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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mills: Ghana backs ECOWAS on military action but will not contribute troops

President John Mills during his meeting with journalists at the Castle
President John Mills during his meeting with journalists at the Castle
President John Mills says he will back any decision taken by ECOWAS or AU to solve the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire even if it involves military action.

This is according to Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is on a day’s visit to Ghana to acquaint himself with Ghana’s official position on the troubled West African country.

President John Mills had in a meeting with senior journalists at the Castle stated Ghana is not interested in military action in Cote d’Ivoire and will not contribute troops in the event that ECOWAS adopts a military action.

His comments triggered widespread controversy with critics accusing him of breaking ranks with the ECOWAS.

He had earlier on December 24, 2010 appended his signature to an ECOWAS communiqué by Heads of State in the sub region threatening military action as the last resort if embattled Gbagbo remains intransigent.

Raila Odinga who has been one of ECOWAS’ emissaries in the Ivorian conflict told news men after meeting with President John Mills he is impressed with Ghana’s clarified position.

Confirming, Odinga’s statements to Myjoyonline.com, the Head of Communications at Ghana’s presidency Koku Anyidoho said Ghana fully remains committed to the communiqué signed on December 24.

He said Ghana is signatory to the communiqué and in the unlikely event of a military action, Mills will not go against it but will not be able to contribute troops to the ECOWAS mission for a military action because Ghana’s military is over stretched.

He said Ghana is still interested in the first option which is dialogue but if need be that the military clause contained in the communiqué is to be activated, ECOWAS' decision will be binding.

Koku Anyidoho vehemently objected to criticisms that President Mills has contradicted his earlier position on military action.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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