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Opinions of Saturday, 5 February 2011

Columnist: Alordey, Susu

The Ivorian Crisis – What ‘The Hell’ Is Mills Talking About?

The recommendation of Ghana
to employ dialogue as a panacea to right the ongoing post electoral crises in Ivory
Coast has been met with fire and brimstone
from opposition leadership in Ghana
and some foreign actors. What is worse, the stance by Ghana not to contribute
troops, should
legitimate force be contemplated as a last resort, has led to wild speculations
and assigning questionable motives to the Atta Mills led government of Ghana.

‘The government of Ghana is weak’.
One BBC correspondent remarked. According to the opposition in Ghana, ‘the
government of Ghana is the brain behind the recalcitrant
stance of the embattled president o f Ivory coast’. Atta Mills has been
bribed’, remarked one social commentator. Indeed, it remains a common
phenomenon these days to hear contributors to radio-phone-in sections
postulating that the government of Ghana wants to also benefit
electorally in 2012 should President Gbagbo remain in office.

Nevertheless, should we not examine the position of Ghana beyond assumptions and

To start with, available evidence
does not lend credence to the fact that ‘the no war’ stance adopted by Ghana to
resolve the Ivorian crises is a tacit support for the presidency of Gbagbo.
What is factual however, is the public declaration of Ghana that it
believes that Mr. Ouattara, Ivorian Opposition leader won the last disputed
elections. This position is further amplify by the fact that Ghana is signatory
to a declaration of ECOWAS, which endorses the opposition leader as the
president elect and has gone ahead to contribute not less than five hundred
Ghanaian troops that currently provides security to the man it believes to have
won the elections.

In fact, Ghana’s reluctance in advocating for war in the
Ivorian crises is not only because its military capabilities appears to be
overstretched because of peacekeeping exercises across the globe, including Ivory Coast
but for the following reasons as well.

One, the evidence appears to be
scanty to demonstrate that a military warfare will be the magic wand that will
bring peace to Ivory Coast.
Indeed lessons from Iraq and
are so fresh in our minds. What will a potential war in Ivory Coast
achieve? How long will it last? Is there an estimate for civilian causalities?
What is the implication for neighboring countries as far as the refugee
situation is concern? What next after the war? Moreover, will the cost of war
in any way compare to using dialogue?

Ghana has not less than two
million of its citizens living and working in Ivory Coast. What will be the fate
of this Ghanaians if Ghana
should provoke or support war in that country? In fact, the picture becomes
even more alarming when one considers the fact that Ghana
is bordered on the west by Ivory
Coast and that its recently discovered oil
is directly on the border with this embattled country. Why will anybody want to
place such huge investment and treasure in jeopardy? The onus is on Ghana to
unanimously speak with one voice to chat the way for a peaceful resolution to
the impasse even if it comes to the use of military force to uproot Gbagbo.
This is not a platform to gain political capital, as some have chosen to, but a
platform to demonstrate patriotism not to Ghana
alone but Africa as a whole. Have we asked
ourselves why France
is suddenly alarmed and quite when pundits begin parroting use of military to
force Gbagbo out of power? What has Ghana
not done in maintaining peace in Ivory Coast prior to their election?
In any case, can we take a closer look at the reports of ECOWAS, A.U. and U.N.
electoral observers and possibly marry them to our present stands.

Thirdly, the right as to who
governs Ivory Coast
remains the prerogative right of the Ivorian people. The least anybody can do
is to seek and support any such internal measures that have been put in place
by the indigenes to resolve their problem. In the unlikely event that no such
measure exists, one can comfortably volunteer one for the consideration of the
local folks. Membership of regional or international bodies, should serve such
useful purposes as enhancing trade, communication, transportation,
neighborliness and useful assistance in times of crises. What this embattle
Country does not need is for body to breath fire at the back of its neck and
start a war it has no commitment to finish, particularly when it was dialogue
and not war which has resolved many conflict around the world, including

African political leadership, the issue of trust is a big problem. Thus when
President Mills opine with condor, there is a need to commend him and encourage
him to always exhibit for others to emulate especially the younger generations.
I think one of the best legacies that our African leaders can bequeath
generations to come is TRUTH AT ALL TIMES. It is only the virtue of condor that
can consolidate trust in African leadership.

By Susu Alordey: