Ghana to strengthen protection of its boundaries – President Mills
President John Evans Atta-Mills on Thursday tasked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to coordinate activities of the Ghana Boundary Commission to scale out the outer limits of the nation’s continental shelf beyond the acceptable 200 nautical miles (M).
This, he said, would ensure the continuous protection of the nation’s land and maritime resources, while encouraging good neighbourliness between the country and its neighbours, as the country’s foreign policy mandates.
President Mills, who was delivering the State of the Nation address in Parliament, explained that 200 nautical miles (M) is the United Nation’s Commission’s Limit of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).
He stressed on Ghana’s impressive track record on fostering international peace, urging the utilisation of the tools of diplomacy and existing bilateral and multilateral structures in resolving questions of boundary disputes.
“This administration will conduct our foreign relations on the basis of national respect and good neighbourliness.”
President Mills instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to intensify its activities in ensuring the security and welfare of Ghanaians in the Diaspora, adding “We have consular and moral responsibility for them all”.
It would be recalled that in March 2010, barely a week after Russian oil producer LUKOil announced it has discovered oil in the Dzata-1 well in the Cape Three Point, Cote d’Ivoire laid claim to the location where the oil was found.
The Dzata-1 well and the Deepwater Tano fall within the same boundary.
Subsequently, in April 2010, the Government set up a Presidential Commission spearheaded by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to oversee to the peaceful settlement of the boundary dispute, but Cote d’Ivoire has petitioned the United Nations to demarcate the Ivorian territorial maritime boundary with Ghana.
Meanwhile, Kosmos Energy, one of the companies producing oil in the Jubilee fields has cited the dispute as a possible obstacle to Ghana’s oil production.