Ghana: Ivorian refugees appeal to President Mills to mediate to bring lasting peace in Ivory Coast

By Ohemeng Tawiah, Nhyira Fm/Kumasi-Ghana – Ivorian refugees at Nsuta-Beposo in the Sekyere Central of the Ashanti Region in Ghana are appealing to President Mills to help restore lasting peace in their country.

The refugees claim to be descendants of former Ivorian leader Houphouet-Boigny, believed to have migrated from Nsuta in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

The say having shown neutrality in the post-election conflict, the Ghanaian President is well placed to help bring down tension between supporters of newly-installed President Alassane Ouatarra and ousted Laurent Gbagbo.

The arrest of Mr. Gbagbo and swearing in of Alassane Quattara has been hailed as a development that would ensure peace in the once glamorous West African state. The Ivorian refugees say more needs to be done thought to restore order in World’s highest cocoa producing country.

Spokesperson and pharmacist by profession, who pleaded anonymity, tells Nhyira Fm’s Ohemeng Tawiah attack on perceived Gbagbo loyalists must stop; adding dialogue should be encouraged in local communities.

She dismissed suggestions Mr. Gbagbo’s arrest will automatically bring peace.

First she wants President Mills to use dialogue in bringing-out lasting peace to Ivory Coast, while imploring to hang on to his neutrality.

‘‘We need more dialogue. President Mills should continue to be neutral to bring reconciliation’’. She commended Ghana’s President for showing support to Ivorians.

‘‘He did not show support for Quattara or Gbagbo when the conflict began. He should prevail on leaders of the two factions to give peace a chance’’.

The anonymous spokesperson also urged President Mills to employ all tactics to ensure all Ivorians who ‘‘were wounded’’ by previous governments are ‘‘healed’’ to ensure total reconciliation.

‘‘Ivorians who were victimized by previous governments may want to retaliate against their opponents’’. ‘‘Though they may not show any sign of being against reconciliation, they will still retaliate’’. ‘‘Especially, Gbagbo supporters may be peeved. Such people still habour ill-feelings against their opponents’’.

‘‘It is ordinary Ivorians who need reconciliation, not the politicians’’ Meanwhile, the Ghana Immigration Service has begun registering the refugees who are reluctant to go to the Refugee Camp at Mpehi in the Western Region.

One of the minors who joined some Ghanaian returnees is already reported sick. Sekyere Central District National Disaster Management Organization Coordinator, Donkor Fuseini, says the registration will prepare the ground for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees to take over responsibility for them.