Ghana and Togo are likely to head for international arbitration to settle their maritime boundary dispute which has been characterised by a series of failed negotiations.
After the latest meeting in Accra on Tuesday December 4, 2018 which did not produce meaningful results, the negotiating teams from Ghana and Togo are said to be considering the triggering of the arbitration option.
The negotiating parties have failed to reach a consensus to amicably resolve the maritime boundary dispute that is currently affecting oil and gas exploration.
Sources close to the teams inform ADR Daily that the Ghanaian negotiators have informed the Attorney-General of the outcome of the negotiation, adding that discussions are underway on the way forward.
In spite of ongoing talks between the two governments, Togo last December intensified its resistance against Ghana’s claim over their maritime demarcation.
The dispute escalated as Togo terminated the operation of two Ghanaian vessels undertaking seismic activities to acquire data around the demarcated area, with Togo claiming ownership of the disputed area.
The dispute erupted after Ghana won an international arbitration over a similar maritime dispute with Cote d’Ivoire, its western neighbour, at the UN’s International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany.
After that ruling, analysts called for an amicable demarcation of the boundary between Ghana and Togo to avoid the challenges with Cote d’Ivoire impasse, but negotiations continue to fail.
Mr Lawrence Apaalse, Head of Ghana’s Technical Delegation negotiating the Ghana-Togo maritime border dispute, has not ruled out arbitration by a third party.
He told journalists during the Accra meeting of the negotiation teams that they would have no option than to move to arbitration if they continue to fail in building a consensus.
“Giving the three rounds of negotiation so far it is quite possible that we are not reaching consensus very soon,” he said.
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He, however, noted that they would continue to negotiate in spite of the failures
“We will negotiate till it hurts, and when it hurts both sides would be very clear that it hurts and then move to the next step which is third party arbitration,” he said.
By Benjamin Nana Appiah/adrdaily.com