… But Mumuni promises brute force if…
President Laurent Gbagbo’s government says it is not averse to a power-
sharing arrangement with opposition leader Alassane Ouattara in the Ivory Coast.
His new Foreign Affairs Minister, Alcide Djedje, told Citi News that Mr. Gbagbo was committed to ensuring that peace prevails in the country, and so would compromise in that regard, if need be.
Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbabgo have both sworn themselves in as presidents following a dispute over Sunday’s presidential run-off. They have both appointed Prime Ministers, and virtually formed parallel governments.
The United Nations (UN), United States (US), France, European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and regional body Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recognise Mr. Ouattara as the president-elect but Russia has taken a different stance, insisting that a UN Security Council resolution declaring Mr. Ouattara president would amount to interfering in Ivory Coast’s domestic affairs.
ECOWAS suspended Ivory Coast from the regional body, after an emergency meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja on Tuesday, November 7.
Mr. Gbagbo’s new Foreign Affairs Minister told Citi News that his government was open to dialogue, and possible power-sharing with Mr Ouattara to avert war.
“We are ready; we are open to any discussion with anyone inside the country; power sharing is the best way to have peace in Cote d’Ivoire…so if they want peace in Cote d’Ivoire, we are very open.”
Mr. Gbagbo’s government has also described ECOWAS’s endorsement of his opponent as misplaced.
Mr. Alcide Djedje said neither ECOWAS nor the west and its allies have the authority to determine who is pronounced President of Cote d’Ivoire.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) may have no option than to resort to brute force to remove Laurent Gbagbo from office, if diplomatic efforts fail.
The regional body on Tuesday suspended the country from its activities, to send a strong signal to Mr. Gbagbo that it does not recognise him as the winner of the presidential run-off.
This was after the Independent Electoral Commission declared Alassane Ouattara winner in that country’s polls, but this was later overturned by the Constitutional Council in Mr. Gbagbo’s favour.
ECOWAS says it would not recognise any illegitimate government in the sub-region.
But, some critics say a mere suspension and warning will not be enough to get the Ivorian President to concede defeat, unless ECOWAS decides to take the bull by the horns.
In an interview with Citi News, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni said the ECOWAS was capable of doing just that.