Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Côte d'Ivoire: Malinké tribe attacks Guéré tribe in Duékoué, Man and Danané controlled by pro-Ouattara Forces

Source: allAfrica

"Everyone agrees that the population should not become hostages of Côte d'Ivoire's political problems," UN Humanitarian Coordinator Ndolam Ngokwey told IRIN after returning to Abidjan from a two-day mission to the west with the UN's Humanitarian Country Team (HCT).

The mission's main focus was on assessing the needs of thousands of Ivoirians who have abandoned their homes in the face of rising tensions in the west, particularly around the town of Duékoué, the scene of fierce inter-communal clashes earlier this month.

Ngokwey said at least 35 people had been killed in the confrontation between Malinké and Guéré communities in Duékoué, with the local Catholic Mission now playing host to thousands of displaced.

Ngokwey said Duékoué appeared to be calm for now, but warned against complacency. "The conflict may have died down and one can talk about a relative peace. I didn't hear any gunshots in the time I was there. But you can definitely sense the tensions. The situation remains volatile."

Ngokwey pointed out that the recent violence, reportedly triggered by the killing of a trader, had deep roots, with local tensions exacerbated by the political stand-off in Côte d'Ivoire. He said the humanitarian needs in Duékoué were stark. "People need food. They need water and sanitation. They need medical care. Until recently, we were looking at a figure of around 4,000 people requiring help in the west, then it suddenly shoots up to 16,000."

The west remains divided. Guiglo and Duékoué, important urban centres long seen as major strongholds for Laurent Gbagbo remain under the control of an administration that recognizes Gbagbo's rule. Man and Danané are in territory controlled by the pro-Ouattara Forces Nouvelles. But Ngokwey stressed that, despite the difficulties of the political context, authorities on both sides, at national and regional level, understood the humanitarian priorities and were being supportive, trying to facilitate access. He noted that the road between Duékoué and Man was open.

Ngokwey acknowledged that the post-elections crisis had forced a serious change of thinking within the humanitarian community. "Until recently, the focus was on early recovery, construction, even development. There were some residual humanitarian problems: food shortages in the north, displaced persons in the west. A lot of NGOs left or reduced their activities. But things have changed."

Ngokwey said it was crucial that current concerns were addressed and contingency plans put into action. "We must manage this crisis effectively so it does not become a catastrophe." While noting that NGOs and others had "legitimate concerns" about security and other issues, he said the humanitarian presence in the west was expanding again with NGOs sending new personnel into places like Man. He emphasized that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which had heavily reduced its staffing levels and activities over the past year, was again playing a key role in the west.

Despite the visible tensions in Duékoué, Ngokwey said he had been encouraged by the response of the local population. "You see that people are not bowed down. They want our help, but they are asking with dignity. You also see an impressive level of community support and organization, civil society volunteers, priests getting involved, imams using their own means to support those in need. Confronted by crisis, you see people pulling together, working hand in hand to ensure that everybody gets the minimum needed."

Ngokwey said it was crucial that funding was made available. "We are counting on the generosity of donors", he told IRIN. "The humanitarian imperative is not a theory but an obligation for all of us." Ngokwey said he would be returning to the west later in the week to re-evaluate the situation and "check that obligations were being met."

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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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