KT Hammond Warns Gov’t Over “Shady” Ivory Coast

Former Deputy Energy Minister K. T Hammond has advised government to stay clear off opening any diplomatic channels on the side aimed at amicably solving the maritime dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast.

On Saturday, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled that Ghana may proceed with on-going oil exploration projects in the disputed area of the maritime boundary with Ivory Coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

This was after Ivory Coast filed an injunction appeal to the Tribunal to, among other things, direct Ghana to take all steps to suspend all on-going oil exploration and exploitation operations in the disputed area and refrain from granting any new permit for oil exploration and exploitation in the disputed area.

Some have suggested that while the hearing of the case is still on-going, Ghana should be open to other diplomatic channels to resolve the matter so as to prevent any dire repercussions.

“I think we should shut firm all back channels of solving this matter and it shouldn’t be open at all,” KT Hammond has cautioned.

He remarked on Eyewitness News that “if you are dealing with people who really don’t appreciate the seriousness of a situation as this, why don’t you just go for the ultimate and that is what we’ve done.”

Ivory Coast is fighting Ghana over a maritime boundary and after years of unsuccessful bilateral talks, Ghana initiated the arbitration proceedings under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

KT Hammond has insisted that Ghana made a very good move after years of unnecessary maneuverings from the Ivoirians.

“I think that was a good move and I think we should leave it there and what if the Ivoirians will come back? We don’t want any compromises that give any drop of our oil to them. We will not agree!” he fumed.