Monday, December 27, 2010

Ivory Coast general strike fails in Abidjan

Source: BBC News

There has been a protest
in Abidjan against
a West African
intervention force
Residents of Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan have largely ignored calls for a general strike to force the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to cede power.

The BBC's John James says the plan for a "dead city" came a little late in the day and many went into work as normal.

The strike has been more effective in the north of the country where there is more support for Mr Gbagbo's rival Alassane Ouattara, he says.

Mr Gbagbo says November's disputed election was rigged in the north.

But the West African body Ecowas has warned him of possible military intervention if he does not hand over to Mr Ouattara, who has been recognised internationally as the victor.
The election was meant to unite the country after a civil war in 2002 split the world's largest cocoa producer in two with the predominantly Muslim north supporting Mr Ouattara and the mainly Christian south backing Mr Gbagbo.

Ports working

Our correspondent says if the strike action was meant to add pressure on Mr Gbagbo, its immediate effects might be limited.

Abidjan resident: Even areas of the commercial capital which voted heavily for Mr Ouattara are busy, as is a huge street market across the lagoon from his headquarters.

"Nowadays the people of Ivory Coast live one day at a time," one man in Abidjan told Reuters news agency.

"Whatever the solution to the crisis they have to think about the people who can't go to work and who have nothing to eat because they live from one day to the next."

Another man said: "If the people don't work, it doesn't help anyone."

Operations at the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, from where much of the country's cocoa exports are shipped, were working normally, the agency reports.

Mr Ouattara's camp is still hoping that from tomorrow the general strike may take hold as the call came fairly late on Sunday evening, our reporter says.

Armed and ready for Ivorian intervention?

The United Nations, the European Union, the US, the African Union and Ecowas all say that Mr Ouattara won the 28 November vote.

Our correspondent says there has been a small protest outside Nigeria's embassy in Abidjan against any West African intervening force, which would almost certainly come from Nigeria.

A group held up placards, one of which read: "Let Ivorians solve Ivorian problems", AP news agency reports.

A delegation of heads of state from Ecowas - from Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde - is planning to travel to the country on Tuesday to convince Mr Gbagbo to step aside.

His Interior Minister Emile Guirieoulou told a news conference that his government would "welcome the three heads of states as brothers and friends, and listen to the message they have to convey".

'Dangerous precedent'

But Mr Gbagbo, who has accused the US and France of leading a plot against him, insists he is legally president.

"Did the Ivorians elect me or not? That's the only question. I'm not looking for compromise. Truth is not looking for compromise. I want truth," he said.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Mr Gbagbo said if military intervention occurred it would be a dangerous precedent.

He also said he would ask his justice minister to order inquiries into allegations of kidnappings and illegal executions.

The UN has said at least 173 people have died in violence.

"In the year 2000, when I came to power, the same people fabricated stories about a massacre at Yopouogon, assassinations. We asked the United Nations to conduct an investigation. There was a report," he said.

"We must acknowledge the similarity between 2000 and 2010."

News Headline

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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