Sierra Leone, Guinea agree on sea border

2012-03-27 20:04

Freetown - Neighbouring Sierra Leone and Guinea have agreed on the outer limits of their continental shelves in a bid to prevent future disputes over fishing and oil discoveries, officials said on Tuesday.

A foreign ministry official in Sierra Leone said the agreement settles "possible disputes about fishing rights" and other issues.

The agreement, set up with assistance from Norway, establishes the continental shelves beyond 200 nautical miles (370km) from the shores of the west African nations and involves everything that can be found on the seabed, including precious metals, fish and oil.

Sierra Leone's Deputy Foreign Minister Ebun Jusu described the signing as "strategic for the development of peaceful neighbourliness of countries".

Guinean Foreign Minister Edouard Lama described the agreement as "an efficient instrument signifying the goodwill of a peaceful settlement of maritime borders between Sierra Leone and Guinea".

Fishing is key to both economies - already strained by piracy which is rife in the Gulf of Guinea, and Sierra Leone has recently made several offshore oil discoveries.

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