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The successful completion of the reaffirmation of the international land boundaries between Ghana and Togo will create a sense of cooperation, understanding, and harmony for the people of the two countries.
Also, the processes of reaffirmation will bring an end to the occasional border disputes and misunderstandings recorded among residents of communities living on the Ghana-Togo border.
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, said this at a joint public sensitization program organized by the Ghana Boundary Commission (GhBC) and the Togo National Boundary Commission at Honuta in the Volta Region on the Ghana-Togo international boundary line.
He expressed concern about the possible eruption of disputes in many of the adjoining communities along the line due to the destruction or displacement of the boundary pillars along the boundary line and stressed the importance of the planned phase three of the joint reaffirmation exercise between Ghana and Togo.
“The exercise is meant to assess the state of the international boundary pillars and subsequently reconstruct new boundary pillars to ensure the easy recognition of our common international land boundary line,” he said.
A number of stakeholders, including chiefs, youth, and opinion leaders from Honuta, as well as the traditional leaders and residents of Klo-Mayondi, respectively, communities in Ghana and Togo that live along the international boundary line, attended the program.
Also present were officials of the Land Boundary Commission of Togo, district chief executives, traditional leaders from Ghana and Togo, as well as heads and representatives of security services.
The reaffirmation exercise, which is being undertaken by a Joint Technical Committee in accordance with the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation and in the spirit of good neighborliness, seeks to reaffirm the shared boundaries along the international boundary line.
It involves the identification and survey of boundary pillars along the stretch, and already, similar exercises have been undertaken on the Aflao-Lome, Deme-Bagbe, and Bagbe-Agotime boundary lines in October 2022 and in May 2023 respectively.
Additionally, the groundwork for the joint reaffirmation from Agotime Afegame to Wli Afegame has been laid.
The reaffirmation of international boundary lines between two countries can have a number of benefits, including increased stability and security in the border region, reducing potential tensions, and preventing conflict among border communities.
Mr Owusu-Bio stressed that the joint reaffirmation was not merely a bureaucratic task but a testament to the enduring spirit of cooperation between the two countries.He pointed out that the similarities that defined the people of Ghana and Togo equally defined the boundaries of the two nations, serving as a bridge that connected their values and histories, “and not walls that separate us,” he said.
The National Coordinator of the GhBC, Major General Dr. Emmanuel Kotia, explained that the program was aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the boundary pillars and the need to protect them.
He said following the previous activities carried out in 2022, additional exercises undertaken had seen officials earmark new boundary pillars for construction to replace those damaged or intentionally removed to enhance the proper demarcation of the shared boundaries.
“The joint technical team intends to cover about 100 km of land boundary from Agotime Afegame to Wli Afegame in the third phase of the reaffirmation exercise, beginning October 21 to November 10, 2023”, he said.
The Chief of Honuta in Ghana, Togbe Kofi Ayisa, and the Chief of Klo-Mayondi in Togo, Togbe Kpetsu VI, pledged their support to the committee and described the exercise as timely and appropriate in safeguarding the sovereignty of the two nations.