General News of Monday, 10 January 2011

Source: citifmonline

Ghana excluded from Ecowas military planning session

Ghana has been sidelined in a major discussion to plan a possible military action to force Ivorian leader, Laurent Gbagbo, to abide by the results of a general election that saw opposition leader Alasane Ouatarra voted the country's new president.

The recently held meeting, which was attended by military chiefs within the ECOWAS sub-region, did not include Ghana’s Chief of Defence Staff.

Government says ECOWAS chose to exclude Lieutenant General Peter Augustine Blay from the discussion apparently due to Ghana’s position that Military intervention will not end the post election standoff in Ivory Coast.

Deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim-Boateng, made these disclosures in a Citi News interview during which he also defended President Mills’ position on the prevailing stand-off in Ghana’s Western neighbour.

Notwithstanding criticism from some quarters including the opposition Mr. Agyenim-Boateng insists that President Mills will continue to use behind-the-scenes diplomatic channels in an effort to help resolve the Ivorian crisis. ? The President, in a meeting with Editors and senior Journalists at the Castle, Osu on January 7, 2011, insisted that Ghana would not contribute troops to any proposed military action by ECOWAS because her forces were overstretched.

In any case, the use of force would likely rather worsen the situation, he added.

In another interview with Citi Breakfast Show Host Bernard Avle, author and 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 or in that context against Ouatarra."