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Public Notice: Ministry of Internal Affairs
By Ministry of Internal Affairs
Feb 6, 2006, 13:42

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3rd February 2006

The General Public would recall that early October last year, two experts from Britain and France participated in an assessment meeting on the boundary demarcation between Sierra Leone and Guinea, in the area between Cairns No. 15 and 16 along the Moa/Makona River in the Yenga Area in accordance with the 1912 Protocol and related Maps jointly signed by the then British and French Colonial powers.

The British expert is the Director of Research at the International Boundaries Research Unit, University of Durham, while the French expert is Senior Survey Engineer at the French National Geographical Institute in France.

The Public is informed that the 1912 Protocol stipulates that the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea between Cairns 15 and 16 follows the left bank of the Moa/Makona river.

The issue now to be resolved relates to the meaning of the "left bank" of the Moa/Makona river as intended by the British and the French Commissioners in demarcating the boundary between Sierra Leone and Guinea in 1912.

From their reports received, the two experts have shown contrasting views about the meaning of "bank" of a river.

It is the understanding of the French expert that the "bank" of a river, is the highest level reached by a "Millennium flood" which may occur in one thousand years time, and this he interpretes as the "external red line" on the 1912 map.

On the contrary, the British expert is of the opinion that had the British and French Commissioners any extraordinary meaning to the "bank" of a river they must have stated it clearly in the 1912 Protocol. He therefore believes that in the absence of that, they could have only had in mind the ordinary meaning of what a "bank" of a river is, i.e. the level of a "normal flood".

We would like the Public to note that both experts expressed the common view that the map accompanying the 1912 Protocol does not clearly indicate a boundary meaning the existence on the map of the "external red line" and "internal red line" is not useful in any demarcation exercise.

The Sierra Leone Government is now trying to get the two technical committees from both Sierra Leone and Guinea to meet soonest and reconcile these views.

It is hoped that this matter will now be resolved amicably in the next meeting between the two technical committees and the general public will be informed of the outcome.


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