Ivory Coast to reopen Ghana border
08 October 2012, 11:24
Abidjan - Ivory Coast's land and sea borders with Ghana, closed after a
deadly attack on 21 September, will reopen on Monday, the defence
minister announced late on Sunday.
Paul Koffi Koffi said on RTI
public television that President Alassane Ouattara had decided the
borders would reopen at 07:00 on Monday.
All borders were closed
after gunmen attacked a border checkpoint at Noe in Ivory Coast and then
fled to Ghana, but air links were reopened on 24 September.
Five assailants were killed in the shootout, another five were arrested, while the rest fled into Ghana, Ivorian officials said.
police said they had arrested three men in possession of AK-47 rifles
on suspicion that they were plotting to overthrow Ouattara's government.
said that since the closure "the two brotherly countries have
strengthened their security along the common border with the aim of
preventing any incursion" while Ouattara and his Ghanaian counterpart
John Dramani Mahama "have stayed in permanent contact."
Mahama said on 26 September that Ghana would not allow its territory to be used as a base to attack neighbouring nations.
noted "the unfolding tensions in Ivory Coast", and said 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," in an address to the United Nations that was distributed in
The closure of the frontiers caused major difficulties for trade between the neighbours and for residents of the border region.
Coast's security forces were in August hit by a wave of attacks in and
around Abidjan and in the west of the country, attacks blamed by the
authorities on former president Laurent Gbagbo. Gbagbo's FPI party
rejected the accusation.
It was the most serious surge of
violence since the end of the post-election conflict between December
2010 and April 2011 which according to a UN estimate left about 3 000
Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, was
seen as one of Africa's most stable states, until it descended into
crisis after the 2010 elections.
Fighting broke out after
strongman Gbagbo refused to step down in favour of his long-time rival
Ouattara, who was declared the election's winner.
Five months of
unrest followed before Gbagbo was eventually arrested after forces loyal
to Ouattara stormed his heavily fortified home with French and UN
Ghanaian authorities last Monday charged
Gbagbo's spokesperson with murder following a warrant from his home
country, days after he was granted bail while awaiting an extradition
Justin Kone Katinan's lawyer Patrick Sogbodjor said that
while the alleged murder was committed in Ivory Coast, prosecutors
charged him in Accra as a procedural move to keep him in custody after
his earlier release on bail.
He was charged with three counts of conspiracy and the murder of two men in Abidjan in March last year.
Dallo, a former minister in Ivory Coast currently being detained in his
home country, was also said to be facing the same charges.