Ghana-Ivory Coast Maritime Boundary Dispute ITLOS maritime boundary case ruled in favour of Ghana

The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled that "Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d'Ivoire" in the dispute between the two countries over their disputed maritime boundary.

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The Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Laws of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled in favour of Ghana but with some caveats to amend the equidistant border with Côte d’Ivoire.

Cote D’Ivoire had accused Ghana of using the development of its oil industry to annex a part of its territory which does not belong to it.

Cote D’Ivoire was claiming ownership of the disputed TEN oil field, forcing Ghana to file a suit at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to ward off Ivory Coast from the disputed oil fields.

Ghana filed its suit based on Article 287 Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS.

Cote d’Ivoire in February 2015 filed for preliminary measures and urged the tribunal to suspend all activities in the disputed area until the definitive determination of the case, dubbed: “Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean.”

But the Special Chamber of the ITLOS on April 25, 2015 declined to suspend production activities in the disputed area with the explanation that “in the view of the Special Chamber, the suspension of ongoing activities conducted by Ghana in respect of which drilling has already taken place would entail the risk of considerable financial loss to Ghana, and its concessioners and could also pose a serious danger to the marine environment resulting, in particular, from the deterioration of equipment.”

The moratorium prevented Tullow from drilling additional 13 wells, Tullow drilled 11 wells in Ghana’s first oil field.

Giving the special chamber's ruling on Saturday, Judge Boualem Bouguetaia said the ITLOS unanimously concluded that Ghana did not violate Ivory Coast's maritime boundary.

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