No announcement yet.

Ivory Coast News Backtracking Thoughts

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ivory Coast News Backtracking Thoughts

    Ivory Coast forces fire on opposition neighbourhoods | News

    African Union Plans Ivory Coast Sanctions, Isolation - Businessweek

    Basically its a North(Majority Muslim) vs South(Majority Christian) thing and to some degree. I can't figure out why besides Outtara being former IMF stooge he is being so forecefully pushed into power by the outside forces. Right now what I notice is basically the incumbent grabbing money, and streamlining control to either resume civil war or at the very least to purge the opposition.
    The African Union will use economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, and not military force, should talks aimed at ending the political crisis in Ivory Coast fail, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said.
    This will not work, it has not worked on Iran now or even during the Iran / Iraq war. My guess is right now the incumbent powers basically preparing a SHTF scenario and no amount of threats will decrease tension. At this point it is better to acquiesce and let things mellow out or expect a powder keg reaction.

    Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo Told To Quit Or Face Force As 14,000 People Flee Nation | World News | Sky News
    The following threat is very odd also note the thousands fleeing into Liberia not the most stable place in the world.
    The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cap Vert will tell Mr Gbagbo "that he must step down as quickly as possible or face legitimate military force".

    Ecowas president James Victor Gbeho said the group was making "an ultimate gesture" to Mr Gbagbo to urge him to make a peaceful exit.

    The 15-nation bloc made the decision at an emergency summit in Nigeria as fears mount that the dispute will rekindle a 2002-03 civil war.

    Presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara called for a nationwide general strike that would shut the country down until internationally isolated incumbent Mr Gbagbo cedes power.

    Meanwhile, the UN's refugee agency said at least 14,000 people have fled Ivory Coast for neighbouring Liberia since November.
    Gbagbo seizes Ivory Coast electricity company - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

    "In the coming days, if the central bank remains closed, the commercial banks will not be able to operate," said Ouattara's acting finance minister Patrick Achi. "This will paralyze the economic activity in the country," he said.

    The Dakar, Senegal-based regional bank formally recognized Ouattara as president in late December and ordered that Gbagbo's access to state coffers be cut off. Gbagbo, however, continued to withdraw funds from state accounts until the bank's governor, a close Gbagbo ally, was forced to resign last weekend.

    Achi says that in the interim, Gbagbo was able to withdraw 57 billion francs ($120 million) illegitimately to keep his government functioning.
    You have a government which is aggressive, fighting for its' survival, with limited means of monetary support (ergo short timeline to SHTF is short), just because the funds are cut off the powers that be will bend over for the opposition. The commodity flow in the form of cocoa and diamonds will provide money flows if need be by smuggling to adjacent countries which happens all the time in the region.
    Last edited by cyppok; 28 Jan 11,, 01:34.
    Originally from Sochi, Russia.

  • #2
    These two-three stories are some of the latest news to come out of there both give descent coverage of the standoff and likely outcomes can be really interpolated from there.
    Gbagbo warns Ivory Coast intervention would provoke chaos - Berita teranyar dunia dan pengembangan terdekat dengan tanah air - MSN Indonesia News

    Cocoa Plays Role In Ivory Coast's Political Crisis : NPR

    good power breakdown in france24 story
    Last edited by cyppok; 28 Jan 11,, 01:43.
    Originally from Sochi, Russia.


    • #3
      Ivory Coast's conflict and Rwanda's genocide: Key differences -

      BBC News - Ivory Coast: Battle for Abidjan intensifies

      2 April 2011 Last updated at 23:58 ET
      Ivory Coast: Battle for Abidjan intensifies

      Fighting has intensified in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan as forces loyal to the UN-recognised president, Alassane Ouattara, battle those of his rival, the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

      Heavy artillery fire has been heard as the troops fight for key sites including the presidential palace.

      Four UN soldiers were seriously wounded by Mr Gbagbo's forces on Saturday.
      Duekoue 'massacre'

      The west of Ivory Coast has also seen vicious battles between rival militias and ethnic groups. On Saturday, Caritas said its staff had found the bodies of hundreds of people in Duekoue, and estimated that 1,000 may have died.

      The killings occurred between 27 March and 29 March in the Carrefour district, which was controlled at the time by fighters loyal to Mr Ouattara, spokesman Patrick Nicholson told the Associated Press.

      "Caritas does not know who was responsible for the killing, but says a proper investigation must take place to establish the truth," he said.

      Most of the 1,000 peacekeepers based in Duekoue had been protecting about 15,000 refugees at a Catholic mission there, Mr Nicholson added.

      The International Committee of the Red Cross put the death toll at about 800, while the UN said more than 330 people were killed as Mr Ouattara's forces took over Duekoue, most of them at the hands of the rebels. However, more than 100 of them were killed by Mr Gbagbo's troops, it added.
      I get a feeling this might escalate further with eventual revenge reprisals, unless it ends soon which could also happen.

      "Militarily, I think it is over. But I don't think the situation is totally under control as there is likely to be lots of pillaging," a security source said, asking not to be named.

      Gbagbo has resisted pressure from the African Union and the West to step down since the November poll, and has been the target of sanctions by the United States, the European Union and the U.N.

      Pro-Ouattara forces have pushed down toward Abidjan from the northwest and the northeast, so far meeting little resistance as Gbagbo's regular army either withdraws or switches sides.

      But, should Gbagbo decide to put up a fight, Ouattara's forces risk becoming bogged down in bloody urban warfare in Abidjan, where pro-Gbagbo forces have retreated and his youth supporters have sought to join the army.

      They have been fired up with anti-French, anti-foreigner and anti-U.N. propaganda, and on Wednesday the army started openly handing out weapons to them.
      Last edited by cyppok; 03 Apr 11,, 07:15.
      Originally from Sochi, Russia.


      • #4
        I think we should bomb whichever side that harms civilians. This is a humanitarian crisis. It's in our interest to maintain peace and stability in this region.
        "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


        • #5
          This is what James Inhofe said this morning-

          The election was apparently fraudulent. The incumbent received thousands of votes in the primaries from the northern (muslim) portion of the country. In the runoff, he received ZERO. That is a statistical impossibility. There was talk about having some kind of investigation and a panel appointed to resolve it, but the challenger wouldn't accept that.

          Sarkozy went to Moon and said the protests had to be ended now. Last night French helicopters under UN authority attacked supporters of the incumbent president at the presidential palace. Inhofe said he has a Youtube video of the attacks on his website

          "It is now clear, based on U.N. reports coming from Cote d'Ivoire, that mass killings have occurred at the hands of Alassane Ouattara," Inhofe said. "This calls into question his legitimacy to lead that country. Ouattara is on a rampage, killing innocent civilians, and he must be stopped before this becomes another Rwanda.

          "The United States must call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent Ouattara and his rebel army from committing a mass slaughter of the Ivorians, especially the many youth with sticks and baseball bats, who are protecting Gbagbo at the presidential palace.

          “Based on the evidence I have seen, and having spoken with various dignitaries in Africa, I brought the issue of fraudulent elections in Cote d’Ivoire to the attention of Secretary of State Clinton on a couple of occasions spanning the past few months. I have called for the United States to support new elections there, but thus far, these efforts have received very little response or attention. Based on the news that Ouattara has murdered 1,000 people in Duekoue, I hope the U.S. will reconsider its position.
          What he said this morning is that it was the youths with sticks that were killed last night by french helicopters. Video link here (second one down):

          YouTube - JimInhofePressOffice's Channel
          "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008


          • #6
            Gbagbo's home in Ivory Coast comes under attack
            By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI and MARCO CHOWN OVED, Associated Press Rukmini Callimachi And Marco Chown Oved, Associated Press 23 mins ago

            ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Heavy arms fire rang out Wednesday near the home of the country's strongman who remained holed up in a subterranean bunker, as forces backing his rival assaulted the residence to try to force him out, diplomats and witnesses said.

            Forces protecting Laurent Gbagbo appeared to rally Wednesday night, pushing back the armed group fighting to install democratically elected president Alassane Ouattara.

            A spokesman for Ouattara's fighters, Yves Doumbia, said their forces breached the gates of the ruler's compound, only to be repelled by heavy arms fire.

            "We retreated but we are preparing for a second assault," Doumbia said by telephone.

            Gbagbo has suffered debilitating losses in the past two days. United Nations Mi-24 helicopters attacked and destroyed his arms depots on Monday. On Tuesday, his soldiers were seen abandoning their posts across the city, some rushing inside a church to tear off their uniforms and dump their weapons before discreetly exiting in civilian clothes.

            Yet the 65-year-old Gbagbo — a former history professor — appears to have calculated his rival's weakness: Ouattara, an intellectual who has spent decades abroad, knows that he needs to take Gbagbo alive in order to maintain international support, and avoid further alienating the 46 percent of the electorate that voted for Gbagbo in last year's presidential election.

            A spokeswoman for Ouattara said earlier on France-24 television that the forces would eventually succeed in forcing out the leader who has refused to cede power after losing a November election.

            "At the current moment they have not yet captured Gbagbo but it will happen soon," Affoussy Bamba said by telephone from Abidjan.

            "They opened the gates and noted that the residence is surrounded by heavy weaponry," she said. "Now the objective is to capture him."

            Gbagbo had appeared to be on the point of surrender on Tuesday, sending an emissary to meet with foreign ambassadors in order to negotiate the terms of his resignation. But a senior diplomat who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press said the overture appeared to be a foil, and that Gbagbo was simply playing for time.

            "The conditions set by President Ouattara are rather clear. He is demanding that Laurent Gbagbo accept his defeat and recognize the victory of the legitimately elected president," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Wednesday. "That's where we are today, and alas, words have given way to weapons."

            Earlier in the day, Radio France International broadcast an interview with Gbagbo in which he said he had won last November's election and that there was no question of him leaving.

            "We are not at the negotiating phase. And my departure from where? My departure to where?" he said.

            Gbagbo refused to accept defeat to Ouattara in last year's election and took his country to the precipice of civil war in his bid to preserve power. His security forces are accused of using cannons, mortars and machine guns to mow down opponents in the four months since Ouattara was declared the winner of the contested vote.

            In Europe, Gbagbo's spokesman attempted to spin the attack on the residence by Ouattara's forces as a foreign intervention. He claimed it was the French that was storming the home of the former leader, a claim the French military vigorously denied.

            In Paris, more than 100 Gbagbo supporters protested peacefully outside the National Assembly against France's military action in Ivory Coast. One of the protesters hoisted a picture of President Nicolas Sarkozy and the words "Sarko out of Ivory Coast." Others chanted "Sarkozy murderer!"

            United Nations attack helicopters helped by French troops bombarded the ruler's arsenal late Monday, acting on a Security Council resolution authorizing them to take out his heavy weapons because they had been used against the population. The international forces have not been involved in the ground attack Wednesday on the residence, said diplomats and French military spokesman Thierry Burkhard.


            Associated Press writers Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations; Michelle Faul in Accra, Ghana; and Jenny Barchfield and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.
            Copyright © 2011 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

            * Q
            To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


            • #7
              Op-Ed Contributor
              In Ivory Coast, Democrat to Dictator
              By VENANCE KONAN
              Published: April 7, 2011


              IN 1982, when I was a student in Abidjan, I went on strike for Laurent Gbagbo. President Félix Houphouët-Boigny — Ivory Coast’s first president, who ruled for more than 30 years — had forbidden Mr. Gbagbo, then a democracy activist and history professor, from holding a conference. The government detained about 100 of us demonstrators at a military base, where we spent two days without food. We didn’t regret it; we had pinned our hopes for democracy on Laurent Gbagbo.

              But look at Mr. Gbagbo now: Soundly defeated at the polls last November after a decade as president, he refused to concede, plunging Ivory Coast into chaos. Those who protested were tortured and killed; his soldiers fired on gatherings of women and shelled a market, killing dozens. It’s only now, after United Nations and French troops have intervened and he has been besieged in his home, that he may be prompted to give up his hold on power.

              How did the man who was once seen as the father of Ivorian democracy turn to tyranny? Was it the corruption of power? The intoxication of going from having nothing to everything all at once? Only a year before he was elected president, in 1999, I remember him denouncing Slobodan Milosevic, saying: “What does Milosevic think he can do with the whole world against him? When everyone in the village sees a white loincloth, if you are the only person to see it as black, then you are the one who has a problem.” But in the space of 10 years, he became deluded by power, a leader whose only ambitions were to build palaces and drive luxurious cars.

              After last fall’s election, Mr. Gbagbo and his wife, Simone, refused to accept the results, in part because they had become evangelical Christians, and their pastors convinced them that God alone could remove them from power. Every day on state TV, fanatical clergymen called Mr. Gbagbo God’s representative on earth, and the winner of the election, Alassane Ouattara, the Devil’s. Many young Ivorians, poor, illiterate and easily brainwashed, believed this.

              More prosaically, Mr. Gbagbo and his cronies — guilty, among other crimes, of stealing from the public coffer — fear being brought to justice before an international tribunal, so much so that they have decided to hold on to power no matter the cost. The fear of losing everything can make a dictator, even one who once was a champion of democracy, lose his mind.

              The hopes we had in 1982 are long gone now. I was one of many people who denounced Mr. Gbagbo’s brazen attack on democracy, and on Jan. 10, his militiamen burst into my old house in Abidjan looking for me. I went into hiding after that, and friends helped me flee Ivory Coast for Ouagadougou, in Burkina Faso, and then France.

              I am much luckier than those who have been killed, wounded or raped, those who are languishing in Liberian refugee camps or living without water and electricity. My friend Oumou tells me that her neighbors are burying their dead in their buildings’ courtyards. If they go to the cemetery with the bodies of relatives who have been shot in the fighting, they are considered rebels and executed. The same is true for people who seek medical treatment for bullet wounds.

              The international community was right to intervene. To allow Mr. Gbagbo to remain in power despite the wishes of the electorate is to give up on the democratic process in sub-Saharan Africa, at the same time as North Africa and the Arab countries are overthrowing authoritarian regimes. We in sub-Saharan Africa began that process 20 or 30 years ago, when Mr. Gbagbo and I were younger men. From Bamako, Mali, to Kinshasa, Congo, students and the dispossessed poured into the streets to topple our dictators.

              But in Ivory Coast, we failed; Houphouët-Boigny stayed in power until his death, just as Omar Bongo did in Gabon and Gnassingbé Eyadéma in Togo, while Paul Biya is closing in on 30 years in Cameroon. The seed of democracy had been sowed in Africa, but it grew slower in some countries than in others. I believe it will grow again in Ivory Coast, once Mr. Gbagbo is gone.

              I saw him on TV last December, when, despite the protests, he was inaugurated for another term at the presidential palace. Simone Gbagbo wore a white dress, as if she were a bride. At the end of the swearing-in, she conspicuously kissed her husband, and the small crowd applauded. The president and his wife were well-matched in delusion: The whole country knows that Mrs. Gbagbo lost her husband’s favor once he became president, and he has since taken a second wife — younger and, it is said, more beautiful. The kiss, like the ceremony, fooled no one.

              When I heard that international forces were bombarding Mr. Gbagbo’s bases, that was the image that came to me: Laurent, wearing the medals and sash of the office that he refused to give up, and Simone in her wedding dress, the two entwined forever in their tragedy, which is also that of their country.

              Venance Konan is a journalist and novelist. This essay was translated by The Times from the French.
              To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


              • #8
                Lessons from the Ivory Coast

                Posted By Steven Plaut On April 11, 2011 @ 12:05 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 13 Comments

                The crisis in the Ivory Coast has important lessons for Europe, Israel and the United States. And none of these lessons is being conveyed by the Western media.

                The most important aspects of the crisis in the Ivory Coast are being overlooked or deliberately disguised by the Western media. One can read media report after media report without discovering the basic fact that the Northern Ivory Coast “rebels” are Muslims. Indeed they are Muslims who by and large entered the Ivory Coast as infiltrators, through borders that are poorly patrolled, from neighboring countries. A better advertisement for stronger border control cannot be found. At least four million illegal immigrants, mostly Muslim, entered the Ivory Coast during the past two decades, tilting the demographic balance there.

                And these Muslim infiltrators and interlopers, increasingly backed by African, French and Western powers, are challenging the control by Ivory Coast natives over their own country. The sufferings and violence in the Ivory Coast may well illustrate what awaits Europe if it continues its own demographic suicide and if it continues to flood itself with Muslim immigrants. The conflict also illustrates the extent to which the Western powers are willing to subvert their commitment to Wilsonian principles. Since Woodrow Wilson and the end of World War I, the West was nominally committed to erecting and defending nation states. We now see that the Western powers (and African regimes) are willing to abandon this set of principles whenever faced with a cheap way to curry favor with Muslims. Finally, it shows what awaits Israel if its seditious Left ever has its way and implements a Palestinian “Right of Return” that converts Israel into a “bi-national state.”

                The Ivory Coast of today, or Côte d’Ivoire, is essentially a bi-national state, although each “nation” is in fact a collection of tribes. The northern “nation” is Muslim; the southern “nation” consists of Christians and other Non-Muslims. Built upon a territory that had once been home to several tribal statelets before the era of colonization, it fell under French partial control in the 1840s, and became a formal French colony in 1893. French is still the official language spoken there, in addition to many local tribal tongues. The French hung around until 1960, when the Ivory Coast became independent. Once independent, the country was one of the most prosperous in Africa, thanks to its large cocoa crop. The country has been politically unstable since a coup in 1999 and a civil war that began in 2002.

                The background to the civil war and the current constitutional crisis is the massive in-migration of Muslims from the countries neighboring the Ivory Coast, mainly from Burkina Faso. The infiltrators settled in the northern half of the country, and also in pockets in the south, including in some neighborhoods inside the country’s largest city, Abidjan. Today Muslims, including illegals, are almost 40% of the population of the country (although Muslim and other sources claim they are really considerably higher), the remainder being a mixture of Christians (mainly Roman Catholics) and animists.

                Tensions between the immigrant population and the indigenous Ivorians goes back to the 1960s. Successive governments there have regarded the immigrants to be “circumstantial Ivorians” (their term), as opposed to the “pure Ivorians,” who are the natives. The illegal “aliens” constitute more than a quarter of the current population of the country. The alien-native dichotomy overlaps to a large extent with the divisions between non-Muslims and Muslims, and is the most important background factor in explaining the ongoing civil war.

                The current political standoff in the Ivory Coast is largely a Muslim-Christian confrontation. The “rebels” represent the Muslims of the country, especially of the north, and in particular the “aliens.” They are led by Hassan Ouattara, whose parents were evidently illegal immigrants into the Ivory Coast from Burkina Faso. Hence he personally illustrates and epitomizes the “alien” character of the “rebel” forces. An economist who once worked for the IMF, he calls his rebel militia the “New Force.” The “government” forces represent the indigenous and traditional non-Muslim Ivorians. Their leader is the current President (or, if you prefer, “president”) Laurent Gbagbo, a one-time university professor, who has been the official head of state since 2000. He claims to be a socialist and anti-imperialist. The government claims that neighboring Muslim states have intervened in the civil war on the side of the Muslims.

                Civil war broke out in the country in 2002. The “rebels,” whose support base is the Muslim north, challenged the “government,” whose power base was the non-Muslim south. Atrocities were committed on both sides. Each side accuses the other of using mercenaries. French military forces in the country participated in some of the fighting, increasingly on the side of the “rebels.”

                The elections that were to have taken place in 2005 were postponed repeatedly until 2010, in part at the initiative of the UN. A power-sharing arrangement between the two main sides in the conflict went into effect in 2007 but did not hold for long. None of the forces in the country seemed to want new elections to be held, since electoral forces were evenly matched between the two halves of the now “bi-national” state. When they were eventually held in 2010, Gbagbo lost by a thin margin. But he refused to accept those results as conclusive and compelling. Aside from claims of widespread fraud, Gbagbo insisted that the victory of the party of Ouattaro was entirely thanks to the votes of the millions of illegal immigrants participating in the election!

                Other African countries, led by predominantly-Muslim Nigeria, have been backing the “rebels.” A number of African countries have called for armed intervention on the side of those “rebels.” After a period of respite, violence began to escalate a few weeks ago. New Forces, now renamed the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (RFCI) have been beating Gbagbo’s army in the field, took the country’s capital city, and are now holding parts of Abidjan. Gbagbo is under siege in his headquarters and expected to fall any day now. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the battle zones, seeking refuge in neighboring countries, especially Liberia.

                The conflict is too complex for a simplistic assignment of forces into categories of “good buys” and “bad guys.” There are solid bases for skepticism about the true commitment to democratic rule by either side.

                Nevertheless, the conflict in the Ivory Coast shows what happens when massive illegal immigration leads to the demographic eclipse of a native population. The same Western powers so ready to strip the Serbs of their heartland to create a second Albanian nation-state in Kosovo have been unwilling to sustain any nation-state for indigenous Ivorians, and indeed have backed the aliens. Evidently the Western countries still adhere to Wilsonian principles about ethnic states and self-determination only when it is to the liking of Muslims.

                But the even more obvious lesson from all this is the instability of “bi-national” states and the impossibility of preventing them from morphing into killing grounds. This should have been obvious from the experiences in Rwanda.

                Yet this is precisely the fashionable “solution” to the Middle East conflict being promoted by the Bash-Israel Lobby. The bigots and boycotters demand that Israel agree to be demolished and enfolded into a larger “bi-national state,” one that would be dominated by Arabs and Muslims. Such an experiment in “bi-nationalism” would end in the best-case scenario as a civil war resembling the one in the Ivory Coast, and in the worst-case scenario in a Rwandan-style genocide. Ultimately, a new genocide against Jews is exactly what the Anti-Israel Lobby seeks. It is also the hidden agenda of the “BDS” (or Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement of economic aggression against Israel, and its close ally, the “Israel Apartheid Week” Hitlerjugend.

                Massive Muslim immigration is also transforming Europe demographically, in ways strikingly similar to the influx of immigrants into the Ivory Coast. France, Belgium, and other parts of Western Europe may soon find themselves the European Ivorians, the “Other,” the stranger and disenfranchised inside their own home countries.

                Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: FrontPage Magazine |

                URL to article: Lessons from the Ivory Coast | FrontPage Magazine
                To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


                • #9
                  Reprisals rock Ivory Coast after strongman deposed
                  By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Michelle Faul, Associated Press 17 mins ago

                  GUIGLO, Ivory Coast – The young man in civilian clothes didn't have the right answers for troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara and they suspected he was a fighter backing his rival for the presidency. So one of the soldiers kicked the man in the teeth.

                  Fifteen minutes later, an Associated Press reporter saw his body, the chest torn open by bullets, dumped outside this western town.

                  Reprisal killings erupted as Ouattara's fighters made a lightning assault to force his rival Laurent Gbagbo from power. And although Gbagbo was captured Monday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's commercial capital, suspected Gbagbo supporters are still being rounded up in cities and villages, especially in western Ivory Coast.

                  Parishioners are reporting the kidnappings of dozens of young men in San Pedro, said a Catholic priest in the cocoa-exporting port city in southwestern Ivory Coast. He asked not to be named, explaining: "We are all in danger."

                  "Every day the (U.N) peacekeepers are collecting and burying bodies," he said. "There is lots of dense bush here. Who knows how many bodies there are."

                  Like others, he said young men are being targeted, especially those between 20 and 35.

                  San Pedro was attacked by pro-Ouattara fighters on April 1 as Gbagbo's soldiers retreated without resistance, firing into the air.

                  A resident said the only resistance came from a feared Gbagbo support group called the Young Patriots, who sacked the abandoned army base, donning camouflage uniforms and taking weapons.

                  The pro-Ouattara fighters pushed the youths back from barricades at the entrance to the city and chased them to the Cathedral of St. Pierre downtown. Near the cathedral an unknown number of Young Patriots were killed, the priest said.

                  Then the invaders surrounded the cathedral with all-terrain vehicles, shot open the gate and fired into a crowd of 5,000 residents who had taken refuge there. The priest said the refugees belonged to the Bete, Guere and other tribes that support Gbagbo.

                  The pro-Ouattara forces stopped shooting after one man was killed and several people were wounded, he said.

                  A woman at the cathedral who was too scared to give her name said her neighbor, the headmaster of the Catholic primary school, was killed Monday night at his home because he belonged the wrong tribe.

                  "We have a very toxic and explosive mix here of political, ethnic, religious and land rivalry," the priest said. "The recent tumultuous events have brought long-simmering conflicts to a head. Who knows where this will end."

                  On Monday, on a road north of San Pedro, a reporter saw pro-Ouattara fighters at a roadblock outside the cocoa farming center of Soubre order people off a minibus, separate three young men from the group and drag the trio into the thick bush.

                  On Sunday, in the western town of Guiglo, a reporter detained for three hours by pro-Ouattara forces watched as four young men were interrogated in succession, then taken away. It's not clear what happened to the first three.

                  The fourth, who looked about 25, claimed to come from a nearby town, but he was unable to name a single neighborhood there. The soldiers became angry.

                  Earlier, the commander, who identified himself only as Lt. Siloue, was visited by Muslim and Christian elders who said prayers and told him the community welcomed the forces backing Ouattara.

                  "We have not come here to create ethnic problems," the lieutenant responded.

                  Half an hour later, the interrogation of the fourth young man centered on his tribe, and on which tribes his parents belonged to.

                  "Toura and Yacouba," he said again and again, like a mantra, the tribes of his mother and father which generally support Gbagbo.

                  When the kneeling man was unable to name his purported hometown's neighborhoods, one of the soldiers got up and kicked him in the mouth with his combat boot.

                  The man spat out blood and two teeth.

                  Siloue remonstrated with the soldiers, not for assaulting the man, but for doing it in front of a journalist. "Go and do that elsewhere," he ordered him. The man was bundled into a closed van together with his attacker.

                  Fifteen minutes later, when the released journalist was driving out of town, she saw a body on the other side of a bridge just outside town. Half the torso and feet were hidden in bush, but the man's chest, torn open by bullets, lay exposed. His head touched the tarmac, blood still dribbling from his mouth.

                  No one knows how many people have been killed. A week ago when the United Nations was reporting more than 400 deaths throughout the country, the International Federation of the Red Cross Society said thousands had been killed and wounded.

                  The worst atrocities occurred in a western triangle of three towns, Duekoue, Guiglo and Blolequin, where aid groups agree that hundreds have died. But there is so much contention about the number of victims that the U.N. has launched an investigation.

                  Questions have also been raised about what nearly 1,000 Moroccan U.N. peacekeepers based in Duekoue did to fulfill their mandate of protecting civilians. The U.N. has said the majority of the force was deployed around a Catholic mission to defend some 30,000 civilians who had sought refuge there.

                  Several residents of Carrefour, a neighborhood of Duekoue where many died, said a white U.N. helicopter flew low over the neighborhood three times each day during three days of killings, indicating the peacekeepers could witnessed the bloodshed taking place below.

                  Ouattara's new administration says it wants the violence to stop now that Gbagbo has surrendered. But it's not clear how much authority he can wield over forces which only recently pledged allegiance to him and are cobbled together from various warlords accused of atrocities in the past.

                  A U.N. peacekeeper in Duekoue said a village chief had called him to complain that 10 young men had been detained by pro-Ouattara forces who accused them of hiding weapons, even though no arms had been found in the village.

                  The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said the 10 were being held at the police station in Duekoue.

                  "These poor people," the peacekeeper said. "First they were abused by Gbagbo's forces, now they're abused by Ouattara's forces."

                  The International Committee of the Red Cross said more than 800 were killed in Duekoue alone. Caritas, the Catholic charity, said the number is nearer 1,000. The United Nations has said pro-Ouattara forces killed more than 430 there and pro-Gbagbo forces another 100.

                  New York based Human Rights Watch Tuesday said it had been able to establish that 536 people had been killed in the west of the country in recent weeks.

                  U.N. peacekeepers in the area told AP they had buried 198 bodies and the Red Cross about another 20. It's unclear what became of the other bodies.

                  Rome-based Caritas spokesman Patrick Nicholson said the charity got its figure from the International Committee of the Red Cross and from speaking to witnesses in Duekoue.

                  "We are not going to lower our estimate," Nicholson said, adding he would have no further comment until the U.N publishes its findings.

                  A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Steven Anderson, said the Geneva-based organization also stands by its reports, made from Red Cross teams who were in Duekoue on March 31 and April 1.

                  He said Red Cross workers saw hundreds of bodies and that the ICRC took the rare step of publicizing the death toll in order to get fighters to stop harming civilians.

                  A commander from the pro-Ouattara forces in central Bouake told the AP that they killed only fighters in Duekoue and that many people died there because it was the only town that had put up fierce resistance.

                  But a resident of the Carrefour neighborhood said the pro-Ouattara forces killed indiscriminately after initially targeting only young men. She did not want to be identified because she feared for her life.


                  Associated Press writer Carley Petesch contributed to this report from Johannesburg.
                  Copyright © 2011 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved
                  To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


                  • #10
                    I am wondering what happens to all those government groups that switched their support since they are now sort of out of power.

                    Ethnic targeting is a bit perverse and the reprisals seem to be just beginning as there is no repercussions or checks and balances on the new power. This is only a few steps away from declaring all opponents of the powers in charge to be against the law which even the prior leader did not do.
                    Originally from Sochi, Russia.


                    • #11
                      Ivory Coast: French deception about Laurent Gbagbo’s overthrow
                      by James M. Inhofe*
                      Ivory Coast: French deception about Laurent Gbagbo's overthrow [Voltaire Network]
                      Senator James M. Inhofe, who is a longtime personal friend of the Gbagbo couple and shares with them the same evangelical beliefs, refutes the French Government’s account of the events that took place in the Ivory Coast and substantiates his arguments.

                      16 April 2011

                      Washington D.C. (USA)



                      Ivory Coast

                      French say:

                      Fact Sheet on Côte d’Ivoire (April 6, 2011) “After many delays, including on the part of then-President Laurent Gbagbo, a presidential election was held in Côte d’Ivoire last fall. Since then, its results have been certified by the local monitoring mission and acknowledged by the international community, including the United States, the European Union (EU), the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), and the African Union (AU).”

                      Inhofe responds:

                      In fact the Independent Electoral Commission did not fulfill its constitutional mandate to announce the final provisional vote tallies within three days. It announced them almost 16 hours after it was constitutionally mandated to report them to the Constitutional Council. And it is my understanding, that it is the Constitutional Council of Cote d’Ivoire and not the Electoral Commission which certifies and declares the winner of presidential elections. It seems that this election was not carried out in accordance with the constitution of Cote d’Ivoire. In addition, there is evidence of massive electoral fraud in the rebel held north. I submitted this evidence in two letters to Secretary Clinton and am awaiting a response to these specific allegations. The evidence submitted to Secretary Clinton includes tallies of precincts where, in the first round of voting, President Laurent Gbagbo received multiple thousands of votes, but in the second round he received zero votes. I also submitted an electoral document showing official regional electoral returns, where it shows Ouattara receiving a total of 149,598 from one of five northern regions. But when the total is officially reported in the “total vote” column, Ouattara receives 244,471; a difference of 94,873 votes. From all the evidence I now have gathered, I am convinced that it is mathematically impossible for President Gbagbo to have lost the election by several hundred thousand votes. And if a similar amount of fraud exists in the other four regions of the rebel-held north, Gbagbo is actually the winner of the presidential election.

                      French say:

                      “Since the results, former President Laurent Gbagbo has not only refused to acknowledge the results, and listen to the will of the people of Côte d’Ivoire, but actually dismissed several initiatives, including by the AU, ECOWAS and other African leaders, to avert any bloodshed and find a peaceful solution of the crisis. Most recently, he again refused to accept proposals by the AU High Level Group, while these proposals have been formally accepted by President Ouattara.”

                      Inhofe responds:

                      Not true. As late as March 27, 2011 the African Union sent former Cape Verde foreign minister Jose Brito to mediate between Ouattara and Gbagbo. Gbagbo accepted the mediation, but Ouattara rejected it.

                      French say:

                      “This deadlock has precipitated a deterioration of the humanitarian situation. In addition, it has led to growing violence, of which the first victims have been civilians, in spite of the presence on the ground of the U.N. Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). It is in this context that the United Nations Security Council adopted its Resolution 1975 on March 30. This decision was adopted unanimously, including with a positive vote from the United States and the three African members of the Council (namely, Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa). It stresses the protection of civilians, and the need to prevent the use of heavy weapons in this regard, as a key element of the impartial implementation of UNOCI’s mandate.

                      Inhofe responds:

                      There is no evidence that President Gbagbo ordered the shelling or killing of civilians in Abidjan or throughout the country. He has repeatedly denied it, and it is in fact actions by forces under the control of Ouattara who have carried out military and terrorist actions. This consisted of attacks upon police and Army forces by his “invisible commandos” and the outright offensive launched from the north that has led to the present crisis.

                      French say:

                      “In Côte d’Ivoire, French forces are acting on the basis of an international mandate given by U.N. Security Council, in support to the internationally constituted U.N. peacekeeping operation (UNOCI).”

                      Inhofe responds:

                      Focus should be on the word “peacekeeping”. Unfortunately, the United Nations and French forces are not engaging in peacekeeping, but war making.

                      French say:

                      “Most recently, their intervention has been strictly consistent with Resolution 1975, and responded to a request to President Sarkozy by UN Secretary-General Ban with a view to support UNOCI as it enforces its mandate. In particular, French forces’ intervention in Abidjan has been strictly consistent with this goal, and designed to neutralize the heavy weapons used against civilian populations and UN personnel in Abidjan.”

                      Inhofe responds:

                      Not true. Abidjan is a densely populated city of four million people. In this urban environment, the collateral damage caused by the attacks by UN “Peacekeeper” and French attack helicopters and ground troops has caused hundreds if not thousands of civilian casualties. Specifically, hundreds of youths supportive of President Gbagbo formed a human shield around the presidential palace in an attempt to halt the Ouaratta and French offensive. No one knows how many of these youths have been killed by UN and French forces.

                      French say:

                      “In the context of its commitment to the protection of civilians and the fight against impunity in Côte d’Ivoire, as in the rest of Africa and worldwide, France reiterated its calls for an immediate halt to all violence against civilians, and underscored that the perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable before a court of law. France welcomes President Ouattara’s pledge in this regard.”

                      Inhofe responds:

                      The only reported slaughter of civilians has been perpetrated by Ouattara forces currently allied with the UN and French. This occurred in the western town of Duekoue where up to 1000 people were massacred by the Dozos, traditional hunters who fought alongside Ouattara forces. This has been confirmed by the United Nations and Human Rights Watch.

                      French say:

                      “France is looking forward to the end of the current violence, and hopes that the constitutional and democratic order will eventually prevail. It is for president Ouattara and the people of Côte d’Ivoire to find the political solutions that will favor a democratic, peaceful, prosperous and reconciled nation.”

                      Inhofe responds:

                      Not true. President Gbagbo has called for an immediate cease-fire several times and has been ignored by Ouattara, the UN and French forces. The killings can come to an immediate end if these forces agree to a cease-fire.

                      This past Wednesday, April 6, marked the 17th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. We now know that UN General Secretary Kofi Annan and others knew of the extent of this violence early on, but did nothing about it. We all want to prevent another genocide from occurring. That is why the United States must call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent Ouattara and his rebel army from committing more mass slaughters of the Ivoirians. Lastly, I renew my request to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Kerry requesting that he convene a hearing as soon as possible into the atrocities committed by forces loyal to rebel leader Ouattara, as well as into what I believe were flawed elections that gave legitimacy to his claim of the presidency.
                      To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway