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Ghana’s territory not base for insurgents against Ouattara – Mills

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Alassane Ouattara

President John Evans Atta Mills has assured the Government and people of La Cote d’Ivoire that Ghana would never allow its territory to be used as a base to destabilise their Government.

He regretted the heavy loss of life and property as result of the crisis following the Ivorian polls last November, pointing out that a number of Ivorian had lost fortunes and fled to Ghana, living at the largesse of friends and relatives, who are feeling the weight of their presence.

President Mills made it clear that the heavy toll the tragedy of the Ivorian post election crisis exerted on the country was a lesson and no responsible leader would allow his national territory to be used and support any group to destabilise a government.

President Mills gave the assurance when the outgoing Ivorian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Auguste Ackah, paid a farewell courtesy call on him on Monday at the Castle, Osu.

The President’s assurance is seen as an apparent reaction to rumours that the Government of Ghana was supporting rebel groups by giving her territory as a base to destabilise the new political administration under President Elect Allasane Ouattara.

Describing the rumours as vicious, President Mills said President Elect Ouattara himself would testify to the efforts he (President Mills), the Government of Ghana and the Security Agencies had made to bring some amount of peace in La Cote d’Ivoire.

“We have demonstrated clearly that we want peace in La Cote d’Ivoire… We will not tolerate any group of persons to use Ghana as a base to create trouble for our neighbours.

“Our intelligence agencies have the kind of expertise to monitor the activities …” President Mills said.

President Mills recalled the long standing relations between the two neighbouring nations, and added that tendencies that  would mar the relations that had taken years to cultivate should be put behind.

He praised the outgoing Ambassador, who had been in Ghana since September 2009, for a successful duty tour.

“You have performed with great passion, sincerity and integrity. It has been a joy working with you. Please take pride that you served to the best of your ability. May God be your guide in your future assignments,” President Mills said.

He stressed that Ghana was ever ready to co-operate with its neighbours and asked foreigners who came to Ghana to equally respect Ghana’s laws.

Mr Ackah, for his part, paid tribute to President Mills, Government and the people of Ghana for their contributions to bringing peace to La Cote d’Ivoire.

With a sense of gratitude for the hospitality and goodwill accorded him, Mr Ackah acknowledged the peace efforts by the Government and people of Ghana before and after the last Ivoirian elections.

He was full of compliments to President Mills for opting out of military intervention for peace in the post Ivorian election crisis even in the face of opposition to that stance from some sections of the Ghanaian community, the Economic Community of West African States and within the African continent.

“Your approach was so pragmatic and fraternal, that if the international community had followed it, my country would have been spared the horrible tragedy in which it finds itself now.

“I testify to you the high esteem Ivorians have for your person and the people of Ghana…. and the maturity exhibited in the search for peace after the elections. Please continue to support La Cote d’Ivoire. La Cote  d’Ivoire  is in search of permanent peace.

“May God bless you, the Government and people of Ghana. We will remember all that you have done for us,” Mr Ackah said.

Source: GNA

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