Ghana's president John Atta Mills has said that his country will not send troops to neighbouring Ivory Coast, nor would it take sides in the post-election dispute between incumbent Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and his opponent, Alassane Ouattara. Although Ouattara is recognised by the international community as the winner of November's election, Gbagbo is still clinging to power.

Ouattara has called for a special forces mission to oust Gbagbo but Ghana's president has cautioned against the use of force. Gbagbo is coming under increasing international diplomatic pressure to stand down while the West African regional group Ecowas is trying to negotiate a compromise.

Founded in 1975 the Economic Community of West African States is a regional group of 15 countries which has previously sent troops to fight in Liberia and Sierra Leone: countries far smaller and less formidable than Ivory Coast.

Ghana would normally be expected to play a military role as part of Ecowas however the country is compromised due to the estimated one million Ghanians living in Ivory Coast, as well as having its over-stretched military forces involved in peace-keeping missions elsewhere.

In addition to Mills