More Cote d’Ivoire / Ivory Coast “Rubbish”

I have deicded to post again on the crisis in the Cote d’Ivoire.  I removed my previous post after having it called ill advised (by a friend) or rubbish (by a pro-Ouattara) because it was not substantiated enough.  Althoug this post has more f*** references, I don’t think right now Africans need intellectual masterbation on the intricasies of international law.  What they need is Justice!

With each day that goes by, more and more evidence is coming out that President Laurent Gbagbo is the victim of a conspiracy to oust him led by France and the United States and through the mouth of the UN

Double Standards, Lies, Half Truths and Disinformation

The media in the West are working within the frame of the double standards set by the Western governments, passing under silence important questions, forgetting major events over the past few years and choosing very lop-sided vocabulary.

Both former Ghanaian president, Jerry J. Rawlings, and the Angolan government have called for a recount and an investigation.  Rawlings points out that one area had 159,788 “valid” votes from a list of only 48,400 registered voters. (1) I read elsewhere allegations that another region had some 175,000 thousand “valid” votes when there were only 46,000 registered voters. Obviously this deserves an investigation and a recount as has been awarded in Haiti and as was done in the US in 2000.  If the allegations are true, then we quickly reach the figure of 500,000 votes annulled by the Ivorian Constitutional Council (Supreme Court).

The UN said there were irregularities but not enough to affect results.  Really?  Prove it.  There are European Union observers who say the rebels in the North prevented them from reaching some polling stations.  Does that not deserve investigation?

Even more suspicious is how the UN ignored the Ivorian constitution and declared Allasane Ouattara winner without investigating the irregularities, nor waiting for the Constitutional Council to finish its work.  Perhaps, the Council would have been better advised to cancel the elections all together and call for new ones rather than declare a winner. And what do we say of the “Independent” Electoral Commission, whose pro-Ouattara Chairman, Youssouf Bakayako, was taken to the UN protected Ouattara headquarters by the US and French ambassadors to announce Ouattara’s victory, not to the Ivorians, but to Western Television!

The Western media call Gbagbo the “self-proclaimed president” (2) while Ouattara is the “internationally recognized winner”.  Gbagbo was proclaimed winner by the Constitutional Council, not himself.  Ouattara was proclaimed winner by a compromised Commission from Ouattara’s fort at the Golf Hotel.

The media say the Constitutional Council is stacked with Gbagbo people.  This may be so, but no less than the Electoral Commission is stacked with pro-Ouattara people.  The difference is the Council wants an investigation that the French and Americans and the UN are doing everything to prevent.

President Rawlings also points out the hypocrisy of ECOWAS (the West African grouping) saying “more outrageous elections have taken place without intervention.  How can we justify an intervention in this instance, when the results are so close and divided along ethnic lines?”

Double standards: The international press and the International Community speak of the past ten years of trouble in the country conveniently omitting the failed 2002 Coup d’Etat by Allasane Ouattara’s New Forces friends.  Few remind us that if the Muslim forces supported by elements from Burkina Faso and Mali had not tried a Coup, there would have been elections in 2005 and again in 2010.  Why don’t they ask Ouattara to step down and try again in 2015?  How is it that Ouattara’s friends are still armed (in breach of the Ouagadougou accords), occupying the northern half of the country and now we know also with armed elements in the South?

Who is behind the violence?

The post-election violence in the Cote d’Ivoire was wanted by the Ouattara camp.  There is nothing more sensitive in a country like the Cote d’Ivoire than the Radio and Television.  When Ouattara and his chosen Prime Minister and leader of the New Forces rebels, Guillaume Soro, ordered their supporters to march on the station, they knew there would be a confrontation.  The clashes were deliberate and in the ensuing violence, we discovered that New Forces in Abidjan are also armed.

The violence was desired because Ouattara was trying to open the door for foreign intervention.  As further proof, the next day Guillaume Soro called for the International Community to forcibly remove Gbagbo.  The Gbagbo camp also fear the fact that very many of the 10,000 UN “Peace-Keepers” are from Muslim countries and support the Muslims Ouattara and the New Forces rebels.

Double standards:  What country in the world would let the mob take over their means of communication?  The not-so-democratic-but-western-choirboy Yeltsin’s forces killed 62 pro-parliament protesters on Oct. 2, 1993 outside the government TV station and then he sent his tanks against the elected parliament with the backing of the West even though Yeltsin’s coup was unconstitutional in the post-Soviet Russia.

The UN Human Rights Council, France, the United States and the European Union are outraged at the post-election deaths.  They say 173 people died.  Gbagbo gives other figures (53 dead including 14 policemen)  including members of the security forces who were killed by armed Ouattara ‘protesters’.

Former President Clinton advisor Lanny Davis wants to know the names of the people who say they saw nearly 200 bodies.  Who are the raporteurs for the UN who drew up the “accusations” he asks.  In brief, he wants proof.  Davis says he is for investigations not only in the south, but also the north “where there are lots of reports of violence but apparently the United Nations doesn’t have observers on the ground there.” (3)  Are these raporteurs the same people spreading rumors of Liberian mercenaries and Angolan troops which nobody else has seen in the country?  Habeas Corpus —- show us the bodies.  Yet, without this proof, the International Penal Tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor is calling for indictments and condemning the security forces for excessive use of  force.

Double standards:  Where were the UN Human Rights Commission and the International Community when the French Army based in the country opened fire on pro-Gbagbo demonstrators in November 2004, killing scores and wounding hundreds?  Why didn’t the Chief Prosecutor of the International Penal Tribunal threaten the French with indictments then?

The media are also ignoring the police repression of pro-Gbagbo demonstrations in Cameroon and Gabon.  The Russian and Chinese ambassadors attended Gbagbo’s inauguration along with others.  Angola says everything the international community has done “leads inevitably to war” and finds it surprising that “in just five days radical and extreme measures were taken.” (4)  Anybody who knows the UN or other international institutions knows you get nothing in five days unless it was previously prepared. And it would seem the consensus is not as unanimous as they would have us believe.

Most importantly, We should keep in mind that Gbagbo also has the support of very many Ivorians — I believe a majority.

And what can we say when countries like Nigeria and Burkina Faso threaten to intervene to uphold democracy and rule of law?  One can only laugh.  Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaoré, who came to power through a coup, and whose 80% election victories bring a smile, and whose democratic credentials are dubious at best, is the man the UN and France imposed as mediator.  Did he not call for the international Penal Tribunal to indict Laurent Gbagbo during the Marcoussis negotiations in January 2003?  Did not the New Forces Rebels equip, train, organize and stage in part their 2002 failed rebellion from Burkina Faso territory?

The greater part of the immigrants, very many of them illegal, in Cote d’Ivoire come first from Burkina Faso (up to 3 million) and then from Mali, both Muslim countries.  Neither can afford to see a massive influx of their ex-patriots without devastating effects on their infrastructure and economies.  Let us not forget, an estimated 25% of the Ivorian population is immigrant.  What country could possibly function with such a high immigrant population?  If you want to try to make a comparison to anything, try doing it with Europe since the 1960s where many fewer immigrants are the subject of heated debate today.

It would be unfair to say Gbagbo opposes Ouattara because he is Muslim.  It was Gbagbo who reinstated Ouattara’s Ivorian nationality so he could be eligible to run.  It was strangely enough Ouattara’s new-found ally, Henri Konan Bédié, who stripped Ouattara of his Ivorian rights.  Bédié was ousted in a previous army coup in 1999 following a nationwide debate over who is and who is not Ivorian.

The Ouatara Option

Why have they chosen Allasane Ouattara?  Laurent Gbagbo is a ‘socialist’, a nationalist and anti-French so obviously the French don’t like him.  He wants French troops out of the country.  He fights for greater economic autonomy from the former colonial master.  Alasane Ouattara, on the other hand, is a former vice-president of the International Monetary Fund and very friendly to international capital.

Funny how they always find a former IMF or World Bank guy when they are in a fix: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia (and if anybody really believes the unknown Sirleaf defeated world famous soccer player George Weah, I have bridge in Brooklyn to sell you) or Marc Bazin in Haiti (although to the credit of the Haitians, they beat back the Franco-American attempt to impose their man).

The reason cannot be that the Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s top cocoa producer.  Could it be the 250 million barrels of proven oil reserves?  Or the 28.32 billion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves?  Perhaps, it is because Gbagbo wants French troops out of his country and to see their base shut down.  But France has many other interests in Cote d’Ivoire. (5)

Another reason could be that the US and France have good relations with neighbors Mali and Burkina Faso, especially in the ‘War on Terrorism’ and those countries have every reason to see Ouattara in power.

Dead Man’s Bluff

There is a Franco – American freight train called Ouattara which is rail-roading Laurent Gbagbo and sidetracking the Ivorian people.  The US and France thought they had more cards in their hands than they really do.  Gbagbo and the Ivorian people have called their bluff.  Now they are in a full panic, looking for means to maintain their momentum.  They will have to backtrack, accept investigations, open new talks or face violence and more instability.

They will never earn the respect of the African street with support from the likes of Ali Bongo of Gabon, Paul Bia of Cameroon or Blaise Compoare of Burkina Faso.  If they succeed in removing Gbagbo in this farce, it will be yet another humiliation that African citizens will not forget.

  1. (source: GNA, Accra, 12/24/21010)http://www.ghananewsagency.org/s_politics/r_23798/
  2. (e.g. France 3 news 12/26/2010)
  3. (you can watch the interview here — http://www.legrigriinternational.com/article-cote-d-ivoire-counsel-pdt-clinton-lanny-davis-massive-fraudes-in-the-north-cnn-63700738.html)
  4. (Go here to read the brief —  http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/fr_fr/noticias/politica/2010/11/51/Gouvernement-denonce-campagne-diffamatoire-sur-crise-Cote-Ivoire,a1ee9574-bee4-426f-a25e-3d49233972b6.html)
  5. (You can read about French economic interests in and secret traties with the Cote d’Ivoire here  http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Editorial_10/Why_Are_The_French_Obsessed_With_Gbagbo_26425.shtml
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