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Tackle Imminent Oil Dispute Dispassionately - Kwesi Aning   
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A security analyst at the Kofi Annan International Peace keeping Center, Dr. Kwesi Aning has advised Government to make the interest of corporate Ghana paramount as it seeks to tackle the looming oil dispute between Ghana and its western neighbours, Cote d’Ivoire.

There are signs of an imminent crude oil-induced border dispute between Ghana and neighboring Ivory Coast, if immediate steps are not taken to enter into negotiations to redefine the international boundary between the two West Africa nations.

The Ivory Coast is reportedly laying claims to portions of the huge oil wealth in the deep waters of the Western Region. To save the situation, Ghana has already begun moves to pass a new law that seeks to establish the Ghana Boundary Commission to undertake negotiations to determine and demarcate Ghana’s land boundaries and de-limit Ghana’s maritime boundaries.

Dr. Kwesi Anin, Speaking to Citi Breakfast Show Host Moro Awudu on Thursday, March 4, said Ghana must take a firm stance as it seeks to enter negotiations with the Ivorians and desist from using the humanitarian approach. “More often than not, when these problems arise, there is a certain naivity on the Ghanaian side, a certain humanitarian approach, saying we are all brothers and all that - we are not brothers.

“The Ivorians have a rationale choice attitude to this, they have made their calculations and they are willing to push this demand as far as possible to get what they want and I think it’s crucial that this bill is passed under the certificate of urgency and hopefully, the team that will be put together should be a bi-partisan group of technical experts with the requisite knowledge to ensure that this issue does not become a problem.”

Dr. Kwesi Anin hinted that the Ivorians are better structured and coordinated and that makes them miles ahead of Ghana as far as the struggle for the demarcation is concerned. He therefore advised Government to ensure the passage of the law immediately and provide the requisite resources for a bi-partisan group to promote Ghana’s interest in the matter.

“The Ivorians have been structured, they’ve been coordinated and irrespective of their own internal political crises, the vision is to make Ivory Coast a richer country irrespective of whether it is stable or not. “So in their struggle with us over where the boundaries are, the Ivorians are miles ahead of us, so I hope this bill is passed, a bi-partisan group of technical experts is put together, the money is found to support their work, they are given the independence of purpose to bring Ghana incorporated’s interest unto the table so that the the find can be used to improve the lives of the people of this country.” He stressed.

Dr. Aning warned that if the right steps are not taken to deal with the situation immediately, Ghana and Ivory Coast may replicate the conflict that ensued between Nigeria and Cameroon over the Bakassi peninsula.
Source: Citifmonline/Ghana

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