“Ghana sidelined in ECOWAS meeting to plan Ivorian military action”

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – Ghana said on Monday that it was sidelined at a recent of military chiefs of the Economic Community of West Africah States to plan a possible military action to force Ivorian incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo out of office.

Deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim-Boateng, told an Accra-based radio station that the  meeting, which was attended by military chiefs within the ECOWAS sub-region, did not include Ghana’s Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Peter Augustine Blay.

He said this was apparently due to Ghana’s position that it would not contribute troops for military action in its western neighbour.

Ghana's president John Evans Atta Mills said on Friday that although it supported ECOWAS' decision, personally he did not think that military action would solve the problem.

He said his military High Command had advised that Ghana could not commit troops to the Ivorian  campaign because its armed forces were stretched. Ghana currently has 500 soldiers with the UN Peacekeeping force in Cote d'Ivoire and in many areas across the globe.

Mr. Agyenim-Boateng said President Mills would continue to use behind-the-scenes diplomatic channels in an effort to help resolve the Ivorian crisis.

Although the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has condemned president Mills' position, several security and international relations experts have hailed him saying such an adventure would be bloody and put at risk Ghanaians living in that country.

A security analyst, Col Festus Aboagye (Rtd.) backed the President's decision to go public with Ghana’s stance on the Ivorian crisis.

“Whatever the president said can never be interpreted to mean that he is either for Gbagbo nor in that context against (Alassane) Ouatarra," he said. Ouattara is widely regarded to have won the 28 November poll.
-0- PANA MA 10Jan2010

10 january 2011 22:55:48

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