Saturday, January 29, 2011

Côte d'Ivoire: AU Leaders Soften Stance On Gbagbo

Gbagbo left,
Ouattara right


Nairobi — The African Union has retreated from its earlier position on a possible military intervention in Cote d'Ivoire if the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo does not hand over to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of the elections last November.

The AU had initially asked Mr Gbagbo to step down or face the threat of legitimate removal including through a military option.

But on Saturday, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the AU mediator in the Cote d'Ivoire crisis, said they would now pursue a negotiated settlement instead.

"The declared AU and ECOWAS positions are not about the use of force. Both organizations are committed to a peaceful resolution of the crisis firstly on principle and secondly because a negotiated settlement is the best way to lay the foundation for an inclusive and stable Ivorian nation after years of conflict," Mr Odinga said.

Since Mr Odinga was appointed to mediate in the political standoff in Cote d'Ivoire, little obvious headway has been made to resolve the crisis.

Mr Odinga said the two leaders must now meet face-to-face and negotiate a peaceful settlement.

"Every day lost in moving forward towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis makes more imminent the spectre of further threats to peace and security in Ivory Coast and the region. That in turn would create continent-wide divisions," Mr Odinga said.

He, however, added that Africa must stand ready to deploy other measures if a settlement cannot be agreed through negotiations.

"Our efforts are not about imposing democracy or free and fair elections. They are about avoiding a much greater disaster," Mr Odinga said.

Earlier this week, Ugandan President Museveni commented on the Ivorian crisis, suggesting instead that the AU sets up an ad hoc committee to find out how the conduct and results of the vote have generated a difference of opinion.

"There is a need for a serious approach that involves investigating the (electoral) process, including registration of voters and who voted," presidential spokesman Tamale Mirundi said, quoting Mr Museveni.

"There should be investigations, not just declaring who has won. No, no, no!"

The West African country held a presidential rerun vote on November 28 in which the international community says Mr Ouattara defeated Mr Gbagbo.The UN, the AU and other international bodies have since asked Mr Gbagbo to peacefully hand over power to his rival.

But Mr Odinga described the political standoff in Ivory Coast as an African crisis for which only Africa can find a durable solution.

"It is, therefore, vital that we in the AU lead the way in immediately mobilising national, regional and international action to find a peaceful end to the crisis on the basis of resolutions already adopted by the AU and Ecowas," said Mr Odinga.

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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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