Ivory Coast: France Squirms, the Press fails, Gbagbo resists

Today the head of UN troops in the Ivory Coast, Alain Le Roy, accused loyalist forces of « trickery » because they used a ceasefire “to consolidate their positions” the lapdog press reports.  What the press failed to tell us was that when President Laurent Gbagbo offered a ceasefire on Tuesday, rebels and the French army attacked his residence and that they never accepted the ceasefire in the first place.

 And, HELLO, when you are at war, you consolidate your positions!

While the Imperialist master France and its faithful agent the UN squirm to justify their intervention to bring Alassane Ouattara and his failed 2002 coup to power, there are signs Africans are not buying it.

President Sarkozy has not measured the consequences very carefully,” said Henriette Ekwe, a senior Human Rights activist in Cameroon. “This is a declaration of war.  I did not know that France could declare war on its former colonies 50 years after independence!”

 Ekwe warned France of the impact this war will have on the collective memory of Africans. 

If one wanted to dress Africans against the French,” said Malick Ndiaye of the Senegalese Intellectual Initiatives Collective, “they could not have found a better way to do it.” The group submitted a petition of protest to the French Ambassador in Dakar.

It is not just outrage in Africa that has the French worried.  Try as they may, it will get harder for the complaisant press to continue to ignore the facts and avoid checking the background.

 On Wednesday, the whistle-blowing French weekly, Le Canard Enchaîné, opened with both barrels.  Senior French officers told the Canard how the French Army supported the rebel assault in the South.  One who works at the Elysées Palace with President Sarkozy bragged about “our efficiency in the organization of the descent on Abidjan.”

 Another officer in the intelligence service told the Canard how they gave the rebels “technical advice, ammunition and Famas rifles” (the French standard assault weapon).

 France now has 1,700 troops in the Ivory Coast backed up with Puma combat helicopters and Fighter Bombers not far away in Chad and Gabon, not to mention the Ukrainian MI-24s flying for the UN and the 12 000 UN troops.

 The paper revealed another charge against the UN.  There is more than material and financial support from France, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Le Canard says they spoke to witnesses and saw documents that show pro-Ouattara rebels exported, through Ghana, several tons of Gold powder from mines in northern Ivory Coast in 2009 and 2010 under the cover of UN vehicles!  This gold was sold to Israeli merchants in Antwerp at over 15 000 euros a kilo. So much for UN neutrality prior to the elections.

 The French Pumas also bombed a hospital and a supermarket in Abidjan on April 4.  And the number of civilians murdered in areas taken by the rebels continues to rise.  One would think with so many journalists in the country for so long, some of these stories could have been investigated.  They are worth much more to public opinion than the free air time given to the ‘talking heads’.

But the Western press is bending over backwards to prop up the pro-Ouattara war agaisnt the Ivory Coast.  The media risk seeing their credibility further eroded in the coming week.

This coming week the White Paper on the December investigation of the elections by French lawyer Jacques Vergès and former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas will be made public.  It is meant to show with “definitive proof”, for all those who care, that Allassane Ouattara lost the elections.  Laurent Gbagbo is the rightful president of the Ivory Coast.  His resistance will make him the new Patrice Lumumba and Sarkozy will surely end up like King Leopold’s Ghost.

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