Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ivory Coast cocoa: US backs ban, Cargill stops trade

Ivory Coast's farmers
provide a third of
the world's supply of cocoa

Source: BBC News
The US has said it supports a call by internationally recognised Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara for a month-long ban on cocoa exports.

US cocoa firm Cargill has said it is "temporarily suspending" bean purchases in the world's largest cocoa producer.

The call is intended to increase financial pressure on Laurent Gbagbo to admit defeat in November's poll and cede power.

Cocoa prices - already up 14% since the poll - rose about 4% on Monday.

Separately, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has said the UN should not have recognised Mr Ouattara so quickly.

"There should be investigations, not just declaring who has won," presidential spokesman Tamale Mirundi told Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper.

The African Union has previously backed the UN and the West African body Ecowas has threatened to use force to oust Mr Gbagbo if he refuses to go.

AU chairman, Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika, is the latest envoy to go to Abidjan to seek a solution to the two-month deadlock.

'Business as usual'

Mr Ouattara hopes that if Mr Gbagbo does not have the revenue to pay civil servants, especially the security forces, he will have to step down - a strategy backed by the US.
"We hope that this will help convince him [Mr Gbagbo] to step aside," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

Cargill, which Reuters news agency says normally buys about 15% of Ivory Coast's cocoa crop, said: "We are working with others in the industry and with the authorities to clarify and resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

However, the head of Ivory Coast's cocoa body CGFCC, Gilbert Ano, an ally of Mr Gbagbo, urged exporters to ignore the call.

"Nobody else can send us a letter saying do this, that or the other," he told a meeting of cocoa exporters.

Mr Gbagbo's Finance Minister Desire Dalo denied that cocoa production had been affected.

On Monday, Nigeria urged the UN to authorise force to oust Mr Gbagbo.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia wrote an editorial published by several local newspapers saying the UN Security Council should pass a resolution to give legitimacy to previous West African threats to send troops to Ivory Coast.

He did, however, stress this would be a "last resort".

Experts say some West African countries would be reluctant to use armed force against Mr Gbagbo.

The BBC's John James in the main city Abidjan, says the call for a ban is causing pandemonium in the international cocoa industry.

Our reporter point outs that Mr Ouattara does not control any security forces there who could enforce the ban on the city's ports.

But he says major players in the world cocoa industry will be worried about losing their licences if Mr Ouattara does ever come to power and they could be concerned about their international reputations if they are seen to be dealing with an administration seen as illegitimate by the world community.

"We are getting on with things as usual," the director of an Abidjan-based export firm told Reuters on Monday.

The European Cocoa Association and Federation of Cocoa Commerce said they had not yet decided what action to take.

Reuters reports that cocoa prices rose by 7% to reach a six-month high of $3,616 (£2,269) on the Liffe futures exchange when trade opened on Monday, before falling back later on.

Ivory Coast produces about a third of the world's cocoa.

The European Union, US and West African states have already adopted various financial sanctions against Gbagbo and his closest allies

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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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