January 10, 2011

The Member of Parliament for Manhyia, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has stated that President Mills latest comments about the on-going Ivory Coast crisis amount to a diplomatic blunder which is unfortunate.

According to the MP, the president was part of the ECOWAS body that collectively decided to back Mr Alansane Ouatarra, winner of the November elections as declared by that country’s electoral commission, while at the same time he publicly declares that he is not in support of a military option which is part of the many options the ECOWAS is considering.

President Mills, answering questions at a media forum last Friday, stated that Ghana cannot send troops to Ivory Coast, as it already committed some 500 soldiers to that country under the UN command, adding that he personally thinks a military option in Cote d’Ivoire will not be the solution to the impasse.

But contributing to a discussion on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme Monday, Hon. Prempeh stated that President Mills by this statement has caused a serious diplomatic blunder. He noted that the security implications of the crisis situation in Ivory Coast on Ghana does not even allow President Mills to declare his personal opinions in the way in which he did.

Mr Prempeh explained that ECOWAS’ decision to include a military option does not necessarily mean that they are going to use strike militarily and that “even if they do strike militarily it doesn’t mean that all the total membership of that body should be part of that thing.

He added that it was inappropriate for the President to speak, not even as the representative of Ghana but on his own behalf at such a national meeting.

Reacting to suggestions that ECOWAS may have lost credibility because it did not act on its threats to remove self declared President Laurent Gbagbo from office as at the deadline the body gave, the Manhyia MP said he was not surprised at the turn of events, as some double faced persons like President Mills attend ECOWAS meetings and then decide to undermine the credibility of ECOWAS.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh