The fluid situation in the Ivory Coast following the aftermath of the elections with two Presidential election results, one election and two Presidents, one country, is an unfortunate thing for Africa and Ivory Coast in particular.
The inevitable potential consequences of such draconian power greed Ivorian politicians, Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo who like typical African politicians, would rather put their country and people at risks and danger in pursuit of their ambitions.
The situation in Ivory Coast has brought to full focus the geopolitical powerplay showdown between competing foreign powers. Ivory Coast crisis is a clear manifestation for the fight for Africa and quest for power, larger play and asset of the continent’s vast resources, competing spheres of influential dominance. It is the fight which involves China and the Russia Federation on one side, and France and the west on the other side. That fight took center stage when the United Nations Security Council could not adopt a resolution to legitimize the election result which favors Alassane Ouattara because China and Russia blocked it from happening.
The west has interest in Alassane Ouattara because he was former senior management of the International Monetary Fund, Africa Development Bank, former head of the former Upper Volta National Bank(now Republic of Bokina Faso), former Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast under President Felix Houphet Boigny, and f omer Finance Minister under whose administration economic policies reminiscent of the Western economic climate and social culture were introduced and the impact of those policies on the country and people consequences still hunt the country today and an American educated financial expert while Gbagbo enjoys support from China and Russia and vows to practice social democracy, a liken to the ideology of Russia and China.
What is unfolding in the Ivory Coast is an eye -opener to Africa and African nationals that their continent has entered another era of foreign powers long quest for control of the continent’s vast resources and political order and their influence to be the breathing air on the continent other than Africa’s. An era, just like the several eras the continent endured, starting with the slave trade, colonialism, (colonial plunder) and neo-colonialism, (post colonial independent control by Africans) the Ivory Coast crisis is a classic manifestation of the new era of “proxy post – coldwar dominance warfare” competition among foreign powers for larger influence and control of the continent and its vast resources. Now that the world has come of age and it is impractical that Africa can not be plundered and foreign power administered its authority at will, as was done during the slave trade, colonialism, and cold war eras, these powers are now deploying covert strategies to keep the continent at bed and plunder their resources through proxy. With these new strategies to match the trend of time to camouflage colonial or neo-colonial imprints, sailing successfully as usual without detection until it evaporates and the continent its devastating consequences, Africa must recognize this dangerous new trend by foreign powers to use the continent as their proxy theater and battlefield to wage their ideological and cultural warfare which in fact is alien to the continent only to satisfy their quest to control the wealth of this vast rich continent.
It is only disappointing for Africa that in every generation and era, there will always be politicians and leaders on he continent who will avail themselves as stooges ready and willing to be used by foreign powers for the exploit of the continent but will not stand in the vacuum for the continent, leaving the continent impoverished despite the plenty and riches of the continent.
Supporting illegitimate means to legitimize a supposedly legitimate result and the self declaration by Quattara and self-styled swearing in, have now tainted Ouattara case and perhaps legitimate win and legally, is morally reprehensible. Ouattara and Gbagbo self-style swearing ins and presidencies are as well illegitimate which then nullifies the election the subsequent result. Outtara self-styled declaration as President of the Ivory Coast is criminal and should not be encourage by any civilized government, institution, and people.
The action on the part of the Constitutional Council to overturn the election result after it was announced by the Independent Election Commission from Alassane Outtatra to Laurent Gbagbo without justifiable cause and proven evidence, delegitimizes the result which declared Gbagbo winner of the election. Gbagbo too, by virtue of the illegitimate result, his swearing in as President of the Ivory Coast, is also illegal and therefore is not a legitimate President of the Ivory Coast.
The United Nations, European Union, France, and the International community in general are not helping the situation and not sensitive to the volatile climate in Ivory Coast by declaring Ouattara the legitimate winner of the election and calling on Gbagbo to accept the result and hand over power while brushing off the accusation of 400,000 (15% )of the total votes cast without calling for the review or investigation of the allegation levied by the Constitutional Council. This is a very dangerous and bias move by the United Nations, France and the international community. They are flaming the situation and endangering the lives of the Ivorian people.
Now that these two brothers and their supporters tempers have boiled over, the very foreign observers, institutions, and staffs who were inflaming the situation, which ultimately gave moral justification and license for violence to supporters of either side, are now fleeing the country and airlifted wsince the violence brokeout. Considering how fragile the situation has become, the foreign observers, European Union and United nations staff are being air lifted and leaving the Ivorian people at the mercy of violence.
The United Nations, European Union, and international community have lost their moral leverage to broker the situation in the Ivory Coast. The UN Special Representative in the Ivory Coast must be recalled effective immediately for endangering the credibility of the United Nations by making this world body a party to the emerging conflict. Compounding it further, the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon himself added gas on the flames in the Ivory Coast by calling on Laurent Gbagbo with no regards to the accusation of alleged fraud which tipped Ouattara win to Gbagbo. The United Nations action is hypocrisy of the first order and very disingenuous, it a double standard by using a different standard on Africa and a testament of the belief Africans harbor that there is a conspiracy by the international community especially the west against the continent.
What is obtaining in the Ivory is the replica of what happened in the United States in 2000, on election night the people of America went to bed knowing Al Gore was elected President of their country but only for them be awakened the next morning to hear, after all it was not Al Gore who won the election but George W. Bush did. The world saw what happened after, a fierce legal battle ran for over a month. The Florida Supreme Court confirmed that indeed it was Gore who actually won not George Bush. The Bush team and the Republican Party filed appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States and with narrow 5 to 4 votes, George Bush was declared President of the United States.
In the interest of his country, Al Gore put aside his ambition and respected the decision of the Supreme Court and accepted the verdict that George Bush was the declared President though he and the Democratic Party had other options, a very mean one like what in the Ivory Coast, political maneuvers but he took what in the interest of America.
The United Nations, European European and international community did not say a word or demand that Bush accepts the first result that indeed Al Gore had won the election or sent congratulatory messages to Gore for his election as President elect of the United States. The UN, EU, and international community rather watched as spectators when the long legal saga played itself out through the various structures, no one can forget about the hanging chads. Why similar thing has occurred in Africa, the United Nations and the international community will embarrassingly fail to rather call or demand for review, recount or litigation if the situation demands.
Thank God the former South African President, Thabo Mbeke sent by the African Union to defuse the situation, African conflict resolution-style to broker a peaceful resolution before that country submerges into violence again. The African Union is the only institution that is taking the moral high ground by choosing to mediate and broker an amicable. Ouattara and Gbagbo are of the old order who spoiled the country like the rest of the old order African politicians in the various African nations, they will not stop at anything for power even if it means destroying their country and people killed.
How does and can the United Nations and European Union declare the election free and fair, no irregularities when in fact the EU had only 150 observers. Can 150 observers police the voting out of the thousands and thousands of polling stations? In fact what they do is to do spot observation, meaning, they do spot checks from one polling station to the next. How do they know what went wrong after they left to go to other polling centers. One hundred and fifty observers cannot even cover the thousands of polling centers in Abidjan alone, let say the entire country.
The best thing they could have done other than delegitimizing the result and declaring support for one candidate, Quattara , is for the United Nations, France, European Union, and the rest of the international community to have exerted pressure on Laurent Gbagbo insisting on reviewing the so-called 400,000 invalid ballots (votes) and to in fact prove whether those ballots were indeed invalid and what standard of measure the constitutional council used to invalidate 400,000 votes and whether those standards were in conformity with electioneering standards and laws of the Ivory Coast as alleged by the Council..
The United Nations, European Union, and international community’s action to the unfolding crisis is an affront to democracy, and the undermining of the laws and sovereignty of the Ivorian people and nation.The 400,000 invalid votes, a 15% of the total votes cast should not be left to go unattended because under electioneering, an election with 10% allegedly irregularities qualifies for review or cancellation of the entire result.
The United Nations and European Union quest to see a candidate of their choice wins must not cloud their reason over the safety of Ivory Coast and people. It is yet another manifestation of the international community ugly habit of brushing off wrongs when it involves their interest, they will do anything to protect their own, when that same wrong involves others they don’t favor just like what is unfolding in Liberia, President Sirleaf has been barred from holding public office for 30 years because of her role in the Liberia brutal civil war by Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the laws of Liberia but yet they shower her with roses though she is responsible for the destruction of Liberia and the many atrocities which killed about 350,000 Liberians BUT yet encourages her to run for second term, all because they favor and considered her their friend while Charles Taylor, her foot soldier languishes in Jail in the Hague and let she and other criminals of war go with impunity. They will do anything to bring person (s) or institution (s) down but will brush of the wrong doing off their own when their interest is involved. Hypocrisy of the first order.
What should Liberia be embracing for using the present situation in the Ivory Coast and Guinea in 2011 elections? Will President Sirleaf like Laurent Gbagbo, Robert Mugabe, and the Kenya experience stand as a compass to warn the country of what to be embracing in 2011? Should that compass be that incumbent African Presidents do not loss election and give over power and so will President Sirleaf won’t concede power in 2011 if she lost the election because she is an incumbent like President Laurent Gbagbo and other African Presidents? Will she shift heavily on the side of the China-Russia geopolitical bloc as a shield and protection to remain in power in case her western friends abandon her?
The Ivory Coast crisis should get every Liberian thinking and nervous about what to be embracing for in 2011. Liberia should pray God will help their beloved country and what is happening in the Ivory Coast won’t happen too in 2011.
The worst to happen and what should scare Ivorians and the community most is the decision of Mr. Alassane Outtara calling on his supporters in mass to escort him to the Presidential Palace and all government functionaries to take full control of state power. This in itself is a lawless move just as the accusation of Laurent Gbagbo rigging the election through the Constitutional Council. There is no where in the world where an incoming government will forcefully take control of government while the incumbent is still in power even if that incumbent government refuses to turn over state power to an incoming government. This latest move on the part of Outtara was emboldened by the international community unwavering commitment to continues to handle the conflict in a one sided fashion in favor of Mr. Outtara. If the United Nation forces in the Ivory Coast provide the security corridor for Mr. Outtara to carry out his lawless and provoking threat demonstration to seize power. It is tauntamount to forcefully seizing power and an equivalence to overthrowing a sitting government. Mr. Outtara and the international community must keep at the back of their minds that he is a presumed winner of the Ivory Coast election since he was declared winner by the Independent Election Commission. Until the conflict which ensued after the Constitutional Council ruled in favor of Laurent Gbagbo is settled, he is still a presumed winner and must act in a sober and mature way in handling the impasse to his Presidency.
Calling on supporters to turn out in mass to escort him take state power from Gbagbo is a dumb thing to do and an act of desperation fueled by power greed and reckless disregard of the peace and security of the Ivory Coast and and the Ivorian people, he would proved himself no much better than Gbagbo.
As the days come and go, and the conflict in Ivory Coast see no path to an attempt for amicable resolution but deepening chaos on the horizon, if the people of Ivory Coast and the international community don’t tune down the hype and fashion a dignified path that will embrace mutual and peaceful resolution to the crisis, everyone would be shocked when the worst of the conflict unfolds, it is possible if the crisis continues the trend it is taking, the Ivory Coast could end up breaking apart with the southern part of the declaring itself an independent Republic with Laurent Gbagbo as its President and would now be left with Mr. Outtara to then become President of the northern Ivory Coast. If Gbagbo use the that trump card and declare the souther Ivory Coast an independent Republic, Mr. Outtara will have no basis for legitimacy of the southern Ivory Coast. It is a scare mess on the horizon and we all must be sensitive moving forward we focus on using the only asset at our disposal, amicable resolution to the crisis. There is no other option available, anything contrary, will give birth to the break up of the Ivory Coast, leaving two republics.
The Ivory Coast crisis must be handled with delicacy, urgency, and balance bringing into center stage the historical complexities and mold of the country. Much of what is today modern Ivory Coast was once the Republic of Maryland in Africa, now present day Maryland County in Liberia founded in 1832 by the Maryland Colonization Society of the State of Maryland in the United States before the coming of the of the 1884 Berlin Conference called by western imperialists to butcher the African continent and share`amongst themselves and plunder its resources which illegitimately legitimized France’s illegal encroachment and annexation of the state of Maryland in Africa territories to what has become today Ivory Coast. From this historical context, the prevailing crisis in the Ivory Coast not handled with delicacy but pushes all sides into an all out conflict, the sleeping giant beneath the skin of the crisis in the Ivory Coast unnoticed, will blow off with such intensity andthe impact and complexities will be so great the international community will be unable to get their hands around it and the crisis will leave the Ivory Coast break up with Laurent Gbagbo as President of the southern Ivory Coast and northern part of the country a self-determined country as well with Alassane Outtara. That is the delima on the horizon the international community is yet to get and choose the path to amicable resolution of the crisis.
The attempt of Mr. Outtara to forcibly take the radio station using the lives of his supporters as shield to butter his political ambition, is indeed unfortunate. The Ivorian government of Laurent Gbagbo can not use Mr. Outtara’s action to disregard the safety and lives of the Ivorian people who go on the streets to protest.