia Konate, said beyond colonial trajectory, the two countries were connected on many levels in history and reiterated the need to further promote the stronger cooperation between the countries.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS