Ghana justifies position not to use force to resolve Cote d'Ivoire crisis

22:05, January 18, 2011      

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Ghana on Tuesday justified its position of no military intervention in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire to resolve the post-election crisis.

Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills felt vindicated by the position taken by the AU envoys at the United Nations on the political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, Director of Communications at the Presidential Office Korku Anyidoho told the media here on Tuesday.

African envoys said in a declaration issued earlier that dialogue instead of military action should be used to resolve the post-election crisis in Ghana's western neighboring country.

The evolving refugee situation as a result of the crisis had become a matter of concern in the sub-region as media reports here on Tuesday said over 150 Ghanaian nationals had returned home from Cote d'Ivoire.

Ghana has made it clear that military action should be the last solution to the political crisis that broke out after the national elections on Nov. 28 in the West African country.

"Prior to taking that stance, the president had consulted widely with his service chiefs and former president Rawlings. And everybody knows the role Rawlings played in fostering peace in Africa and in Liberia in particular," Anyidoho said.

He said when the genocide was going on in Rwanda in 1994 and other nations were recalling their troops from the UN operation in the country, Rawlings insisted that the Ghanaian troops remained there to save lives.

Meanwhile, the managing editor of a pro-government newspaper, the Enquire, Raymond Archer, said the position of the AU ambassadors had proved that ECOWAS had goofed badly in deciding to take the military option.

"ECOWAS was not in the position to carry out a successful military campaign, the incumbent's position would have been strengthened," said Archer, who had just returned from Cote d' Ivoire.

Instead, Archer said, ECOWAS should rather explore all diplomatic avenues to resolve the issue since the Ivorian problem went beyond incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and his presidential rival Alassane Ouattara.

"It is a systemic problem which, if not dealt with properly, could resurface in future elections," Archer added.

The historical ties between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire went beyond just boundary issues. Ghana and its western neighbor produce over 50 percent of cocoa in the world.

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