Shoot Ivory Coast and Paralyze Ghana

Had the cassava knew that being generous to a goat with its leaves will end up spilling doom for both of them on hot a Christmas Sunday, it would had lobbied to be called Mr. Stingy. It is no doubt that our biggest neighbour's instability is our concern but it should be a concern that propels us as a nation – Ghana to do something about it; not just something but that which ensures mutual stability and peace especially because we are closer to them than many of the West African countries. And it in this light that I will want to weigh the option of military intervention the so-called “last option”.

I am not a war expert neither am I a military man but as a person who experienced a bit of instability in Kenya in 2007 and in fact having lived in Kenya, a wonderful country challenged by two neighbouring warring countries; Uganda and Somalia, I deem it appropriate to share my thoughts.

Should military intervention be an option at all? This is where I disagree with both opposition and the government; military intervention can not be even the last option. It should be out of the equation for it can never be option at any point. Why am I taking such a stance? Being a Ghanaian I prefer using my country as the reference point. First, I hope we will all remember the socio-economic challenges the war in Liberia inflicted on Ghana with the influx of refugees. Mind you, Liberia is even far yet Ghana was their second home according to Oppong Weah. And up to now, there some still around not knowing where to go, neither do they know where they belong. Note that in 1989 the population of Liberia was 2,555,883 and Ivory Coast's population is now 21,058,798 and in addition Ivory Coast is more closer than Liberia, therefore the influx of refugees will be unimaginably bigger coupled with its associate problems should Ivory Coast go haywire. Are we ready for it?

Besides the obvious fact that there will be resistance which inevitably will lead to death of Ghanaians as well as Ivorians should military intervention be employed, the sister country relations we enjoy now will collapse. Instability in Ivory Coast will obviously cause paralysis in Ghana as far as border security is concerned. This brings to mind one of the many challenges Kenya faces; the proliferation of illegal arms, which is caused by the fact that arms are cheaply bought and smuggled into Kenya from her warring neighbours and in fact that has been one of the main cause of high crime in that country. Back home, Ghana is already struggling with armed robbery upsurge, war in our western neighbour will surely trigger a lot of smuggling, in which drugs and arms will not be the least. This means that crime in Ghana will increase.

Let's also remember that even the world's greatest military forces, U.S.A and U.K did not succeed in rounding up their military intervention in Iraq within the forty days originally scheduled but in fact it's almost a decade now. Now my question is, can this economically toddling nation of ours be able sustain our military men there for such long without any repercussion on the country's tax-payers money?

Ghana must do something but what? I strongly believe the country has enough statesmen who should be encouraged by the government to lobby behind doors through the international bodies like ECOWAS and AU to at least ensure that the disputed election is nullified and the fresh election held under a supervision of a mutually recognised electoral system. Remember fire in your neighbour's farm is reminder to create fire-belt in yours.

Joe Tony ([email protected])

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