Ivory Coast to reopen border with Ghana following 2-week closure

Reuters News

10/7/2012 5:29:21 PM - Reuters News

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast announced it would reopen its border with eastern neighbor Ghana on Monday, more than two weeks after it was shut over a series of deadly attacks Ivorian officials said were launched from Ghanaian territory.

The Ivorian government blamed the raids, which targeted police and army installations in the commercial capital Abidjan and a border town on September 20 and 21, on supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo currently living in exile in Ghana.

Ivorian Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said in a statement broadcast on state television late on Sunday that both countries had reinforced security along the border "with the aim of stopping all incursions".

"As a result President Alassane Ouattara decided that from Monday October 8, 2012 at seven in the morning the land and sea borders will reopen," he said.

Though Ivory Coast reopened its airspace to flights from Ghana on September 23, the closure has blocked the main transportation route along the Gulf of Guinea, stretching from Ivory Coast to Nigeria.

Ghana has promised to help investigate the attacks, which further worsened relations already strained by Accra's refusal to act on international arrest warrants targeting former members of Gbagbo's regime issued by Ivory Coast last year.

Gbagbo's refusal to accept defeat in a 2010 election won by Ouattara sparked a brief war last year that killed over 3,000 people. He is currently awaiting trial before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Myra MacDonald)