Maritime Dispute Oral hearing for border disagreement begins

Cote D’Ivoire is claiming ownership of the disputed TEN oil field, forcing Ghana to file a suit at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to ward off Ivory Coast from disputed oilfields.

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The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea will begin the oral hearing of the maritime border dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast on Monday, February 6, 2017.

The hearing will be presided over by the President of the Special Chamber constituted to deal with the dispute, Judge Boualem Bouguetaia.

The hearing will be last for the next ten days.

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Ghana first submitted her memorial and the initial hearing was done.  The country was then given the mandate to go ahead with drills but with some restrictions. Ivory Coast has also submitted its counter-memorial a couple of months ago after Ghana submitted its initial memorial.

Ghana’s team which is expected to put up its defence today is being led by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Gloria Akuffo.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Gloria Akuffo. play

Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Gloria Akuffo.

 

Cote D’Ivoire had earlier called for the suspension of activities on Ghana’s oil fields by disputing the maritime boundary until the final determination of their disagreement over the boundary.

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Cote D’Ivoire is claiming ownership of the disputed TEN oil field, forcing Ghana to file a suit at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to ward off Ivory Coast from disputed oilfields.

It filed its suit based on Article 287 Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS.

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Cote d’Ivoire in February 2015 filed for preliminary measures and urged the tribunal to suspend all activities in the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case, dubbed: “Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean.”

But the Special Chamber of the ITLOS on April 25, 2015 declined to suspend production activities in the disputed area with the explanation that “in the view of the Special Chamber, the suspension of ongoing activities conducted by Ghana in respect of which drilling has already taken place would entail the risk of considerable financial loss to Ghana, and its concessioners and could also pose a serious danger to the marine environment resulting, in particular, from the deterioration of equipment.”

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