Connect with us

AFRICA

USAfrica: Why Ghana’s President said ‘No’ to U.S., France, Nigeria on military intervention in Ivory Coast.

I understand President Mills’ position as: first, reflecting that west African country’s practical and immediate interests. Ghana is a neighbor of Ivory Coast’s and has business interests in the country.
Second, Ghana is likely to bear the brunt of a chaotic Ivory Coast, from refugees moving into Ghana.
Ivory Coast has 19million citizens with 60 ethnic groups, a mix of Christians and Muslims; the Baoule is the largest sub-group, the Senoufou, the Mande/Dioula, the Krou, the Yacouba, the Akan (some of who draw their links from Ghana).

Published

on

Why Ghana’s President said ‘No’ to U.S., France and Nigeria on military intervention in Ivory Coast.

Special report by Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of Houston-based USAfricaonline.com;  CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.comNigeria360 e-group, USAfricaTV

US President Barack Obama-wt-Ghana-President-John-Mills. APpix

USAfrica, January 7, 2011: Ghana’s president John Mills has expressed his opposition to any military intervention in Ivory Coast, led by the ECOWAS or the international community, seeking to force controversial incumbent Laurent Gbagbo out of office.
He stated today January 7, 2011 that:  “I do not think the military operation will bring peace to the nation.” This was  a jolt to many of the leaders of the west African regional bloc, ECOWAS and to the expectations of the U.S administration of President Barack Obama. Two days earlier, on January 5, 2011, the U.S Assistant Secretary of State for African affairs Johnnie Carson had called for increased pressure on Gbagbo with a stronger demand for him to leave and making the point it is broad fight by the region for democracy and should not be left as a domestic issue. President Mills is strongly arguing the opposite position — to the surprise of the U.S and the international community (supporting opposition candidate Outtarra against Gbagbo).
Mills who hosted the Obamas on July 11, 2009 in Accra, said today that “It is not for Ghana to choose a leader for Cote D’ivoire. I have spoken to both Ouattarra and Gbagbo and I cannot

Ivory Coast-Ghana-Togo-west-africa-map2

make it public.”

Diplomats, international security experts and interested parties are wondering: what informed Ghana’s blunt and clear position against a forced, military attack against Gbagbo’s outgoing, stalemated presidency?
I understand President Mills’ position as: first, reflecting that west African country’s practical and immediate interests. Ghana is a neighbor of Ivory Coast’s and has business interests in the country.
Second, Ghana is likely to bear the brunt of a chaotic Ivory Coast, from refugees moving into Ghana.
Ivory Coast has 19million citizens with 60 ethnic groups, a mix of Christians and Muslims; the Baoule is the largest sub-group, the Senoufou, the Mande/Dioula, the Krou, the Yacouba, the Akan (some of who draw their links from Ghana).

Third, Ghana seems mindful of the potential retaliation against its citizens and other migrant workers across Ivory Coast. It will not be helpful to it, in the long run.  Again, on local interest, Mills said “We have about one million Ghanaians living in Ivory Coast who could be victims of any military intervention. We do not want the influx of Ivorians into Ghana, which obviously comes with its problems.”
A key adviser to Ghana’s President Mills on international affairs informed me/USAfrica that Ghana has also, understandably, “been under some pressure to take a more aggressive position on this issue. But we’re the ones who live next door to Ivory Coast….”
Unlike Ghana, Nigeria has backed the use of military force — as an option — against Gbagbo.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan is the current chairman of the ECOWAS. There are as many Nigerians in Ivory Coast as there Ghanaians.

Ivory Coast has friendly relations with the U.S (one of the biggest importers of it cocoa products) but Gbagbo loyalists argue that the Obama administration are working with France and the UN against the former radical university professor and grassroots mobilizer.
President Mills said his country has about 500 officially-designated troops in Ivory Coast and that his military officers advised him Ghana could not contribute troops to the much spoken military force against Gbagbo. Mills remains optimistic saying: “Ghana is monitoring it very closely and will ensure that peace prevails,” he added.
But a senior member of the African desk of the U.S National Security Council in Washington DC told me/USAfrica that: “it’s obvious Mr. Gbagbo is overplaying his hand. Unfortunately, we think he’s trying to

Chido Nwangwu.USAfrica.publisher.column

tie his personal agenda with those of his country at such a critical and sensitive time. The presidential elections are not only disputed but many in the international community say his opponent Mr. Ouattarra won.” When I asked further as to what will be the next move by the U.S., the official simply said: “The U.S supports free and fair results. We support democracy in Ivory Coast.” Outtarra has called for a bloodless military intervention, especially a local coup.

Pierre Kablan, an activist in the capital city of Yamoussoukro informed USAfrica via phone that  “Ouattarra is the man for France and U.S and the IMF-World Bank for decades. They can control him but not President Gbagbo. That’s the point.”
Any major slip and dangerous move in Ivory Coast by the typically patient Obama, the usually brash Sarkozy of France and others in the international community in this once peaceful, idyllic  former colony of  France with 18million people could be expensive for the U.S and other west Africans.
Very telling is the latest warning from Notre Voie (the pro-Gbagbo newspaper) that any  military attack from the regional ECOWAS or the international community would “endanger its citizens living here.”
Is there greater wisdom in Ghana’s position? Or is it unreasonable? Or sheer self-interest?
• Chido Nwangwu is the Founder and Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, Nigeria360USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in Lagos and worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (news) in the 1980s; served on a publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; adviser on Africa to Houston’s former Mayor Dr. Lee Brown. Chido appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, CBSNews, ABCNews, FOXNews, NBCNews, etc. Chido@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.
———-

See the October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu.https://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html
310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009.

www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

Special News Insight by Chido Nwangwu, USAfrica multimedia networks, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston.
———-
https://usafricaonline.com/2009/07/07/chido-obamaafrica09/
—–
Special News Insight, USAfrica multimedia networks, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston. https://usafricaonline.com/2010/09/08/jonathan-firing-servicechiefs-onovo2010-by-chido/
Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

AFRICA

U.S says it will investigate Zimbabwe presidential election violence; MDC disputes result; winner acknowledges there were “challenges”

Published

on

Special to USAfricaonline.com

The MDC Alliance led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa is disputing the outcome of the polls alleging that they were rigged to the point of having more votes than registered voters.

While the winner, ZANU PF leader and incumbent president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, acknowledged that there were “challenges” he insisted the polls were free and fair.

The US Department of State said Zimbabwe’s 30 July elections presented the country with a historic chance to move beyond the political and economic crises of the past and toward profound democratic change.

“Unfortunately, Zimbabwe’s success in delivering an election day that was peaceful, and open to international observers, was subsequently marred by violence and a disproportionate use of deadly force against protestors by the security forces,” the department’s spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Six people were shot dead on Wednesday by soldiers and many others were injured. A seventh person is reported to have succumbed to gunshot wounds on Friday at a hospital in Chitungwiza.

The US said it welcomes the commitment by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release comprehensive election results in a form that provides full transparency. ZEC maintains that the election results were an accurate reflection of the voters’ will.

Former colonial master, Britain, also remained concerned about the developments.

“The UK remains deeply concerned by the violence following the elections and the disproportionate response from the security forces,” said UK Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin.

She, however, urged electoral stakeholders to work together to ensure calm.

“While polling day passed off peacefully, a number of concerns have been raised by observer missions, particularly about the pre-election environment, the role of State media, and the use of State resources. There is much to be done to build confidence in Zimbabwe’s electoral process.”

Baldwin urged that any appeals against the results or the process be handled swiftly and impartially.– African News Agency (ANA)

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

AFRICA

Zimbabwe’s presidential election offers opportunity for post-Mugabe progress. By Wilf Mbanga

Published

on

Zimbabwe-Politics-USAfricaonline

Today, Monday July 30, 2018, Zimbabweans [went] to the polls to elect Robert Mugabe’s successor. For pretty much the average life expectancy of many Zimbabweans, one man has ruled the country with an iron fist. Eight elections were held during his rule – and every time, that fist ensured victory for Mugabe.

The current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, the man who finally ousted Mugabe in a bloodless coup last November, has also crushed his enemies ruthlessly in the past – but his iron fist lies within a well-padded velvet glove.
Mnangagwa goes head to head at the polls with Nelson Chamisa, 40, who took over as leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) after Morgan Tsvangirai died earlier this year.

Whoever wins, this election heralds a new dawn for Zimbabwe. Mugabe has gone. Things will never be the same again. Certainly, Mnangagwa brings a lot of baggage from the Mugabe era – having been the former president’s righthand man.

But he is different in many significant ways – today, Mugabe even urged voters to turn their backs on his leadership, and went so far as to wish Chamisa well. Most importantly, Mnangagwa understands business and is determined to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s moribund economy and give the people what they so desperately want and need – jobs.

He is primarily a soldier, having left Zimbabwe as a teenager in the early 1960s for military training in China. He has fashioned himself after the former communist leader Deng Xiaoping, who modernised China and laid the foundations for the economic powerhouse it has become, while maintaining a strictly authoritarian regime.

Deng abandoned many orthodox communist doctrines to incorporate elements of the free-enterprise system. Mnangagwa seems determined to do the same for Zimbabwe. He is a wealthy man in his own right, having run Zanu-PF’s and his own businesses since the early 1980s. He has been mentioned in a UN report on the plundering of mining and logging resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo together with General Sibusiso Moyo, who is now the foreign affairs minister.

Over the eight months since he took the reins from Mugabe, Mnangagwa has given clear signals of a clean break with the past – actively courting the west, preaching and practising peace instead of violence, eschewing corruption, meeting business leaders and white farmers, and generally projecting himself as a reformist. He has met personally the many business missions that have visited the country this year, and has promised to get rid of the cumbersome bureaucracy that currently stifles new investment. He has suspended Mugabe’s populist indigenisation act, which required foreigners to cede 51% of their shares to locals (ZANU-PF, of course) in all sectors except gold and diamond mining. He has even made it his election slogan – with party supporters everywhere sporting T-shirts proclaiming “Zimbabwe is open for business”.

While Mugabe was a consummate manipulator, skilfully playing people off against each other and weaving a complex web of patronage, Mnangagwa is a much more of a strategist. He will be prepared to make tough decisions that could ultimately benefit the economy. He has certainly been more successful in attracting foreign investment in the short time he has been in power than Mugabe was in decades of berating the west.

 

The MDC’s Chamisa is just as pro-business as Mnangagwa, and to his credit has surrounded himself with several capable technocrats. There is no whiff of corruption about him and he has been drawing massive crowds in many rural areas which, under Mugabe, were no-go areas for his party. And of course the MDC’s democratic and human rights credentials are well established – while those of Zanu-PF are a constant cause for concern.

Should Chamisa win the election, there is no doubt that the world would welcome Zimbabwe back into the fold with open arms. But Mnangagwa is smart enough to realise that international recognition of his government can only come if this election is acknowledged as free and fair by the global community. While Britain has been unswervingly supportive of the post-Mugabe regime, the US has reserved judgment – recently renewing its sanctions on Zanu-PF leaders and companies, but promising to lift them once credible elections have taken place.

And there’s the rub.

Many believe it is impossible for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to run a free and fair poll. It is accused of rigging every election since it was established in 2004; it is still staffed largely by the military and Zanu-PF loyalists; and it has shown shameful bias towards the ruling party in recent months. For example, the law says the ballot paper should be in alphabetical order, which places Chamisa second on the 23-person list. The commission cleverly formatted the paper into two lop-sided columns, in order to place Mnangagwa at the very top of column two.

So this election could bring three possible results: if Mnangagwa wins, the MDC already has enough ammunition against the electoral commission to cry foul.

If Chamisa wins convincingly, it will be a new dawn indeed – but the military might not accept this, as the Generals have already invested a lot in Mnangagwa.

But if there is no clear winner, the most sensible way forward would be for the two protagonists to agree to a marriage of convenience – otherwise known as a government of national unity.
• Wilf Mbanga, once falsely classified by Mugabe’s government as ‘enemy of the people’, is the founder, editor and publisher of The Zimbabwean weekly, published in the UK and Johannesburg

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

AFRICA

USAfrica: “Resign! Get out of office!” – Bishop Oyedepo tells Nigeria’s President Buhari

Published

on

The founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has called on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, to resign due to what he considers to be the continuing failure of Buhari to stop  the incessant killings by militant Fulani herdsmen.

Oyedepo who spoke on the theme, “Enough is enough” recalled that “When I was talking in 2015, people were saying my own was too much, now everybody can see what’s happening,” he said. ”What has moved forward in anybody’s life? You don’t know it’s war. Why are they attacking the Christian communities? Why has nobody been arrested? I can tell you this, the authorities and the powers that be are behind them.”

“We must wake up and push this evil back. Not one of those so-called herdsmen – they are jihadists – has been brought to book till date. Herdsmen don’t shoot; they have been here all along. They are just taking cover under the herdsmen to assault innocent citizens. They wake up in the night and slice innocent children to pieces. Yet, you have a government in place. What!

“The most honourable thing for any non-performing leader to do is to resign. The most honourable thing is to resign. That’s my own for Mr President. Resign! Get out of office! Even our Islamic friends in the North are calling on him to resign. Because that’s the noblest thing to do. Or are we going to look at one system destroy a whole nation?”

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
Advertisement

USAfricaTV

Twitter Live

THE BOOK

Trending

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: