Posts Tagged ‘Ivory Coast’

New world order after Ivory Coast and Libya

02.January.2012 · Posted in Opinion

CASUALTIES OF IVORY COAST AND LYBIA HAVE BROUGHT ABOUT A NEW WORLD ORDER By Jean-Paul Pougala(*) Translated in English by Franclin Foping (Douala Cameroon) In 1945, the United Nations was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. Today a new world order is being established after the heaviest sacrifice of Africa, after the ...

CASUALTIES OF IVORY COAST AND LYBIA HAVE BROUGHT ABOUT A NEW WORLD ORDER

By Jean-Paul Pougala(*)
Translated in English by Franclin Foping (Douala Cameroon)

In 1945, the United Nations was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. Today a new world order is being established after the heaviest sacrifice of Africa, after the shock of thousands of deaths registered in Ivory Coast with 1,200 inhabitants of Duékoué and dozens of thousands of casualties in Lybia, despite the fact NATO is still insulting our intelligence by claiming that there was no casualty from their bombing campaign which includes 26,323 sorties, 9,658 air strikes, 7,700 bombs and missiles fired by NATO on the Lybian people, with the complicity of the United Nations that was meant to protect them. (more…)

Ivory Coast reconciliation commission launched

07.September.2011 · Posted in politics

Ivory Coast’s Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission has launched, with its star member – footballer Didier Drogba – absent from its first meeting. ...

Ivory Coast’s Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission has launched, with its star member – footballer Didier Drogba – absent from its first meeting.

(more…)

Ivory Coast budget assumes 6 pct GDP shrinkage

26.June.2011 · Posted in business

ABIDJAN, June 23 – Ivory Coast has approved a budget that assumes the economy will shrink by more than 6 percent this year after the country’s violent political crisis, according to the finance ministry. ...

ABIDJAN, June 23 – Ivory Coast has approved a budget that assumes the economy will shrink by more than 6 percent this year after the country’s violent political crisis, according to the finance ministry. (more…)

Sarkozy in Ivory Coast to support Ouattara

20.May.2011 · Posted in news

A month after the taking by arms of predecessor Laurent Gbagbo, Nicolas Sarkozy comes on Saturday to salute new Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara, as he is now considered a model of these African democrats that France is now willing to support. ...

PARIS, 20 May 2011 – A month after the taking by arms of predecessor Laurent Gbagbo, Nicolas Sarkozy comes on Saturday to salute new Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara, as he is now considered a model of these African democrats that France is now willing to support. For his first journey in Côte d’Ivoire, the head of state will be in Yamoussoukro for a meeting and then he will take part to the sworning ceremony of Mr Ouattara. He will also have a tour of Abidjan to salute the community.

Source: Abidjan.net

The rise and fall of Laurent Gbagbo

16.May.2011 · Posted in politics

The history of Côte d’Ivoire is marked internally by successive ethnic dominations. In 1960, following the end of colonisation by France, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who spearheaded independence, further established his political influence by claiming royal legitimacy. The analysis of Véronique Tadjo, poet, novelist and writer of books for young people. ...

By Véronique Tadjo*

The history of Côte d’Ivoire is marked internally by successive ethnic dominations. In 1960, following the end of colonisation by France, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, who spearheaded independence, further established his political influence by claiming royal legitimacy. He was a member of the Baoulé aristocracy. The Baoulé are part of the larger Akan group who are descendants from the Ashanti kingdom situated in what is today Ghana.

Félix Houphouët-Boigny

 

To maintain his power over the many other fragmented groups of people who had established themselves on Ivorian territory over centuries of migrations, Houphouët-Boigny promoted the idea that the Baoulé were the authentic people of Côte d’Ivoire. During his regime, lasting 35 years, he did not hesitate to call on Akan mythology to legitimise his hold on the country.

The legend of Queen Pokou (which I recount in my book Queen Pokou, concerto for a sacrifice) comes from the corpus of Akan oral tradition. It is part myth, part historical fact. According to the legend, in the 18th century, Pokou and her partisans had to flee Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti kingdom, after a war of succession. Pursued by the royal army, they entered the forest. At some point in their flight, a wide and tumultuous river stopped their advance.

In order to save her people, Pokou had to sacrifice her only child by throwing him in the waters. Suddenly, the river parted and the people were able to cross safely to the other side. Behind them, the waters closed again. Pokou was declared queen and she founded the Baoulé kingdom. In my book, I question the validity of Pokou’s sacrifice and remind readers that the legend contains a powerful message: we are all migrants.

Although the legend belongs to one particular group of people, under Houphouët-Boigny it became part of the collective imagination and acquired the status of a national myth that portrayed the Baoulé people as the true custodians of Ivorian identity.

Houphouët- Boigny relied heavily on the immigrant labour force from neighbouring countries to help develop Côte d’Ivoire, offering them all sorts of economic incentives, including land.

Until 1990, they did not need a residence permit and they enjoyed the right to vote. At his death in 1993, his successor, Henri Konan Bédié came to power and sought to further strengthen the Baoulé ethnic identity to which he also belonged. But he chose to disenfranchise those who were perceived to be non-natives. He bolstered this move by promoting the concept of Ivoirité, which can be loosely translated as Ivorianness. It is a concept that implicitly asks the question: who is an Ivorian and who is not? Who are the real Ivorians? This provided a way of defining and securing one’s national legitimacy through the stigmatisation of ‘foreigners’. It became the basis for affirming the right of the self to belong to the nation while alienating and excluding others.

Henri Konan Bédié

 

Economically, Bédié’s regime was characterized by financial scandals and a lack of accountability. Politically, the government prevented opposition leader Alassane Ouattara from contesting presidential elections, on the grounds that his family originally came from Burkina Faso and that he had presented himself as a Burkinabe citizen early in his career at an international organisation. Ouattara, it should also be noted, had previously served as prime minister under Houphouët-Boigny from 1990 to 1993. Many Muslims who come from the northern part of Côte d’Ivoire, and who had family ties across the border with Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea, saw this as a sign of their political marginalisation.

The tension between the northern and southern regions of Côte d’Ivoire grew deeper and deeper until it reached boiling point. In 2002, civil war broke out when a rebel group, headed by Soro Guillaume (Ouattara’s current prime minister) took over the north of the country, precipitating a division that is at the heart of the political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire.

When he was elected as president in 2000, Laurent Gbagbo, although from a different ethnic group, continued to use the concept of Ivoirité for his own political aims. But being a Bété, he put aside the Baoulé’s claim to ancient legitimacy and retained the component that strengthened the exclusion of northerners, since Alassane Ouattara was already his main rival in the fight for power.

Gbagbo also gave a new spin to the concept of Ivoirité by infusing it with a religious dimension. Because he couldn’t claim any royal lineage, he used religious rhetoric to enhance his political persona. Although a Catholic, he switched to the Anglican Church which in its structure, theology, and forms of worship, provided him with powerful imagery and boundless narratives from the Scriptures. The Old Testament, for example, has particular resonance with oral traditions.

Gbagbo and his very influential wife, Simone, also a staunch believer surrounded themselves with Anglican pastors whom they consulted at length on key political decisions. The power of an all-possessive Christian God became a force they believed would help Gbagbo in his fight against what was perceived as a Muslim threat coming from the North. Yet he also sought the advice of Marabouts (Muslim priests) and witchdoctors from animist religion.

Gbagbo earned the nickname of “Le Christ de Mama” (the Christ of Mama), Mama being the name of his birth place in the Western part of the country. Internationally, he had supporters in the Christian Right in the United States. Meanwhile, as the political and military crisis worsened, the southern part of the country was immersed in religious fervour.

After the second round of the long-awaited presidential elections of November 2010 which were meant to put an end to Côte d’Ivoire’s crisis, Gbagbo refused to step down and accept the victory of Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised president.

The stand-off lasted more than four months during which the country was plunged into a fierce conflict that led to an estimated 3,000 dead and uprooted a million people. The belief that God was leading his fight, and that he would ultimately be vindicated, must have played a big part in Gbagbo’s determination to resist at all costs, even though he had stayed in power for a whole decade.

On 11 April, he was finally arrested by Ouattara’s soldiers after UN and French troops launched repeated helicopter attacks on his residence. He had been holed up for several days with more than a hundred members of his entourage inside a basement.

Now Ouattara is at last in charge of the country. But, we must remember that with or against Bédié and Gbagbo, he has dominated the political landscape of Côte d’Ivoire for nearly twenty years. Considering that the country is badly in need of real change, will he be able to deliver?

He faces the momentous task of bringing back security, and kick-starting the economy. Indeed, the challenges that await him are numerous. Ensuring that Côte d’Ivoire becomes a true secular state is certainly one of them and avoiding any form of new ethnic domination is another one. There must not be any victor’s mentality, no “us” versus “them” and a witch-hunt must not be carried out against the Bété minority. What happens to Gbagbo and his former government is of prime importance, of course.

After the humiliating images of his capture went round the world, it is necessary to show more respect to a former Head of state who gained 46% of the votes in the presidential run-off against Ouattara. Moreover, in order to put an end to impunity, gross human rights violations like the massacres that took place in Duékoué must be thoroughly investigated. This has to happen on all sides including Ouattara’s own troops.

In this sense, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that is being set up is a step in the right direction. However the issue of granting amnesty or not for the perpetrators will be intensely debated and is potentially divisive. Ironically, this important tool in the process of healing wounds, bringing justice and forgiveness has a strong Christian connotation.

After the traumatic past months, many Ivorians are faced with a dilemma: on the one hand they want normality to come back quickly so they can go on with their lives and on the other hand, they are afraid of giving “carte blanche” to the new political team. Millions of euros and dollars are pouring in from Western donors in an effort to instigate a kind of “Marshal Plan” for reconstruction. More funds are expected.

The new authorities will have to show genuine transparency and accountability if trust in politicians is to be regained. Moreover, finding constitutional ways of decentralising power by allowing it not to be concentrated solely in the hands of the presidential executive should be on the table. Civil society will also have to find a greater voice.

There is no saviour, Ivorians are fully aware of it. If Côte d’Ivoire is to gain lasting stability and development, it will come from within the country as a whole.

 

*Véronique Tadjo is a poet, novelist and writer of books for young people. Born in Paris, of an Ivorian father and a French mother, she was brought up in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). She is the head of French Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

 

Source: royalafricansociety.org

Photo: aheavensUnited Nations Photobbcworldservice, wikimedia.org,

Ivory Coast: NGOs writes letter to Unhcr

29.April.2011 · Posted in out of Africa

An Open Letter to the UNHCR Commissioner, António Guterres, regarding the situation of dozens of Ivorian refugee women and girls recently arrived in Liberia. ...

An Open Letter to the UNHCR Commissioner, António Guterres, regarding the situation of dozens of Ivorian refugee women and girls recently arrived in Liberia.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Honorable António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Suisse

email registry@ohchr.org

Dear High Commissioner,

our human rights defenders have received reports of dozens of cases of violence and sexual exploitation of women who have fled the humanitarian crisis in Ivory Coast and come to Liberia in search of humanitarian protection.
There are stories of young girls, in some cases only 12 or 13 years old, reaching Liberia to take shelter in refugee camps, but who then face assault or rape, or are forced into prostitution in order to obtain the food and water necessary for survival.
We ask you to initiate urgent assistance programmes and protection for women fleeing Ivory Coast in order to prevent the recurrence of serious violations of their fundamental rights, physical integrity and dignity.

We look forward to a speedy response regarding this urgent matter. Respectfully yours,

  • Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Dario Picciau, Glenys Robinson – EveryOne Group
  • Marilina Lucia Castiglioni, Facebook Group “Costa d’Avorio – La voce della Diaspora – Per il ritorno alla Pace”
  • Giuseppe Criseo – Sindacato Europeo dei Lavoratori
  • Alfred Breitman – Watching The Sky Group
  • Collettivo Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni
  • Rosalba Calabretta – Associazione “Solidarité Nord-Sud” ONLUS
  • Georges Alexandre – “Mouvement citoyen – kayak pour le droit à la vie”

Ivory Coast: Gbagbo arrested?

11.April.2011 · Posted in news

The president of Ivory Coast elected by the constitutional council, Laurent Gbagbo, has been arrested by French military forces and given to the forces responding to internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara. ...

The president of Ivory Coast elected by the constitutional council, Laurent Gbagbo, has been arrested by French military forces and given to the forces responding to internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara.

It seems that Gbagbo has been taken to the Golf Hotel, the headquarter of Ouattara.

News was not confirmed by Africanews sources of the presidency of Cote d’Ivoire.

News channel such as Directabidjan, BBC, Repubblica.it have published the news of the arrest.

It seems that a French tv has shown images of Gbagbo taken with his wife to the Golf Hotel.

Ivory Coast: Gbagbo troops 'hit' Ouattara hotel HQ

09.April.2011 · Posted in news

A hotel used by the internationally recognised president of Ivory Coast has come under attack by forces loyal to his rival Laurent Gbagbo, reports say. ...

Witnesses and a UN official told news agencies that the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s main city, had come under mortar and small-arms fire.

Alassane Outtara was judged to have won a presidential election in Ivory Coast, but Mr Gbagbo has refused to step down.

He has been surrounded in his residence for days by pro-Ouattara troops.

Reports suggested Saturday’s fighting flared at around 1700 GMT.

“The FDS (pro-Gbagbo Defence and Security Forces) are attacking us and we are trying to push them back,” one fighter with the pro-Ouattara forces told the AFP news agency.

“The firing is very very close. Snipers fired bursts from Kalashnikovs. The pro-Gbagbos are attacking us on all fronts,” a hotel resident added.

Mr Ouattara’s forces have swept down from the north of Ivory Coast over the past two weeks but much of Abidjan is dominated by Gbagbo supporters. Days of fighting have plunged the city into crisis.

It had appeared several days ago that Mr Gbagbo was on the verge of defeat but the upscale Plateau and Cocody areas of Abidjan are now fully in the control of his forces.

UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said late on Friday that Mr Gbagbo’s followers had in fact made strong gains, having used a pause of negotiations as an opportunity to regroup.

The UN has certified Mr Ouattara as the winner of November’s run-off vote for president but Mr Gbagbo has refused to cede power.

Source: BBC

Ivory Coast: Gbagbo supporter leaves tv debate

09.April.2011 · Posted in news

In this video a supporter of Laurent Gbagbo, an Ivorian writer, has left in protest a debate held on satellite tv channel France24. ...

In this video a supporter of Laurent Gbagbo, a French writer with Cameroon origins, Calixthe Beyala, has left in protest a debate held on satellite tv channel France24.

After the question of the journalist, writer Beyala said that she has enough of the media circus about what is happening in Cote d’Ivoire and that she finds unacceptable that a country is bombed because someone has put its men on top of an African country.

She added: “I have enough of this media comedy that serves to mask the recolonisation of Africa under new forms, not with mitaly coup d’état but with electoral coups. I start to have enough to hear that we have to arrest Laurent Gbagbo and we have to judhe him. I would say that people have to judge him and that we have to arrest all people involved in this war, so mister Soro, mister Ouattara…. No election in the world deserve to kill people for the ends of the elections”.

Ivory Coast: Gbagbo negotiating exit is false news

05.April.2011 · Posted in news

Gbagbo is not negotiating his surrender. A government source said to Africanews.it ...

“Gbagbo is not negotiating his exit. The only topic of negotiations now is the ceasefire.” Mireille Guibero-Anouka, manager of civil society for the “cellule diplomatique” of the [Gbagbo] presidency of Côte d’Ivoire, said today to Africanews.it.

“This is pure disinformation. You should not believe to what France24 and international media say. Our president Gbagbo is always in his post and he is not managing his surrender”, the same manager added.

“Tomorrow we will have more news and above all more certain news than these suppositions. What is happening in Ivory Coast is pure racism. Something like this would never happen to any European coutry. How can you solve contested elections results by killing innocent people? All this is possible just because we are in Africa”, madame Anouka concluded.

Also on Facebook different groups have said that there is disinformation about Ivory Coast and many users are calling on Ivorian people not to believe that the president is about to surrender in this fight that is going on since the second half of the presidential elections held in Autumn 2010.

What follow is the audio of an interview made by Abidjan.net

More news from other sources: abidjantv.net, LCI,