Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Côte d'Ivoire on the brink of war again after ruling party declares war on peace process, UN

What little remains of Côte d'Ivoire's peace process appears to have collapsed in the last few days. The nominal pretext for the renewed tension was a recommendation by the international community that the Ivorian parliament be dissolved. The parliament's mandate expired last October.

The so-called Jeunes Patriotes (Young Patriots) went on the rampage. These terrorist mafiosi, who call themselves nationalist, paralysed the main city of Abidjan by erecting baracades and destroying United Nations' vehicules. The thugs accuse France and the international community of favoring the rebels who control the north of the country.

"This is only the beginning of a protest movement to tell the international community to leave. We want to resolve this crisis among Ivoirians," declared Serge Koffi, one of the xenophobic Jeunes Patriotes' leaders, according to

The rebels fear demobilisation so long as so-called loyalist militias, like the Jeunes Patriotes, aren't disarmed themselves. Some believe that the head of state, Laurent Gbagbo, refuses to deal with these terrorists who are nominally in his camp for fearing of being assassinated himself.

Yesterday, Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party withdrew from the peace process, which it called a UN-sponsored 'recolonization.'

The FPI declares its retreat from the peace process and its refusal to continue any longer the process of recolonization engaged under the auspices of the UN, declared the FPI's president Pascal Affi N'Guessan, who was the country's prime minister before the national unity government took over, in a statement.

The FPI asks the head of state to undertake immediately the steps necessary for the country to be freed of the foreigner occupiers and to engage in autonomous and indigeneous attempts at a process of peace and reconciliation.

Gbagbo supporters proceeded to attack a UN base in the west of the country.

Some peace and reconciliation!

The civil war was started in 2002 to protest against social and state discrimination against the Muslim north and against the foreigners who comprise some 30 percent of the country's population.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in a few days ago as president of next-door Liberia. Her inauguration hopefully marks the end of 16 years of war, violence and instability that's left the country destroyed, the people destitute, the infrastructure non-existent and the economy in ruins. Are the Jeunes Patriotes and their ilk so irrational and fanatic that they want to repeat the nightmarish experience of their neighbors?

Update: The terrorists have now reportedly seized control of state radio and television.


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