Atta Mills’s shown Ghana’s no banana republic – By Kiflu Hussain
At a time when it is unequivocally revealed by wikiLeaks that not even Europe is immune from being pushed around by the corporate world of the United States and its government that has emerged as the sole super power, (more…)
At a time when it is unequivocally revealed by wikiLeaks that not even Europe is immune from being pushed around by the corporate world of the United States and its government that has emerged as the sole super power, John Atta Mills, President of Ghana dared to take a different stance on Ivory Coast from the usual chorus in Africa that parrots Washington, London or Paris.BBC Focus on Africa reported on January 7 that the Ghanaian president who is one of the few in the continent for being elected in a genuine democratic process, stated that he does not think military force will solve the post-election debacle in Ivory Coast. In what could be a blow to the so-called international community, particularly ECOWAS, Atta Mills elaborated that Ghana would not take sides in the stand-off between the incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo and his rival, Alassane Quattara.After having explained the existence of around one million Ghanaians in Ivory Coast thereby hinting its ghastly implications, he made it clear that Ghana will not send any troops to the former French colony. He concluded by saying that “Ghana will not choose president for Ivorians”except advocating “quite diplomacy.”
Personally, since situations began precipitating in Ivory Coast, this is the first bold statesmanship I witnessed. To me the issue has never been whether Gbagbo wanted to cling to power despite losing an election.Though, I always detest dictatorship wherefore I gladly embrace opposition to it from democratic camps, nonetheless, I have serious misgivings on the forces arrayed against Laurent Gbagbo.This force calls itself “international community” through the passing of resolutions via UN Security Council, African Union/AU/ and the likes. For enforcement of its resolution or to flex its muscles on wayward rulers, it uses so-called regional unions like IGAD and ECOWAS.Unlike Caryn Abrahams, a researcher affiliated with the Centre of African Studies in Edinburgh, who was unable to make up her mind as to whether the UN is “a global pooper scooper, a band-aid or a collection of thousands of administrative antibodies,” I have long made up mind that UN,since its League of Nation’s days, is a mammoth rubber stamp organization in the global equation that primarily caters to the interests of the big powers./See BBC Focus on Africa Magazine,Oct-Dec 2010 for Caryn Abrahams “Blue Hats and Bureaucrats”./Therefore, any steps taken in a fair and just manner by the UN to resolve tension or conflict appears incidental to me. For instance, while Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia agreed to abide by the ruling of the Boundary Commission without resorting to appeal in the wake of his senseless bloody war in 1998-2000 against Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea, recanted when the decision favored Eritrea. Since Meles was more amenable to the will of the Western interest than his former mentor and cousin in Eritrea who was once extolled to the skies as a liberator, a new breed leader and an architect of an economy based on self-reliance, was shunned by the “international community” despite being a judgment-creditor. Then came the Islamic Union of Courts in Mogadishu which served Meles Zenawi as a perfect opportunity to deflect attention from his broadaylight rigging of an election whereby he suffered an ignominious defeat in 2005 unlike tight elections in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Guinea and now Ivory Coast. Contrary to Kenya and Zimbabwe, where power sharing ended the impasse, Meles gunned down over two hundred civilians, rounded up thousands of others to send them to concentration camps along with the opposition leaders. He also vilified Ana Gomes, the Chairperson of the EU Election Observer Mission and eventually pronounced her persona non grata.Meanwhile, against the original understanding between IGAD member countries on not sending peacekeeping troops from the vicinity, posturing as an ally in the “war on terror,” he sent his henchmen to Mogadishu and committed unspeakable crimes until all Somalis united to force his ejection. Although, analysts from various “think-tanks” concurred that Meles’s henchmen fuelled the Somali conflagration, the “international community” picked an easy target to vent its frustration; thus sanctioned Isaias Afeworki’s Eritrea.Unfortunately, the sanction that accused Asmara of arming and harboring Al-Shaabab did not deter it from unleashing its lethal force.Rather, it has succeeded to distribute the carnage to the doorsteps of Uganda and Kenya or so we have been “informed.”
At any rate, as a reward for rigging elections, incarcerating and massacring civilians both in Ethiopia and Somalia, the “international community” allowed him more to wallow with millions of dollars and to occasionally hobnob with heavyweight figures in the global corridors. Using his immunity, he held another farcical election in May 2010 that surpassed all. Again he vilified and barred the chairman of the EU Election Observer Mission; Thijs Berman.This sort of double standard by the “international community” is not only confined in Ethiopia. According to a recent report by Timothy Kalyegira, Editor of Uganda Record, in 2006 Western ambassadors urged the main opposition figure, Dr.Kiza Besigye to “concede” defeat to the incumbent Yoweri Museveni.Museveni is another despot who is profiteering in the “war on terror.” On top of feeding Uganda’s youth as cannon fodders in Somalia, latest reports linked him through his brother Gen.Salim Saleh that he is out to profit more via “Private Military Companies” like the infamous Blackwater in Iraq. /See The East African Dec 27, 2010-Jan 2, 2011. /The writings on the wall indicate that the upcoming election in Uganda in February can be held as hostage by the incumbent invoking “stability vis-à-vis war on terror” among other recipes to reject the “will” of the people. When we cross to West Africa, we find Nigeria whose president inherited the presidency from his predecessor Umar Yar’Adua whose election was marred by controversy and fraud. Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso has been in power for over two decades after assassinating his predecessor. And these and others make up the membership of ECOWAS that calls for Laurent Gbagbo to respect the “will” of Ivorians or else face their wrath.
There is also another aspect that we haven’t been told unequivocally from the perspectives of the law of the land in Ivory Coast as to whether whose decision prevails in the event of election dispute; the declaration of election results by the Electoral Commission or the ruling of the Constitutional Council? Why is that the world that finds it easy to do business with Meles Zenawi with all his puny institutions including his Kangaroo courts finds it difficult, at least to consider Gbagbo’s assertion that the law is on his side? Why ridicule his argument to equate his situation with the United States Supreme Court that made George Bush president when the whole world including Americans believed that the winner was Algore?When Shaka Ssali hosted Augustin Douoquih,Esq.Legal Adviser for Laurent Gbagbo with a profound deference not meant only as a matter of courtesy, I sensed once again that something was amiss with the “international community’s” stance against Gbagbo.The other interlocutor,Anzman Diabate,Editor of a website called Focus Africa who is also an Ivorian, couldn’t refute the position and cool explanation of Gbagbo’s legal adviser. I have also noticed subtle perversion of truth by some Medias to make it look like that all previous postponement of elections in Ivory Coast was made to extend the rule of Gbagbo without consulting all stakeholders. The truth, as can be seen from Wikipedia and other sources was that all postponement was acknowledged and approved by UN and AU since the rebels in the north refused to disarm.
Currently, in our world that’s rife with deception such as the one that nearly made us believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran rigged election until WikiLeaks showed us that was the concoction of his nemesis, the White House, Gbagbo’s assertion that the French and Americans wanted to see him go should not be set aside lightly. Since history is not kind to these two Western nations when it comes to seeing genuine democracy flourish in Africa, we should ask why they clamor for his removal via the bloodletting of Africans. In view of this, therefore, the “international community” which has never been consistent, in fact chronically deficient in moral grounds to castigate anyone on election defaults, the position taken by President John Atta Mills of Ghana on Ivory Coast shows that that country is no banana republic that puts its people in harms way to appease the big powers of the world. The first move to oust Gbagbo must come from none other but Ivorians themselves.Sadly, the military from whom Alassane Quattara claims “63 percentage” support is still firmly behind Laurent Gbagbo not to speak of his failure to rally the public for any meaningful civil disobedience.
An Ethiopian Refugee in Uganda