Ivory Coast: Ghana Will Not Contribute Troops


    President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday expressed Ghana’s support for the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for a military intervention in the Ivorian crisis, but added the country will not contribute troops because it is overstretched.
    He reiterated Ghana’s neutrality in the internal affairs of the neighbouring nation. President Mills said the Ivorian issue was a matter of concern and expressed the hope that peace was restored in that country.
    Speaking during an encounter with senior Ghanaian journalists, dubbed Editors Forum, at the Osu Castle in Accra, President Mills made it clear that Ghana identified with the ECOWAS decision that a way should be found to restore the post-election crisis in La Cote d’Ivoire.
    President Mills said following a meeting of ECOWAS leaders in Abuja after the election, the leaders recognized Mr Alassane Ouattara as the President-elect and that incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo should be advised to give way to the new President-elect.
    President Mills said Ghana was already contributing peacekeeping forces in many parts of the world and there were already about 500 Ghanaian military personnel in La Cote d’Ivoire. He said Ghanaian troops were among the forces guarding Mr Ouattara.
    President Mills said he had been in touch with both Mr Ouattara and Mr Gbagbo and had been engaged in talks with both of them in brokering peace. President Mills expressed his belief in quiet diplomacy and stated that he personally did not believe that the military action would bring peace in Cote d’Ivoire. “I don’t want us to be saddled with problems we cannot solve,” President Mills said.
    The Head of State thanked the media for their contribution to governance in the past two years of his administration. He gave thanks to God for making it possible to overcome the eventful challenges of the first two years of the his administration
    President Mills gave credit to his predecessors and said Government was continuing to take off from the solid foundation it had laid for the past two years and to implement its plan for 2011, which it had declared a Year of Action. He said he welcomed criticisms devoid of sycophancy, but added that they must be done with civility and decorum.