National coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Kotia, has revealed that some development partners are aiding the country to reaffirm its boundary pillars.
According to him, Ghana’s presentation of ratified instruments to the Africa Union Convention is of utmost relevance and benefit to the country. He revealed that Ghana, based on the ratified instrument, is at liberty to negotiate and have discussions with neighboring states so far as border issues are concerned.
“The second aspect is that we are easily opened to funding from development partners and other friendly countries so far as involvement of our boundaries are concerned. Currently, we are working with Togo in delimitation of our boundary. This delimitation exercise is to confirm the pillars, and we are doing it jointly with the neighboring countries.
“The work we are doing currently is funded by GIZ, and we are going to replace the old pillars that have been removed or those that are shaky with new boundary pillars and that is going to be funded by development partners.”Major General Emmanuel Kotia
Maj. Gen. Kotia emphasized that the ratification provides the country leeway and support given by Africa Union convention. The other aspect, he noted, is that when it comes to cross-border issues, Ghana can receive support from the ECOWAS and AU, with respect to intervening in deprived and border communities.
Elaborating on the essence of the AU convention on cross border cooperation and Ghana’s ratification, Maj. Gen. Kotia noted that it is meant to promote cross border cooperation to ensure peaceful resolution of boundary disputes – both land and maritime boundaries.
Eventually, he indicated that when Ghana gets the new bill into effect, air boundaries are also going to be featured as part of its responsibilities.
“So, the aim of the convention is in sync with the responsibility that has been spelt out in the law that established the Ghana Boundary Commission in Ghana. Now, in achieving this aim, it will be based on joint activities between neighboring countries and it’s to facilitate the involvement of border lands, cross-boundary activities to ease free movement of persons and goods across the various boundaries…”Major General Emmanuel Kotia
Adoption of AU Convention on boundary
Furthermore, Maj. Gen. Kotia explained that the decision to adopt the AU convention was at the 23rd Extraordinary session of the Africa Union Assembly held in Malabo in Equitorial Guinea.
Therefore, he revealed that the convention in setting it up, is in line with the agreement to establish an Africa Union agenda of 2063 under the aspiration of a seamless border and management across border resources through dialogue.
Commenting on the impact of the convention on insurgency situations in subregion, Maj. Gen. Kotia expressed that it doesn’t necessarily address insurgency in the subregion. However, he stated that Ghana works in collaboration with other agencies that are providing security in that respect.
“For instance, if you have an immigration officer at the border, and we have seen it a couple of times, sometimes because the demarcation is not so clear, they do not know where the boundary is. So, it is our responsibility as a Commission to identify where the boundary is…”Major General Emmanuel Kotia
Moreover, Maj. Gen. Kotia revealed that with coup-riddled countries like Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire, they don’t need to be roped in because they did two years ago. For this reason, he emphasized that the ratifications don’t have a relationship with insecurity as such, but having such boundaries well-demarcated prevents interstate conflicts.
“Now, we have nine countries that have ratified. Nigeria was the last country to present their ratified instrument… It doesn’t affect the operation and relationship that Ghana Boundary Commission will have with the Boundary Commission in Burkina. We had a joint meeting with Burkina in May last year, and that was in the midst of the military government…”Major General Emmanuel Kotia