Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cote d'Ivoire: Chaos in Abidjan, Fighting Near Gbagbo's Residence

An Ivorian refugee gets a lift on a motorbike taxi to Zwedru.


Looting broke out in various parts of Abidjan late Thursday as chaos spread with the arrival of forces backing internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara while the whereabouts of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo remained unknown.

A spokesperson for Ouattara told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that Republican Forces had captured control of state-run television. Earlier, Ouattara's camp announced a curfew extending from 2100 GMT Thursday until 0600 GMT until Sunday.

There was heavy weapons fire in the Cocody suburb, where Gbagbo's residence is located, while about 50 French soldiers patrolled neighborhoods where French nationals live. Eyewitnesses told AFP looters were breaking into stores and carrying away goods, while other people remained indoors as gunfire and heavy weapons fire raged.

Earlier, Ouattara's prime minister warned Gbagbo that he had until 1900 GMT to step down or Republican Forces backing Ouattara would seek him out.

"Laurent Gbagbo must turn himself over in order to avoid a bloodbath," said Guillaume Soro, Ouattara's premier, in a telephone interview with AFP.

Meanwhile, forces of the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (Unoci) occupied the city's main airport. The head of some 100 Ivorian troops at the airport peacefully handed over control, AFP said, citing an unnamed UN official.

Earlier, pro-Gbagbo troops withdrew their blockade of the hotel housing Ouattara and his cabinet.

In a lightning advance across the country that has met little resistance from Cote d'Ivoire's military, the Republican Forces captured several key towns, including the capital, Yamoussoukro, and the port of San Pedro before reaching Abidjan on Thursday. In addition to weapons fire in Cocody, small arms and heavy weapons fire could be heard in central Abidjan near the presidential palace and the national television offices.

The whereabouts of Gbagbo were unknown on Thursday night, although state television announced that he was to address the nation. Earlier on Thursday, the army chief of staff, his wife and five children sought refuge at the residence of the South African envoy to Cote d'Ivoire.

The BBC reported that the head of the military police had defected and gone to Ouattara's headquarters at the Golf Hotel.

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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