Ivory Coast: French Colonialism And UN Lies
by George Kazolias
The first lie is “pro-Ouatara forces captured Gbagbo”. Lets look at the events. On Saturday night and all day Sunday, French attack helicopters fired rockets at the Presidential compound in direct violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1975 which gave a mandate for protecting civilians and not taking sides. Then on Monday morning, as reported by al-Jazeera, a column of thirty French armored vehicles and French special forces moved in on the residence. Fighting lasted the whole day. Now they tell us the Ivorians took Gbagbo.
To further underscore the lie, the video of Gbagbo’s arrest was released by the French! Maybe once the French took the compound they let Ouattara’s thugs in for the camera. Lets not forget that up until Saturday, Ouattara’s troops were being pushed back all over the city. A clear sign of the support Gbagbo has.
I remain convinced Laurent Gbagbo won the November 28th ballot (see my Dec. 27 blog entry for background). Ouatara could only come to power on a French tank.
UN Resolution 1975 ruled out taking sides but that is just what the UN and France did from the beginning. The goal was to destroy the Ivorian army and remove Gbagbo from power in the clearest of neo-colonial bullying.
As far as protecting civilians is concerned, well that did not really happen. Witnesses are saying that in the Duékoué region alone, more than 2,500 people were massacred by Ouattara’s men in the first twenty-four hours after they took the city. Hopefully Human RIghts groups will be getting more information in the days to come.
To parade the captured Gbagbo on TV the way they did is against the Geneva Conventions because it is a humiliation of the prisoner. Did George Bush not warn Saddam Hussein of the dire consequences if he had done such a thing. This is more neo-colonial bullying at its most blatant.
The French have been involved in backing the rebels and fighting the Army since the failed pro-Ouattara coup of 2002. Their involvement in the recent rebel offiensive was exposed in mst week’s whistle blowing weekly, Le Canard Enchaîné.
This is far from over and Ouattara will never have credibility. He will have to count on the French army for years to come.
All of this could have been avoided with a vote re-count. I am sure we would have discovered that, just like in Haiti, the UN rigged the results to favor the person the French and the US wanted in and eliminate the man they could not count on to do their bidding.
This, I hope will be made clearer in the days to come and as lawyers take the case to court. But given the track record of the Western media in this affair, I don’t expect public opinion will be getting the information it needs to make a reasanable assessment.
The evidence is there. Hundreds of thousands of fraudelant votes for Ouattara were counted. Just one more example of how blatant the cheating was: On November 29th the UN envoy Choi and the Francophony observer chief Gérard Latortue agreed some 70% of registered voters had cast their ballot. That is over 10% fewer than the first round. This makes sense as a good number of people who had voted for former President Henri Konan Bédié cannot stomach Ouattara or Gbagbo. Yet, on December 2nd, Choi announes that 82% had voted. The increase in the number of voters was the only way they could try to cover the fraud.
Ivorians know this. The French, Americans and the UN know this because they covered the rigging of the ballot. I only wish people in our countries cared enough to look for the truth as they cannot count on the press who have become the modern stenographer journalist: holding the micrphone for the talking head.
Perhaps Laurent Gbagbo thought the French could not declare war on his country fifty years after independence. Let this be a lesson to all Africans: your colonial masters will still use the stick to make sure things go their way if you ever try to get rid of their croonies in power. Oh, and by the way, buy as many stinger type anti aircraft missiles as you can.
The coup against Gbagbo is also one of the best orchestrated propaganda blitzes of recent times.
The African Union? The anti-Gbagbo front was led by coup leaders, vote riggers and Kleptocrats. AU Secretary General Jean Ping was Foreign Minister and son-in-law of the late Gabonese president Omar Bongo and Bongo was one of Ouattara’s closest allies.
The UN? After Haïti, the Ivory Coast and Libya, it should be clear the organization is merely a front for the imperial powers. Witness the Arab League’s request that the UN Security Council impose a ‘no fly zone’ over Gaza to “protect civilians”.
The EU? An organization of member states who know where they make their bread and butter and that if they want to continue extracting huge profits they have to keep Africans on their knees.
So, why did the Haïtians get a recount and not the Ivorians? Well, it just was not worth the hassel of another military intervention for Washington and Paris. Haïti does not have the oil reserves, precious minerals, cocoa, timber and agro-business interests the Ivory Coast has.
I have spent my life fighting injustice but unfortunately injustice has almost always prevailed. I can only think of Vietnam as an exception but oh what a high price the Vietnamese paid for their independence.
For those of you who want the truth to prevail, voice your opinions now and loudly. Make them heard. Their propaganda war is not over by a long shot and neither is the crisis in the Ivory Coast. Don’t forget, the victors always dictate the terms of ‘justice’ and try to write the history books.
George Kazolias is an American Journalist based in Paris and a Professor of Global Communications at the American University in Paris. He runs the blog kazodaily.