Ghana endorses Ouattara

Ghana joins ECOWAS, the West African regional grouping to endorse Allasane Ouattara as the legitimate winner of the disputed elections in Ivory Coast.

Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni in an interview with the BBC Friday monitored by, said that President Atta Mills  endorses the 12 point resolution of the ECOWAS extra-ordinary summit that acknowledged Allasane Ouattara as winner of the elections.

He however, did not agree that ECOWAS should send in a military force to remove Laurent Gbagbo from power. He said there is still the opportunity for peace and called for all the parties on the ground to be engaged in talks for peaceful resolution of the political stand-off in that country.

“President Mills will do anything possible to make sure the situation does not degenerate into war,” he said.

He also suggested that there is the need to fix a date for attaining a peaceful resolution of the situation as well as negotiating a formula for peace.

The political situation in Ivory Coast, Ghana’s western neighbour has degenerated when both Gbagbo and Ouattara claimed victory in the November 28, 2010 election run-off and each was installed as president in separate ceremonies.

The UN says over 170 people have been killed since the impasse began and over 400 people have been detained.

Gbagbo however has come under intense pressure to step down and handover power to Ouattara who most of the world believes is the legitimate winner of the election.

As sanctions increase on the country, the UN General Assembly rescinded the credentials of Ivory Coast’s UN Ambassador Ilahiri Djedje, a Gbagbo supporter, and accepted those of Ouattara’s choice, veteran diplomat Youssouf Bamba. The World Bank has cancelled all financial support to Ivory Coast, and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) has blocked Laurent Gbagbo’s access to Ivory Coast’s funds.

The bank says only appointed members of Ivory Coast’s “legitimate government” will have access to the deposits there.

Restricitng Gbagbo from accessing funds, the BCEAO believes will make it difficult for him to pay the military, and thus increase pressure on him to step down.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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