The Gbagbo Release, Matters Arising

The release from detention by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo, has a direct bearing on Ghana’s security which we ignore to our detriment.

When Ivory Coast was on the precipice, the impact of the reality was visible here in Ghana; so many refugees, some of them with dubious characters, trooped into the country including the smuggling of assortment of firearms. It is for this reason that we are calling on the relevant agencies to be on the lookout for possible impact of the development in the country.

The foregone picture can be played out when the Gbagbo supporters, still reeling from the unfinished war – as some of them see the civil strife which visited the country, take up arms once more.

Although we are unaware about the nature of the impact of the freedom granted the former President, it is clear that given the rather challenging security fallouts from his arrest and subsequent appearance in The Hague, there could be tension in the aftermath of the court order.

It is our prayer that France would render the necessary support to Ivory Coast given the possibility of Gbagbo’s supporters hitting the streets and igniting fire in a country which is yet to fully recover from the recent civil war.

When there is trouble in our neighbour’s country, the surge of refugees into ours creates so much security challenges that we must guard against what we experienced during the turmoil there.

If we have not, as a country, put our security agents along our frontier with that country on red alert, then we better do that now so that eventualities can be contained sufficiently.

Our authorities must take interest in developments in the Ivory Coast before we are taken by surprise. The two countries are so interlinked by cultural similarities that managing security issues of the kind which visited that country, should occupy our attention as Laurent Gbagbo is about to make his homeward trip.

We cannot contain a repeat of the fallouts of a conflict or strife in the Ivory Coast. The Togolese story is far from over: the fire still not extinguished yet.  Another conflict from the western flank would be too much for our country’s health.

President Akufo Addo’s leverage should be brought to bear upon the developments in that country so trouble does not erupt. Our President can only act when he is fed appropriate security reports from that country.

There is therefore a demand that those responsible for this assignment be on top of their jobs so that the President intervenes when he should; as he did in Togo.