Legal luminary and arbitration advocate, Nana Prof. S.K.B Asante, says seeking international arbitration on Ghana’s maritime dispute with Togo must be a second option.
The government of Ghana has announced that it will not hesitate to seek international arbitration if its counterparts from Togo fail to cooperate with Ghana’s Technical Delegation Team that is negotiating a maritime dispute along the eastern border of the country.
Already, both countries have failed to come to a consensus after three rounds of negotiations on the maritime boundary demarcations.
Speaking to JoyBusiness at a breakfast meeting to commemorate the Centenary of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Legal luminary and arbitration advocate, Nana Prof. Asante argues arbitration must be the final option.
According to him, “peaceful resolution is always better than a full-scale arbitration which is a drawn-out business but I’m hopeful these peaceful methods may prevail. This is a matter which is under the active consideration of the government. I hope that we can resolve the matter peacefully.”
Immediate past Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has implored the 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.
“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.
Already, upstream activities have come to a halt due to an increase in hostile threats from the Togolese naval forces since December last year.
Meanwhile, the Head of Ghana's Technical Team negotiating the maritime boundary delimitation with Togo, Lawrence Apaalse, has revealed to the Ghanaian Times that there is no consensus in sight in the raging disagreement between the two countries on their boundary on the high sea.
Mr Apaalse who is the Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy said that though there was no solution in sight, negotiations with their Togolese counterparts would continue.
"Giving the three rounds of negotiations so far, it is quite possible that we are not reaching consensus very soon," he said.
Togolese officials between December 2017 and May this year, seized two seismic vessels from Ghana setting the disagreement and the subsequent negotiations in motion.