“The two men at the centre of the dispute have both indicated their preparedness to see a recount or further verification of the results by neutral observers. Is there any hidden motive in refusing to take up the challenge being offered by the two parties?
“It is also important that we do not rush into any form of forceful intervention. That will not guarantee a definite resolution of the crisis and may further exacerbate an already volatile situation that could erupt into a full-scale civil war with horrific consequences.
“Attempts to marshal support for a military intervention lack any justification and rather will expose the UN, ECOWAS and AU as being hypocritical.
“We have to thread carefully for the sake of the people of Cote d’Ivoire who are the real victims of this tragedy. I am appealing to ECOWAS and other international institutions involved in the crisis to take a hard look at the situation and do all in their power to resolve it in a peaceful manner,” President Rawlings said about the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. 24/12/2010
As an admirer of Rawlings, I was surprised by his position. My guess is that he is either :
1. Backing up his party, the National Democratic Congress, currently led by the President John Atta Mills , in its decision not to send troops. The official reason is that Ghana already has too many troops outside of the country: Lebanon, DRC and Côte d’Ivoire. Rawlings’ backing might take some pressure off Atta Mills on that problem.
2. As an elder, sending a message to NDC not to interfere in external conflicts. Sending troops abroad in a complicated and controversial mission, and endangering Ghanaians leaving in Côte d’Ivoire might undermine Atta Mills candidacy in next year’s elections.
3. Holding a realist and strategic position: a strong and growing Ghana may benefit from Côte d’Ivoire weaknesses.