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Congo 1961- Cote D’Ivoire 2011: Lessons from the UN, European backed coup d ‘etat

April 11, 2011

By Aloysius AGENDIA

Just as in 1961 when the Congolese nationalist and Pan Africanist Patrice Lumumba was arrested with the complicity of Belgian forces and UN troops and handed over to  Moise Tshombe, and subsequently killed under the auspices of CIA, Belgian forces and neo-colonial agent, Mombutu Seseko, on April 11, 2011 the president of Cote D Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo was overthrown by French troops in an assault at his residence that also included UN troops and rebels forces of Alasane Ouattara. This coup d ‘etat was the completion of the earlier failed coup d’état of 2002 and 2004.  Just as President Laurent was being humiliated on television, two French ships were already about leaving Abidjan sea port with millions of barrels of oil. And that is just the beginning of another drama that risk making Cote D Ivoire take the shape of DRC today i.e. a banana republic.  That is certainly not my wish.

It was definitely a very sad day for me and all those who have been longing for an end to servitude, to see an elected president humiliated by allies of a bloody power hungry man has been behind the instability in Cote D Ivoire since the death of Felix Houphouet Boigny.  After the November 2010 disputed polls, if a recount of the votes or was done as suggested by the Laurent Gbagbo the Ivorian crisis would not have prolonged. However the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Ki moon Ban described any recount as “injustice”. This reaffirmed the resolve of the UN and France to imposed Ouattara as the leader of the junta in Cote D ivoire.

France with over 5000 troops in Cote D Ivoire though officially said to be only 1600, piloted the arrest which had been preceded by weeks of air strikes and bombing of both civilian and military targets. The strikes led to the death of thousands of people. France and UN troops had initially helped the rebel forces of Alasane Ouattara pushed from their north strong hold to the south of the country.

In their assault on the south, the rebels massacred thousands of people in Doukoue and its environs. The UN some political oriented human right organizations and other allied media like BBC, France 24, AFP tried to cover up the massacre but they were exposed by the Catholic NGO, CARITAS. Since then, they have been struggling to share the casualties between Laurent Gbagbo and Alasane Ouattara.

The arrest of Laurent Gbagbo still creates a vacuum because he is the legitimate, legal and constitutional president of Cote D Ivoire. The UN and France are making moves to brush aside the constitution of Cote D Ivoire and install the civilo-military junta led by Alasane Ouattara, a former IMF cadre.

LESSONS FOR US

The end of President Laurent Gbagbo is definitely tragic because throughout his life he has represented peace and democracy in Cote D Ivoire. He was certainly not a saint but his vision for his country clashed with the hitherto servitude role his predecessors had played. That was the start of his problems with the colonial master France.  For eight years, he was not power but no in power and the 2010 elections were supposed to clear the dust. It against this reason that France was bent on either seeing Gbagbo out or his presidency tainted again as had been for the last 8 years.

However, there is one thing that African countries especially Francophone African countries must learn from the tragic events in Cote D Ivoire. African countries must immediately leave or think about leaving the CFA legal tender which has been taken hostage by France and being used to exploit Africa countries.

African countries must not accept the continuous presence of foreign military bases in their countries as France has used it military bases in various African countries to arm rebels to oppose regimes which do not respect it offers. In some cases, they have used their military presence to support oppressive regimes which “comply”.

African countries must diversify their trading partners beyond EU. The ban by EU on trade with Cote D Ivoire after the sanctions proved damaging for Cote D ivoire because even essential medication could not be bought.  Many Ivoirians died because of lack of medication which the EU refused to sell. African nations must then diversify their trading partners to include several Asian and Latin American countries. No area, country or region should be made indispensable. African must improve economic cooperation among themselves.

African countries must work towards moving from suppliers of raw materials to suppliers of semi finished products or even finished products.  Cote D Ivoire was badly hit because of its total reliance on foreign made products. We understand that the desire to begin transforming cocoa products was among the many grievances France had against Laurent Gbagbo.

African countries should never allow any form of military intervention in its various nations be they UN or regional bodies. The UN has woefully failed to help the world maintain any peace and that organization needs to be seriously overhauled.

Go Back

I think you have said it all. Africans coninue to betray their own people. But if Mr Gbagbo strategise well, may be he could have avoided the humiliation.

The partial results of the contested elections indicate that Gbagbo did not have the majority of votes. So it was wise for him to give up power or propose re-count immediately they were agitations of fraud. However African leaders should learn how to respect the basic universal human rights of its people, be able to give up power and ensure that good democratic institutions are institutions are put in place. This will create the spirit of trust and confidence in the government and avoid internal hatred and vulnerability to conflicts. If we can clean the mess in the house, then we can have the time to work together as one to clean the surroundings.

This article is a personal thought with no objectivity. How many years do you want him to stay in power? I guess same time as chief Biya!

Africans are always so quick to point out how the colonial masters are the major problem in the continent. We claim patriotism in words only. Africans (especially those in power) are so selfish, greedy, tribalistic and full of themselves such that they would rather see millions of their citizens massacred in the most babaric style than give in to a rival for power. Peace in most of Sub-Saharan Africa exists mostly when the rulers fully subdue their citizens as they continue to rape their national economies. Why does it seem that there is this overwhelming conception that only the current despots have enough intelligence to rule their countries ? I rather be ruled by a stranger who at least has some little bit of compassion for human dignity than a brother who is totally ruthless. African rulers are extreme in corruption, etc. and until we see some progressive patriots ruling africa, stop crying about France, etc. Who lets them in ? the Africans. Look at Equatorial Guinea and the oil Wealth. We cannot use the village setups of supreme infalible traditional rulers to govern modern economies to compete with the rest of the world.

Africans are inferior with less than average intelligence.

How can anybody in his/her right mind compare Patrice Lumumba and Laurent Gbagbo? Great comments above by the way. I am really surprised that Africans are buying this crap by their dictators that they are in power to protect the African wealth from European colonialist. Give me a break. Why do they think that only they (and their children-family) are wise enough or patriotic to fight the so called colonialist?

India, South Korea, Thailand, China and so on were colonised by Europeans and these countries have developed today to the point where their economies are doing just as good (or even better) than the economy of many European countries. I don't hear any of these countries whining everyday about colonialism. They have leaders with vision and they are slowly building democratic institutions. In Africa we have a different story. Each person wants to be president for life and the sad thing is that many Africans don't see it as a problem. They think that if France (Europe) supports something that thing automatically cannot be good for Africa.

I have read a few posts by Aloysius and my advice is, don't let your anti-European sentiments cloud your objectivity. Aloysius in another piece is strongly against the intervention of NATO in Libya. Another African strong man who has been in power for more than 40 years and who shots at peaceful protesters? Even if he is Nelson Mandela I'll not support him

The events in the Ivory Coast are complicated and complex but i am not sure Gbagbos capture is comparable to that of the great Patrice Lumumba.Laurent tried to use the anti coclonial tactic in order to get support from many who detest french neo-colonial manipulations.But while Lumumba was a passionate nationalist,democrat and patriot,Gbagbo who could claim no less disposition to nationalist principles was no democrat.He whipped up triblan tendencies when he found out that many did not acclaim of the way he got power.Besides, he miscalculated the effect of depending on the use of neo-colonial claims for many africans have even found out that the so called leaders are worse on their people than the colonial masters were to them.For the ten years or so that he ruled,he was a dictator and more ivorians became poorer than when he became president.In this regard Gbagbo used ani-colonial discourse as a tactic,though once in power he was not different from the others.His arrest came after a civil war which found desertation from many of his troops have not been better inspite of accusations on the other concerning massacres in the west.While he allowed the senseless young patriots to demonstarte freely and attack the UN head quarters,he wouldnt even allow women to march against him in Abobo,more than 6 were shot down.Worse of all he kept the heavy weapons hiddne hoping to fight to death to hang on at all cost.The humanitarian prize paid by Ivorians meant little to him....since he was going to do everthing necessary to remain in power.No one should forget that the Ivory Coast was a special case since the vicil war of 2002 allowing speicla roles for the UN forces and french forces stationed in Abidjan.That was the only reason that kept a fragile peace.

thank you guys for your wise contrbutions,this article is bullshit.stop blaming others for your woes.how dare you compare a selfish gbabo to lumumba?

Many Africans are still behaving like they did in 1961 with regards the Congo when LUMUMBA was betrayed to the whites. The same thing happened to SANKARA. I can still heart the kettle calling the pot black. I beg to know who is a dictator . The leader(s) of the world, Lucifar and his men are working to fulfill the scriptures ; control the the world and are even able to tell people to leave their own countries to settle where they the lords of the earth may chose. Is that dictatorship or some one could better explain this loud talking. How could Africans be brainwashed no matter the level of their education. It's a shame to many of us to see France and UN destroying Africa like they did before. What have they done to the other countries undergoing the same process ? Why only bomb the two African countries ? By dictating their way of life to us, they teach us to call it civilization and when we speak, it is dictatorship. Who is dictating to who ? Remember, the law says, thou shall not kill. It didn't limit to " thou shall not kill your own people". When you kill, you have killed, whether your enemy or your own people. How many millions of people are being killed by the so called 'great powers' ? Ouattara Alassane is but another Judas of the bible. Gbagbo and Ouattara could have reconciled without the influence of the French and the failed United Nations. A new type of ROMANS EMPIRE is almost finally built up. Shame to civilization. They have reached the moon and mars and are moving forward to other planets, but yet, the shortest journey, to reach the human mind, they are unable to reach. The mind of another fellow being standing in front of them. The end shall prevail. Love is the answer. May others succeed where we shall fail. God bless Africa.

Any person who compares Gbagbo to Lumumba does not know African History. Please remove the wool of Gbagbo from your eyes and see him for what he is, a dictator, an anti democrat, a man who uses the Ivoirité issue even though not the architect of this kind of African fascism to divide a country already suffering from ethnic differences. Yes, no African wants foreign occupation, but in the case of Gbagbo he uses this anti imperial card to disenfranchise many Ivoirians. Why did he not suggest the recount right from the onset or annul the elections if he thought they were severely marred Mr. Agendia? He had all the power to do so, no he did not. He went ahead to cancel the votes in the opposition stronghold and declared himself winner. I am totally baffled that many Africans have fallen into this trap and worst of all start comparing the Great Lumumba to this man. It is shocking indeed. Lumumba will turn a million times in his grave. What an insult to a great Pan Africanist. This man Gbagbo is surrounded all around by French lawyers ( Monsieur Dumas et al.) who were trying to defend him, although he was not yet charged.



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