Ghana’s Vice President, John Mahama on politics of peace in Cote d’Ivoire

Posted: January 23, 2011 in Politics
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The practice and promotion of peace is a powerful tool of diplomacy that has all-too-often been misunderstood, especially in Africa. This became clear to me recently when Ghana claimed a position of peace and nonviolence in regards to the recent developments in its neighboring country, Cote d’Ivoire.

Ghana's Vice President, John Dramani Mahama believes peaceful dialogue is the antidote to ending the political stalemate in Cote d'Ivoire

The international community has recognized opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara as the legitimate democratically chosen winner of the November 2010 presidential elections in Cote d’Ivoire. Nevertheless, presidential incumbent Laurent Gbagbo has also claimed victory and is refusing to relinquish power. The situation in that nation has grown increasingly tense, and dozens of lives have already been lost.

On January 7th our president, John Evans Atta Mills, announced that Ghana is unable to contribute troops for any mission to forcibly remove Mr. Gbagbo from office. Surprisingly, this decision was met with a fair amount of both suspicion and scorn — despite the fact that Ghana had already publicly aligned itself with the position of the African Union (AU) as well as that of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), both of which are intent on arriving at a just resolution, one that respects the will of the Ivorian electorate.

It struck me as odd and disturbing that our president’s plea for peace to be given an adequate opportunity to prevail could be so easily ridiculed and dismissed. What it immediately brought to mind for me were the still-relevant words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964 after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. “Nonviolence,” Dr. King said, “is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.”

Could it be that Africa has been witness to so much violence and oppression that we have actually come to believe it should be an acceptable, if not automatic, response? Hasn’t there been enough bloodshed on the continent? Consider: a war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that, since 1998, has claimed 5.4 million lives; two back-to-back civil wars in Liberia claiming upwards of 250,000 and displacing millions; the mass murder of a million Rwandans during the 1994 genocide; an 11-year civil war in Sierra Leone that left over 50,000 dead; decades of war and genocide in the Sudan that has killed nearly a million people and displaced at least twice that number. Sadly, the list does not end there. Even Cote d’Ivoire, just within this past decade, was also marred by a 7-year civil war.

The stand that Ghana has taken on the crisis in Cote d’Ivoire should not come as a shock to anyone. Since becoming the first sub-Saharan African nation to gain its independence, Ghana has always been a champion for freedom and peace. Our founding father, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, went so far as to declare that Ghana’s independence “is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent.”

To that end, in 1960 Dr. Nkrumah did not hesitate to send Ghanaian troops as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the former Congo Leopoldville. In the half century since then Ghana has been — and continues to be — the largest African peacekeeping contributor nation, and the sixth largest among all of the world’s peacekeeping contributor nations. Our commitment to peace has been unwavering and undeniable, in both word and deed.

The irony in President Atta Mills’ statement that Ghana would be unable to send troops to oust Mr. Gbagbo is that our supplementary forces are currently engaged in peacekeeping missions throughout the world. Under the flag of the United Nations, Ghana currently has peacekeepers in the DRC, the Darfur region of Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, Kosovo, Southern Sudan, Lebanon and, of course, in Cote d’Ivoire.

On January 13th, the African Ambassadors to the United Nations held a meeting at the behest of the African members on the UN’s Security Council — Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa — to discuss the dilemma of Cote d’Ivoire. The emerging consensus was that a military option is no option at all. This is not synonymous with inaction. To the contrary, it is representative of the sort of unity and cooperation that has not been seen on the African continent in the political arena since the post-colonial era.

The final days of January will find African heads of state in Addis Ababa at an African Union summit working together to create solutions to the evolving refugee issue, an obvious and unavoidable result of the more pressing problem, the discord in Cote d’Ivoire.

I am pleased by this recent chain of events that point Africa in the direction of nonviolence because for far too long the struggle for power has taken precedence over the survival of people. In his acceptance speech after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, also a native son of Ghana, reminded the world that, “The 20th century was perhaps the deadliest in human history, devastated by innumerable conflicts, untold suffering, and unimaginable crimes.” In no place was this more evident than Africa.

But already Africa is changing, indeed has changed. Look at South Africa; look at Kenya; look at Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. Look at Tunisia.

Perhaps that’s why in his speech Secretary-General Annan also reminded us that, “In this new century, we must start from the understanding that peace belongs not only to states or peoples, but to each and every member of those communities. …Peace must be made real and tangible in the daily existence of every individual in need. Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security.”

This is the new Africa, a continent that is fast being defined by a politics of peace, and by the will of people who are empowering themselves to shape their own future.

Author: John Dramani Mahama, Vice President of Ghana.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Someone said that you had to buy a domain, or your blogs weren’t seen by everybody, is that true? Do you know what a domain is? IF not do not answer please..

    Like

  2. I simply had to thank you so much yet again. I am not sure the things that I could possibly have implemented in the absence of the type of thoughts contributed by you directly on that concern. It was before a real troublesome issue in my circumstances, however , taking a look at the very expert form you handled that made me to weep with fulfillment. Now i’m thankful for your guidance and hope you really know what a powerful job you are providing teaching others by way of your blog post. Most probably you have never got to know all of us.

    Like

  3. Excellent article! Please update the site soon as I plan to come back after this weekend. If you need a plumber in Los Angeles, please contact me! Merry Christmas!

    Like

  4. Honestly, I found this article amazing and very informative. I cant wait to come back soon and read an update. If you need a plumber please visit Florida Plumber I found it equally as informative.

    Like

  5. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

    Like

  6. I want to start a blog/online diary, but not sure where to start..

    Like

  7. bebes says:

    Hello, I really liked this information, I hope you continue updating, Greetings

    Like

  8. Tim Summer says:

    Thanks, bookmarked!

    Like

  9. If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

    Like

  10. Rhea Deptula says:

    Enjoyed looking through this, very good stuff, thanks . “It requires more courage to suffer than to die.” by Napoleon Bonaparte.

    Like

  11. There are some interesting closing dates in this article on the other hand don‘t determine if I see every one of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will require hold opinion until I explore it further. Piece of content , thanks and we want more! Combined with FeedBurner also

    Like

  12. I prefer this kind of web site a great deal of, The an extremely pleasant office environment to see in addition to incur information. “Death is not really the particular worst type of element somewhat, when person who craves death are unable attain possibly even that wish. inches by Sophocles.

    Like

  13. I and my mates watch the soccer game clips at YouTube all the time, as they have in pleasant quality.

    Like

  14. Just want to say your write-up is as amazing. The clearness in your post is simply great and i can think you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to take hold of your RSS feed to stay up to date with impending post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying perform.

    Like

  15. Justin Katz says:

    After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new articles are added- checkbox now every time a comment is added I purchase four emails with the exact same comment. Will there be any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

    Like

  16. Lots of useful information here, makes you think of what really matters, this post will definatly help with my descision.

    Like

  17. Beats by Dre says:

    You made various nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found a good number of people will consent with your blog.

    Like

  18. Roy Weekley says:

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

    Like

  19. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

    Like

  20. It’s great site, I was looking for something like this

    Like

  21. This is a topic close to my heart cheers, where are your contact details though?

    Like

  22. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    Like

  23. I am usually to blogging and i really admire your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and preserve checking for brand spanking new information.

    Like

  24. I intended to send you one little note in order to give many thanks once again for your personal extraordinary tricks you have provided in this article. It has been really wonderfully open-handed with you to offer unreservedly all that a few people could possibly have supplied for an e book to generate some profit for themselves, most importantly since you could have tried it if you ever considered necessary. Those basics additionally served as the fantastic way to fully grasp that the rest have a similar interest just as my very own to find out many more related to this matter. I’m certain there are a lot more enjoyable periods in the future for people who looked over your site.

    Like

  25. dre beats says:

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing slightly evaluation on this. And he actually purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If doable, as you grow to be experience, would you mind updating your blog with extra details? It’s highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this weblog put up!

    Like

  26. Right away I am going to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming yet again to read other news.

    Like

  27. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, let alone the content!

    Like

  28. ugg sale says:

    After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

    Like

  29. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually one thing which I believe I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely wide for me. I am taking a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I’ll attempt to get the hold of it!

    Like

  30. There are a few interesting deadlines in this post but I don‘t determine I see them all center to heart. There is some validity however is going to take hold opinion until I consider it further. Piece of content , thanks and that we want more! Included with FeedBurner too

    Like

  31. I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

    Like

  32. I am not real fantastic with English but I line up this really easygoing to translate.

    Like

  33. ligar says:

    Hello, I really liked this information, I hope you continue updating, Greetings

    Like

  34. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue together with your website in web explorer, would test this… IE nonetheless is the market leader and a big element of other people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

    Like

  35. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

    Like

  36. May I simply say what a alleviation to discover anyone who actually understands exactly what they may be talking about on the internet. You definitely discover how to bring an issue to light and enable it to be significant. Even more people need to study this and understand this section of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    Like

  37. Hello There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

    Like

  38. There is visibly a bunch to know about this. I believe you made some nice points in features also.

    Like

  39. Beats By Dre says:

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

    Like

  40. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is a very smartly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll definitely return.

    Like

  41. hot tub says:

    I beloved as much as you will obtain carried out right here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored material stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an impatience over that you want be delivering the following. in poor health indisputably come further earlier again as precisely the same just about very steadily inside of case you protect this hike.

    Like

  42. Aida Whitmer says:

    What if their lefties?

    Like

  43. Amazing blog , I really am trying to learn how to make my weblog this worthwhile !

    Like

  44. uggs online says:

    Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and under no circumstances appear to get one thing done.

    Like

  45. Simply killing some in between class time on Digg and I found your article . Not usually what I desire to read about, but it was absolutely worth my time. Thanks.

    Like

  46. Izzykonto says:

    Beatiful design! Where have you get that awesome layout?

    Like

  47. Awesome layout! Where had you get this design?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s