Disputed Ivorian Leader Laurent Gbagbo has endorsed the decision of Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills, not to contribute troops to the proposal of forcing him out of office, describing it as “a common sense position”.
Mr. Laurent Gbagbo said this in an interview with the Managing Editor of the Insight News Paper and Host of “The Bare Facts” on TV Africa, Kwesi Pratt Junior.
Mr. Pratt led a group of top Ghanaian journalists including Raymond Archer and Paul Adom Otchere to pay a rare visit to the disputed leader.
The three say they were in that country based on their personal interests to interact with the main actors in the impasse and also to assess the situation there.
Mr. Gbagbo has been widely criticized for holding unto power after disputed elections in November 2010, in which his opponent Alassane Ouatarra has been widely acclaimed winner.
President Mills has served notice he will not contribute troops to oust Mr. Gbagbo as an option for Ecowas.
Mr. Gbagbo said it would be in the best interest of ECOWAS to accept Ghana’s viewpoint.
“It is a common sense position that has been taken. Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana are two sister countries and as long as I stay in office our country will never participate in any force to go and attack Ghana. It is not just based on the friendly relation between Gbagbo and Atta Mills. It is an issue of common sense if we want to save Africa. That’s how I expect all the African countries to react. If we want African nations to develop, we have to help them build their sovereignty based on their Constitutions” said Mr. Gbagbo.
“There is no Ecowas country which does not have its population here. How are they going to conduct this war? Are they going to kill their own compatriots? I think it is very unfortunate. This is a ridiculous decision not possible to be implemented. We had a successful election so Ecowas should have applauded us and help to solve the post election difficulty. There are some countries that don’t even have elections. We must not let non-Africans push Africans to fight themselves. They want to continue colonization and I cannot accept it” he said.
He described the decision to impose sanctions on Ivory Coast by some western nations as ridiculous.
“There is interference by too many foreign countries. If Africa wants to resolve the problems of democracy with army, then the whole Africa will be at war. So I think it is unfair and it is not the initiative of Africans. It is the initiative of countries outside Africa and I denounce it. Instead of solving the problem that we have, they want to worsen it”.
“My accusation goes directly to France. In all the former British colonies, Great Britain doesn’t bother those countries on daily basis. But In Ivory Coast and elsewhere, France continues to remote control the daily business of these countries. This is unacceptable and we can longer accept it. If they say we are independent and a sovereign nation, I don’t know why France has to be interested in our internal issues. It is the interference by France that makes the issue a very big problem .If not, it would have been a non-issue resolved by ourselves” he said.
Mr. Gbagbo said sustaining a country’s independence is a gruelling task that comes with many hurdles, but was optimistic that Ivory Coast will overcome the obstacle in no time. ?