Following post-attack closure, Ghana-Ivory Coast borders reopen
(12 October 2012)
After a deadly attack took place on 21 September 2012, the land and maritime borders between Ghana and Ivory Coast were closed for over two weeks. It was reported that the cross-border attack was carried out by exiled loyal supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo. Reports stated that several people were killed in the border town of Noé after an attack on an Ivory Coast army checkpoint, where the gunmen then fled across the border to Ghana. Officials from Ivory Coast claim the attacks were coordinated from within Ghana, where Gbagbo supporters are situated. The ousted President is currently awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity.
On 8 October, Ivory Coast reopened its land and maritime borders with Ghana. Both countries had reportedly tightened their security following the attacks. The closures had affected trade along the Gulf of Guinea, a major transport route to Nigeria. Air borders had also been closed for several days, but were reopened on 24 September. Following the announcement to reopen the borders, Paul Koffi Koffi, the Ivorian defence minister, was quoted as saying that “the two brotherly countries have strengthened their security along the common border with the aim of preventing any incursion,” while the leaders of both countries have remained in contact since the initial incident. President Mahama had earlier stated in an address to the United Nations that Ghana “will not harbour any individuals or groups whose intent is to utilise Ghana as a base of operation to undermine the safety and security of another nation.”
Sources: ‘Ivory Coast reopens Ghana land and sea borders’, BBC News, 8 October 2012; ‘Ivory Coast reopens borders with Ghana’, Al Jazeera, 8 October 2012; ‘Ghana: guns boom at Ivory Coast-Ghana border’, Simmons Yussif Kewura, All Africa, 27 September 2012.