The Press Release
Ghana can go ahead to explore oil despite the dispute between it and neighbours Ivory Coast, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has ruled.
However, the Tribunal ordered that: “(a) Ghana shall take all necessary steps to ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control takes place in the disputed area as defined in paragraph 60.”
Cote d’Ivoire called for the cessation of all activities, including oil exploration on the disputed maritime boundary, until the hearing of the substantive case, which is set to be settled in 2018.
Legal and technical representatives from both countries battled it out at ITLOS’s Special Chamber in Hamburg, Germany, on March 29 and 30, 2015.
ITLOS in its ruling, Saturday said:
THE SPECIAL CHAMBER,
Prescribes, pending the final decision, the following provisional measures under article 290, paragraph 1, of the Convention:
(a) Ghana shall take all necessary steps to ensure that no new drilling either by Ghana or under its control takes place in the disputed area as defined in paragraph 60;
(b) Ghana shall take all necessary steps to prevent information resulting from past, ongoing or future exploration activities conducted by Ghana, or with its authorization, in the disputed area that is not already in the public domain from being used in any way whatsoever to the detriment of Côte d’Ivoire;
(c) Ghana shall carry out strict and continuous monitoring of all activities undertaken by Ghana or with its authorization in the disputed area with a view to ensuring the prevention of serious harm to the marine environment;
(d) The Parties shall take all necessary steps to prevent serious harm to the marine environment, including the continental shelf and its superjacent waters, in the disputed area and shall cooperate to that end;
(e) The Parties shall pursue cooperation and refrain from any unilateral action that might lead to aggravating the dispute.
Decides that Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire shall each submit to the Special Chamber the initial report referred to in paragraph 105 not later than 25 May 2015, and authorizes the President of the Special Chamber, after that date, to request such information from the Parties as he may consider appropriate.
Decides that each Party shall bear its own costs.
President of the Special Chamber