Angolan government authorised by parliament to negotiation sea border with Congo

26 March 2010

Luanda, Angola, 26 March – The Angolan government plans to reach a deal with its neighbour the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before making a request to the United Nations (UN) to increase its sea border, the Minister for Justice said in Luanda.

On Wednesday, the Angolan parliament approved a resolution authorising the government to start talks to establish the sea border to the north, as in the recent past the DRC had accused Angola of stealing its oil.

Minister Guilhermina Prata said that the start of talks aimed to expand the sea border to 350 nautical miles, as it currently stood at 200 nautical miles.

“An agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo on our sea border to the north would set up conditions for Angola to present the proposal (to the UN),” Prata told members of parliament.

In its report the National Assembly recommended that the basis for negotiation should strictly respect the agreements established by Portugal and Belgium, which set out the starting points for outlining sea borders.

The DRC, which is trying to recover from a civil war between 1998 and 2003, has practically no offshore oil operations, as its Atlantic coast is squeezed in between Angola and its enclave Cabinda.

Under the terms of a UN convention on sea laws, coastal states can explore resources on their coast up to 200 nautical miles of their coast although, under certain conditions, that may be increased to 350 miles. (macauhub)