Friday, December 31, 2010

Laurent Gbagbo exit 'could worsen Ivory Coast crisis'

UN peacekeepers
have been attacked
by Gbagbo loyalists
Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo has said the country could face greater violence if he were to resign.  Source: BBC

The UN says some 200 people have been killed or have disappeared in the past month - mostly supporters of his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has told Mr Gbagbo he could be held criminally accountable for abuses.

Some of Ivory Coast's neighbours have threatened to oust Mr Gbagbo by force.

But analysts say intervention in Ivory Coast would be far more difficult than West Africa's previous operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The UK has said it would back military intervention, if sanctioned by the UN.

Mr Ouattara is holed up in a hotel in the main city, Abidjan, protected by UN peacekeepers.

Some of Mr Gbagbo's allies have threatened to storm the hotel on Saturday - a threat which UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said could spark renewed civil war.

The election was intended to reunify the country which has been divided since a 2002 conflict.

France accused

Mr Ouattara was initially proclaimed the winner by Ivory Coast's election commission.

But as it was doing this, the Constitutional Council cancelled the vote in parts of the north still controlled by New Forces rebels who back Mr Ouattara, and said Mr Gbagbo had won with 51% of the vote.

Both men have been sworn in as president.

During the month-long stand-off, men in uniform, often accompanied by militia or civilians, have been targeting people associated with the opposition, say UN human rights monitors.

They say 179 people have been killed in recent weeks, and more than 27 have disappeared.

But Mr Gbagbo told Euronews that his departure would not necessarily end the unrest.

"If I said I would leave office right now, who could provide an assurance that it would bring peace and that it would not bring even greater violence?" he said.

However, he said his resignation was not on the agenda "for now".

In a national New Year's address, he again refused to step down.

"I will stay where Ivorians have placed me with their votes. We will not concede," he said.

Mr Gbagbo also told Euronews he would be prepared to accept a recount, although he did not give any details of his proposals.

"We are negotiating. I ask myself why those who claim to have beaten me oppose a recount of the votes," he said.

The UN helped organise the poll and says Mr Ouattara won.

Analysts say it would be unlikely to agree to a recount.

As international pressure increases on Mr Gbagbo to step down, the EU has agreed to widen a travel ban to 59 Gbagbo allies, diplomats say.

Mr Gbagbo accuses France, which retains considerable economic interests in its former colony, of mobilising international opinion against him.

"Amongst today's great global powers, each has its own sphere of influence. When it's something to do with Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, France speaks and the rest follow," Mr Gbagbo said.

He has ordered the 9,500 UN peacekeepers to leave Ivory Coast and there have been some attacks on them by Mr Gbagbo's supporters.

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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