Immediate past Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has implored government to ensure the delimitation of the country’s border boundary with neighbouring Togo to avert future dispute.
She said a definite resolution of the border boundary with Togo will save Ghana the experience it went through with the four-year-old maritime dispute with Ivory Coast.
Mrs Appiah-Oppong told Mamavi Owusu Aboagye on the AM Show on the JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV Monday, the absence of a clear border boundary between Ghana and Togo will not lead to another legal tussle.
“We should remember that litigation is always the last resort especially when it comes to your neighbouring state or country. I believe that negotiations will take place between Ghana and Togo on that particular boundary,” she said.
Mrs Appiah-Oppong was reacting to Ghana’s victory over the weekend at The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
Ivory Coast had accused Ghana of infringing on its sovereign right with its exploration activities. After months of bilateral talks to resolve the dispute failed, Ghana initiated proceedings against its neighbour.
ITLOS Special Chamber absolved Ghana of wrongdoing and went ahead to delimit the marine borders between the two West African nations.
But, there are worries Ghana’s unsolved boundary with Togo might lead to another litigation.
Former Chairman of the Ghana-Togo Border Demarcation Commission, Sam Okudzeto has said it may be time for Ghana to agree with its neighbours – Burkina Faso and Togo – on its territories.
He said just like the Commission he chaired, the commission mandated to deal with the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border demarcation did not complete its work.
But Mrs Appiah-Oppong, who was instrumental in the victory at ITLOS, said her successor Gloria Akuffo has all the issues under control and will deal with them expertly.
ITLOS, Working with Gloria Akuffo
Ghana’s victory at ITLOS over the weekend was secured by two women; Mrs Appiah-Oppong who served in the previous John Mahama administration and Ms Akufo, who is in the current government.
According to Mrs Appiah-Oppong, heading to the court saved the country billions of dollars in addition to the country maintaining its sovereignty.
“Over the area, for generations yet unborn, that area still belongs to Ghana. It is not a case of gloating over the this [victory] but we are just trying to continue with the friendly relationship Côte d’Ivoire.
“Madam Akuffo and I will always remember the work we did together. We started working together during the transition,” she spoke about her working relationship with Madam Akufo.
She said she was a little concerned when they started working but although the issue of the maritime dispute was in the handing over notes, “the team did not think it was proper to leave it in the handing over notes.”
“I approached her and requested an immediate meeting with the trial coming up in February as there were lots of things that needed to be done and decisions to be taken.
“She was very pleasant and from then we started working together and it was indeed very cordial. When she was leaving for Hamburg a week ago, she called me and we prayed that we will have a successful outcome.
“As soon as the judgment was delivered, she called me again and said, ‘Marietta, we did it!,” Mrs Appiah-Oppong recounted.