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29.08.2005 General News

JAK, JJ smoke peace pipe?

The Heritage
JAK, JJ smoke peace pipe?

An Aide to former president Rawlings, Victor Smith says United Nation's Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has begun a diplomatic process to bridge the gap between President Kufuor and ex president Rawlings.

Though there has been no conclusive and comprehensive agreement from Mr Annan's last week's diplomatic initiative, there has been immense progress in getting the duo to smoke a final 'political peace pipe'.

Mr Annan is expected to resume the peace move after his return from famine-stricken Niger.

According to The Heritage, a private daily newspaper, Mr Annan took advantage of his presence in the country for the Global Excellence Award ceremony to push for a lasting rapprochement between the two political antagonists.

This latest move to reconcile the two Johns by the UN Secretary General has been precipitated by complaints to the UN boss from former vice president John Evan Atta Mills and head of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission –PURC, Kwame Pianim.

Both Mr Pianim and Prof Mills, according to the paper's sources had gone to the UN boss to complain of the heightened tension between the sitting president and the former president and goaded him to try to find a diplomatic solutions to the problem.

The UN boss was said to have met both President Kufuor and former President Rawlings and got briefing on the concerns of both individuals.

President Kufuor expressed his discomfiture with what he sees as the former president's inability to live like a statesman and a neutral person in the political happenings in the country.

On his part, the former president also complained about what he sees as harassment and intimidation of members of his government and party, perceived political persecution against former ministers and functionaries in his regime, his safety and security.

Both parties have sent an olive branch to each other in readiness for a possible cessation of political hostilities between them and if possible their surrogates.

This was after the UN boss had relayed concerns of each of the men to the other.

Mr Smith confirmed a meeting between the former President and Mr Kofi Annan on how to broker ceasefire and create harmonious relationship between President Kufuor and former president Rawlings.

“ I don't think I am allowed to give details of the discussion but I know that Mr Annan was concerned about the political tension between the previous administration led by former president and the current administration led by President Kufuor.

Information Minister, Dan Botwe, on his part said there is nothing there to ceasefire between the sitting president and the former president because there is only one president in the country and that is President Kufuor.

He said it will be insulting for anyone to say that he is bringing the two leaders together because it is former president Rawlings who is always hurling insults at the sitting president and he has to be talked to.

“There is nothing to ceasefire about… we should not create the impression that there are two presidents in this country. There is only one President and so if Rawlings keeps in talking, insulting the president, if anybody has any advise to give, he should just go and talk to Rawlings.

The impression as if two people are fighting and therefore we are trying to bring them together, anybody who does that lowers the esteem of the President.

Kofi Annan… or anybody who thinks he has any social standing or goodwill should talk to the person who is at fault, “ he said.

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