SAS Drakensberg Ivory Coast Peace Mission Infuriates Warmongers

The west African bloc ECOWAS has chided South Africa for sending a “warship” to Ivory Coast, but Pretoria’s ambassador said it was a support vessel dispatched to the region and not meant for any military purpose.James Victor Gbeho, head of the 15-nation West African bloc which has threatened to use force to oust Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, told journalists “there is a South African warship docked in Cote d’Ivoire.” “Action such as that can only complicate the matter further,” he said.

South Africa’s ambassador to Nigeria disputed Gbeho’s reference to the vessel as a warship and said it could serve as a neutral negotiation venue.He said a similar arrangement was used for the Democratic Republic of Congo years back when South Africa mediated.South Africa says the warship is not for fighting but for negotiating. I guess our government believes the saying that “you can get a lot done with a kind word, but a lot more with a kind word and a gun”.

The comments add to rifts between African nations over how to resolve the election crisis where two rivals claimed the presidency after November 28 polls, with incumbent Laurent Gbagbo defying world pressure to hand over to Alassane Ouattara.ECOWAS has sent delegations to negotiate a release of power by Gbagbo and has threatened to remove him by force; but some African leaders are opposed to the group’s warning.South Africa has not endorsed Ouattara as president and could be a potential weak point in regional efforts to force Gbagbo to stand down.


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