I was summoned to explain motive for Akufo-Addo’s Wagner comments – Ghana’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso

Ghana’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Boniface Gambila has confirmed he was summoned by the Burkinabe government over comments by President Akufo-Addo about the country’s alliance with Russia.

Speaking on The Pulse on JoyNews, he stated that he was summoned to explain the intent behind President Akufo-Addo’s comment while speaking to reporters alongside U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken on December 14.

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Mr Gambila said that he explained to the Burkinabe government that the President did not mean any malice but only sought to gain support to help both countries fight terrorism.

“The president took this initiative to be able to tell partners that they need to move in to help Burkina Faso. His Excellency was about seeking the support of partners in this battle, and the battle is a common battle that we are all fighting against, that is terrorism,” he said.

The Ghana Ambassador to Burkina Faso added that; “so my invitation was to explain the intent behind the message. Before the president went to America for the summit, there was an initiative where he stated that there was a need to find the resources by any means possible for Burkina Faso.”

He noted that as such if the Francophone country is able to beat the problem of terrorism, it will not cascade down to the coastal countries.

This comes after Burkina Faso summoned the Ghanaian Ambassador for “explanations” after Ghana’s president alleged that Burkina Faso had hired the Russian mercenary group Wagner, Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry said.

Speaking to reporters alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Akufo-Addo alleged that Burkina Faso had hired the mercenaries.

“Today, Russian mercenaries are on our northern border. Burkina Faso has now entered into an arrangement to go along with Mali in employing the Wagner forces there,” Akufo-Addo said, adding that it was a distressing development for Ghana.

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In a statement issued after the meeting with the ambassador, Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry said it had “expressed disapproval” about the statements made by the Ghanaian president.

“Ghana could have undertaken exchanges with the Burkinabe authorities on the security issue in order to have the right information,” it said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gambila said that despite being summoned, the President also sent a delegation to explain to the Burkina Faso government and also alley their fears that he did not mean any harm with his comments.

“This was not an issue of malice but an issue of recognising the difficulty Burkina Faso faces and also as a preventive measure to curtail terrorism,” he said.

He stated that the relations between both countries have not been affected following the summons, adding that “once it (the explanation) was understood that was it.”


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