Experts: Mills Goofed On Ivory Coast But Stan Dogbe Fights Back

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    President John Mills has come under attack for what international relations experts say is his betrayal of trust of Heads of State of the Economic Commission of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
    The president in an answer to a question on the Ivorian crisis posed during a meeting with editors on Friday said he is not in favour of an impending military action against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo if he (Gbagbo) decides to hold on to power.
    “It is not for Ghana to choose a president for Cote D’Ivoire,” he said. He added Ghana per the information from the top military brass, does not have the personnel to contribute for the military action if it became necessary and that continued diplomacy in Ivory Coast is necessary to resolve the crisis.
    His statements runs counter to an agreement reached by the Heads of States of the ECOWAS sub region that force will be applied to oust Laurent Gbagbo if he held on to power. President Mills was part of the meeting when the decision was taken to apply force.
    International relations experts have described his pronouncements at the Castle as unfortunate.
    Hackman Owusu Agyemang who was Foreign Minister under the Kufuor administration, albeit for a short period, told Joy News Mills’ pronouncements were breach of faith, trust and confidence.
    He said it is even more regrettable and an affront to James Victor Gbeho who is president of ECOWAS. He said prior to such a major decision by ECOWAS to take military action, its president ought to have had thorough consultations with the president of his home country Ghana before agreeing to the decision.
    He said the president by his pronouncement has broken ranks with the presidents of the entire sub region. According to him, President Mills ought to have made his opinion well known during the emergency summit by Heads of State of the ECOWAS if he felt passionate and convinced that military action was not the right path to take.
    He said the president cannot agree with his colleagues at the summit in Abuja only for him to come to Ghana and adopt contrary views. Lecturer at the Legon Centre for International Affairs, Vladimir Antwi Danso said the president has committed a “big diplomatic blunder.”
    He agreed with the president that military action may not be the right approach to solving the crisis in Ivory Coast but said once the president had agreed in principle at the Summit for a military action he has erred grievously in saying Ghana will not contribute personnel if military action becomes necessary.
    According to him, the pronouncement may give some credibility to allegations that President Mills is a supporter of Laurent Gbagbo.
    Intellectual dishonesty
    But aide to president, Stan Dogbe said the comments by the “supposed experts” “smacks of intellectual dishonesty.” He said the decision to take military action was a collective decision taken by ECOWAS and not a personal decision by Victor Gbeho, adding, for anyone to say that because Gbeho is a Ghanaian, Mills’ comments is a stab in his back is most unfortunate.
    He said it is plain lies from Vladmir Antwi and an agenda by the NPP to suggest that President Mills is in support of Gbagbo.
    He challenged critics to provide evidence of such support if it so exist.“The NPP for their own political reasons have sought to create an impression in this country that President Mills is giving some room to Gbagbo, and Antwi Danso said that again this evening. That is plain lies.”
    “…Why would the two gentlemen, supposed experts in international affairs deliberately lie to the people of this country about something that the president had said and all Ghanaians have heard today.
    “…Such twist is what I call intellectual dishonesty on the part of Dr Antwi Danso,” he fired.