Home » LATEST NEWS » Ghana backs off on possible military intervention in Ivory Coast

By Nigerians Abroad  staff writer

Ghanaian president John Atta Mills has indicated his government unwillingness to participate in any form of military intervention to force out defiant Ivory Coast leader, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo. Mr Atta Mills said he does not think that the use of force will solve the current political impasse in Ivory Coast.

The West African regional body ECOWAS had taken the decision to use military force against Mr. Gbagbo if he fails to step down for his rival, Mr. Alassane Ouattara who is internationally  recognized as the legitimate winner of the country’s presidential election.

Speaking at an editor’s forum organized to mark his two years in office in Accra, Ghana’s capital, Mr. Atta Mills said that his government cannot take side on who leads Ivorians, and that his military chiefs are unwilling to contribute troops to any special force to oust Gbagbo.

“I consulted with my Military High Command and they advised that they could not release troops to join [any ECOWAS] contingent to take military action [in Cote D'Ivoire],” said  Atta Mills.

Ghana and Ivory Coast shares border, east of the Atlantic coast.  As a result, a successful military intervention might requires the support of the Ghanaian government. Also, in the event of a military intervention, Ghana risks absolving thousands of refugees that might fled Ivory Coast for safety.

Responding to an allegation of betrayal of ECOWAS resolution, and giving support to Mr. Gbagbo,  The Ghanaian president said “Ghana is not taking sides,…we have about one million Ghanaians living in Ivory Coast who could be victims of any military intervention.”

Although, Mr Gbagbo recently agreed to a peace talk with Mr. Ouattara, ECOWAS military chiefs continues to draw up intervention plans.  An estimate of 10,000 UN troops is currently in Ivory Coast largely protecting Mr. Ouattara’s base.


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