The Ivorian side of the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border, which was opened to business and passengers on Monday afternoon, was closed to the public Tuesday.?

The Ivorian side of the border was first closed to the public on Friday, September 21, 2012, following heavy gunfire on the Ivorian side, which reportedly led to the death of five taxi drivers.

After close consultation between Ghanaian and Ivorian authorities, the border was opened to traders from both sides on Monday, but the Ivorian authorities closed the border again Tuesday for reasons not immediately known.

The continued closure of the Ivorian side of the border is affecting revenue generation at the Ghanaian side of the border.

According to officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the state was losing millions of cedis in revenue, while most shops at Elubo and Jewi Wharf had been closed.

Officials on the Ghana side of the border said they were surprised that after the two sides had held discussions on Monday, the Ivorian authorities failed to open their side of the border Tuesday morning.

When the border was opened last Monday, only buses belonging to the Ghana’s State Transport Company (STC) were allowed to cross. Other heavy-duty cargo trucks carrying goods were not allowed to cross the border to Abidjan, other parts of Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia.

Meanwhile, the Ghana government says it has resolved to liaise with the government of Cote d’Ivoire to jointly investigate the reported attacks on the Ivorian side of the Elubo border by assailants.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation in Accra Tuesday reassured the government and people of Cote d’Ivoire and the international community that Ghana would continue to abide by international laws and not allow the hospitality offered to Ivorian refugees to be misconstrued as providing an opportunity for planning and executing any action to undermine the sovereignty, peace and reconciliation efforts being undertaken by the Ivorian government.

“The Government of Ghana remains determined and resolute that the two countries jointly investigate these occurrences to our mutual benefit, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding that exists between the security services of our two countries and in consonance with our shared responsibility to safeguard peace,” it said.

It expressed the government’s concern “over recent developments in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire, namely, multiple attacks on police stations and Gendamerie barracks in Abidjan and Noe on the Ivorian side of the Elubo border, reportedly by assailants?.

The statement quoted the government as saying that given the shared commitment of the two countries to peace and security, which were consistently stated by the two Presidents, “Ghana is particularly concerned by the repeated claims that the incursions are being initiated from Ghana”.

“The Government of Ghana wishes to restate its insistence that refugees and asylum seekers strictly adhere to and respect the laws of Ghana, as well as international regulations and conventions, especially the tripartite agreement among Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and the UNHCR,” it said.

The Member of Parliament for Jomoro, Ms Samia Yaba Nkrumah, was at the border to assess the situation and assured travellers that the two countries would do everything possible to resolve the situation soonest.

A visit to the Elubo border by the Daily Graphic on Tuesday revealed that several cargo trucks had lined up, waiting for the entry point to be opened.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded, compelling them, as well as drivers and their mates, to pass the night in front of stores in the border town, while virtually all guesthouses at Elubo were fully booked.

Some of the passengers and drivers the Daily Graphic spoke to appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to act immediately.

 

Daily Graphic

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