Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ivory Coast election: Alassane Ouattara office attacked

BBC News

It is not clear who was behind the attack on the RDR office 

An office of Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara has been attacked in the main city Abidjan, with at least four people killed.

The violence broke out despite a night-time curfew, as a deadline passed to release the results of Sunday's presidential election run-off.

Supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo are preventing the results from being declared, saying there was fraud in the north, where Mr Ouattara is popular.

The election is the first for a decade.

It is intended to reunify the country, the world's largest cocoa producer, divided since a 2002 civil war. Former New Forces rebels still control the north.

Mr Gbagbo's spokesman said they would appeal to the Constitutional Court to annul the results from parts of the north.


The BBC's Valerie Bony says there were large pools of blood in the courtyard of the office and blood-stained clothes and bullet holes in the offices.

The office of the RDR party that was attacked is in the Yopougon district in the west of Abidjan - seen as a pro-Gbagbo area.

BBC News, Abidjan

There were large pools of blood in the courtyard of the RDR office. In the offices, blood-stained clothes and bullet holes.

Filing drawers are upturned with paper scattered around.

There were around 50 RDR sympathisers spending the overnight curfew in the offices, watching the television in the hope of getting results.

Those who attacked were apparently looking for weapons.

The building was reportedly targeted by a group of armed men at 2300 local time (and GMT) on Wednesday night - just an hour before the deadline to release the election results.

"They climbed the walls and the door and at that point they started shooting at people," an RDR official, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC.

He said some of the assailants were wearing civilians clothes, others in gendarme uniform.

"I saw three people lying down, and then they left them for dead. I'm devastated. It was a horrible atrocity and it was hard for me to take - to attack people in front of your own eyes, isn't easy to watch."

There has been no independent confirmation that gendarmes were linked to the attack.

Official from Mr Gbagbo's FPI party say their local office was subsequently attacked in an apparent revenge raid.

Both the army and UN peacekeepers have been patrolling Abidjan's streets since Sunday to prevent an outbreak of violence.

Other parts of Abidjan are reported to be quiet, with many people staying at home and many banks and businesses closed.

Both former colonial power France, the US and the UN have urged the Ivorian authorities to announce the results.

The UN mission says it has received reports of violence in parts of the west and north on election day, but that overall the voting seemed to be peaceful.

"Generally speaking, globally speaking, it went well, because all candidates, people were voting in a peaceful manner," said UN spokesman Hamoudoun Toure.

On Tuesday evening, Mr Gbagbo's representative in the electoral commission tore up the first batch of results as the commission's spokesman was about to announce them.

Mr Ouattara's supporters say the Gbagbo camp is blocking the announcement of the results because he has lost.

France retains close military and economic ties to its former colony, and on Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said its forces would be able to intervene if French nationals or interests were affected by unrest in Ivory Coast.

Mr Gbagbo's supporters have previously accused France of bias, and French targets in the country have been attacked.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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