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stasisLAX
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French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:34 am

According to BBC News, the French have taken control of Abidjan airport from the UN mission and added 300 more soldiers to their 1,100-strong force. The French military say the aim is to allow commercial flights to resume so foreign citizens can be evacuated from the civil war torn country.

The current government of Ivory Coast says that the French troops are an occupying force that is bent on committing "genocide"....

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12953763

[Edited 2011-04-04 00:42:52]
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Aloha717200
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:43 am

Quoting stasisLAX (Thread starter):
The current government of Ivory Coast says that the French troops are an occupying force that is bent on committing "genocide"....

Corrupt governments are prone to spreading lies.

I support the action of the French in this matter, and hopefully the government of Ivory Coast will be the next domino to fall in Africa/ME.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:51 am

The "current government" is the one of President Laurent Gbagbo, who lost the last presidential election, but refuses to step down and instead started a civil war, in which supporters (read tribes) supporting his rival Ouattara were killed en masse?
The UN mission (led by France) was already there because of a civil war which started in 2002 between Gbagbo and Ouattara. The reason was that Gbagbo´s government refused to let Ouattara run for election, claiming that he was a citizen of Burkina Faso (which borders Ivori Coast in the North. Ouattara has the support of the Northern tribes, while Gbagbo´s supporters live along the coast and members of Ouattara´s tribe live on both sides of the border). IIRC a few years ago he had his airforce strafe French soldiers upon which the French destroyed his airforce (he never liked to have the UN mission in the country because it prevented him from "cleaning up" his rivals).
Gbagbo used the civil war already as a reason postpone the election, which should have taken place in 2006.
The UN troops and espercially the former colonial power France have been accused by both sides to support the other´s rivals.

Jan
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iakobos
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:33 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 2):
The "current government" is the one of President Laurent Gbagbo, who lost the last presidential election,

Be careful there, that is the official credo used as a baseline by the media, but it is not that clearcut.

There were very significant irregularities during the elections.
The mess was partially assessed and corrected by the Electoral Commission (itself pro-Ouattara).
It declared Ouattara the winner, outside of the deadline, and while giving a verdict is not its prerogative.

The Constitutional Court (pro-Gbagbo), which is the supreme instance with the prerogative to empower the President, turned the table.

In legal terms it is Gbagbo 1 - Ouattara 0

The easy thing (and that should have been prepared beforehand since everybody knew there would be contests) would have been to install a team of international experts to recount the votes and dismiss all those originating from voting districts where irregularities were witnessed and documented by the election observers (UN, EU, IFES, Carter Foundation et al), according to electoral law.
One week work and a honest result at hand...

The tricky thing is that nor Ouattara nor Gbagbo want this.
Power for those "people" is so much more important than the lives of a few thousands.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:08 am

You mikght be right. In the end it is just your typical African ethnic conflict about which tribe (and it´s leaders) gets access to the nation´s riches for plundering.
Today I read on the BBC that apparently the rebels have been committing massacres on civilians.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Pyrex
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:25 pm

Can only think of a famous line from a movie, "Blood Diamond": TIA.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:33 pm

Apparently UN helicopters have now taken shots at the presidential palace
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:28 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 6):
Apparently UN helicopters have now taken shots at the presidential palace

Good.

I have to say, my respect for France has grown in leaps and bounds. They really seem to be on the rise in influence and involvement. Hats off to them.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:40 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 6):
Apparently UN helicopters have now taken shots at the presidential palace

No, french helos shot on armoured vehicles and artillery (mortars ?) in the gendarmerie camp of Agban, northern part of Abidjan.
ONUCI helos shot on similar targets in the army camp of Akouedo, north-east of Abidjan.

French intervention was urgently required by UNSG Ban Ki Moon.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:48 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 8):
No, french helos shot on armoured vehicles and artillery (mortars ?) in the gendarmerie camp of Agban, northern part of Abidjan.
ONUCI helos shot on similar targets in the army camp of Akouedo, north-east of Abidjan.

French intervention was urgently required by UNSG Ban Ki Moon.

This news bulletin from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation says that UN helicopters has taken shots at the presidential palace and other of Gbagbos bases in the city

http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/verden/1.7579858

The same is reported by the BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12960308
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:52 pm

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 7):
I have to say, my respect for France has grown in leaps and bounds. They really seem to be on the rise in influence and involvement. Hats off to them.

I wouldn't go that far. Since Rwanda, France's peacekeeping operations within their former colonies should be closely scrutinized.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:09 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 9):
This news bulletin from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation says that UN helicopters has taken shots at the presidential palace and other of Gbagbos bases in the city

Not at the palace but at heavy weapons (mortars - grenade launchers) in the vicinity of the palace.

Ouattara forces are readying for the final rush right now. (light rain)

After a cut around one hour ago, state tv restarted but only with a tape recording.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:17 pm

Four foreigners kidnapped, two French, one Malaysian, one from Benin.

UN gathering in progress, discussing what to do next.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:09 pm

UN Security Council reasserts resolution 1975 of 26 Feb 2011, asking all forces to cooperate with ONUCI and French Unicorn forces and Gbagbo to leave his presidential seat.

So no change, and nobody should be surprised helos are firing rockets and ATK missiles on nutcases dropping bombs blindly inside the city.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:38 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 11):
Not at the palace but at heavy weapons (mortars - grenade launchers) in the vicinity of the palace.

The BBC article clearly states:

" The presidential palace was also hit in the helicopter attacks, witnesses said "
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:36 pm

The election cost 300 millions euros, the costliest in history. There were some irregularities, and all results from doubtful voting points (including all declared irregular by Gbagbo) were dismissed. That was only around 1% of the votes, so it didn't change the results. Gbagbo isn't even contesting the results, that's why he's ranting about international involvement, French or otherwise (including neighboring countries). He sees himself as the true Ivoirian, he even implies he gets power from God...

About allegations of genocide from each camp, I won't speculate. What is verified is that Gbagbo gave thousands of rifles to his young supporters, who immediately started a rampage of terrorizing and pillaging (and don't really care about defending Gbagbo). You also have seen the women that were shot while protesting...

It now seems Gbagbo is negotiating his exile. It's rendered easy by the fact his bunker is contiguous with the French embassy.
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:44 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):
The election cost 300 millions euros, the costliest in history

...in the history of the Ivory Coast of course.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 15):
There were some irregularities, and all results from doubtful voting points (including all declared irregular by Gbagbo) were dismissed. That was only around 1% of the votes, so it didn't change the results.

I beg to differ, that was the excuse that Gbagbo was expecting to use for his benefit.

The electoral commission was a pro-Ouattara team, when faced with significant irregularities, which everybody knew beforehand were coming; it selectively corrected a number of results (monitored by UN and other observers) and announced the results outside of the deadline.

The Constitutional Council, a pro-Gbagbo team and the only body allowed to make the final decision, declared him winner.

On the purely legal field Gbagbo is the President.

Nobody should be surprised, the mess was foreseen.
That it would be a close contest was largely expected, that irregularities would take place was a certainty, that the EC would declare Ouattara was to be expected, that the CC would turn the table in favour of Gbagbo was no surprise.

All of this in the name of non-interference by the "international community" (except the final act of course).
Everyone who has an ounce of experience of sub-Saharan Africa and its elections know that fair play and honesty are never factors to be found. Fraud, manipulation and corruption are the rules of the game to Power.

The only way out is to have elections monitored (by foreign experts and observers of all parties) very closely in the field, all irregularities documented at the source, results (endorsed by experts and observers on the spot) published immediately at each voting station, all results at regional level compiled or monitored by foreign experts, and all results at national level exclusively compiled by foreign experts and after positive comparison between electronic and paper results, in presence of all parties, validate what can be.
The process is known and has been used (the DRC 2006 is a good example). It costs money (and time) but saves lives, the final result is non-debatable and allows the country to go forward with a legitimate authority.

But, how many presidential candidates would accept that procedure under the pretence of "foreign interference", "neo-colonialism" or other ? few, the lives of their subjects is of so little value to them.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:03 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 3):
The easy thing (and that should have been prepared beforehand since everybody knew there would be contests) would have been to install a team of international experts to recount the votes and dismiss all those originating from voting districts where irregularities were witnessed and documented by the election observers (UN, EU, IFES, Carter Foundation et al), according to electoral law.
Quoting iakobos (Reply 3):
One week work and a honest result at hand...
Quoting iakobos (Reply 16):
On the purely legal field Gbagbo is the President.

If your assertion is correct then obviously the international community does not care about the rule of law in the country, since they are openly pushing the legal president to leave the country and supporting the illegal president.

When situations get out of hand and the international community gets involved - UN or some foreign power - the principles of local law and legal procedures are the first things to be ignored.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:59 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
When situations get out of hand and the international community gets involved - UN or some foreign power - the principles of local law and legal procedures are the first things to be ignored.

It is a catch 22 situation, Libya is another case in point.

Countries have their sovereignty, their laws and a justice system, whatever they are.
Until recently (unless they are at war or in a war) the ball stopped there and everything remained an internal affair.

Now, and this is new, outsiders will voice their concern, eg through a UN resolution and intervene politically and militarily.
That the main concern is about peace, stability and (let's hope) human rights and lives is (I think) undoubtful.
But it remains that one instance called the UN Security Council takes the right to override national sovereignty and laws.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:50 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
If your assertion is correct then obviously the international community does not care about the rule of law in the country

They do but only until a certain point.
Resolution 1975 is clear: "condemning the serious abuses and violations of international law..."

NB: International law was basically set up in 1945 in Nuremberg, providing the legal background to try the leaders of the Nazi regime. All of them were tried ex post-facto, in other words, accused under laws that did not exist when the crimes were committed.

For me both Ouattara and Gbagbo are nutcases, they have showed at length that their appetite for power is largely above their concern for their people. At the end, today probably, there are no winners but many losers and cemeteries will have to be build.

From the start (last year and even before), everyone who knows the place can read it in the sky: it will be a mess.
Until the real mess starts, the international "community" (and institutions) will play fair, put money, people and resources on the table to get the game rolling, and (official motto) hope everything will go well. Until there, all laws have been complied with and the community has played its neutral and (process) supporting role.
It looks nice: transparency, free elections, bla bla bla but it is a bad joke.

Follows the unavoidable chaos and ensuing bloodbath and at some stage someone (France and Nigeria in this case) will have to blow the whistle and trigger the UNSC to write down a new resolution.
After the (unanimous) vote, the Nigerian ambassador included this sentence in her statement "the reports that we have received from numerous sources...indicate that the unthinkable is taking place...".
Really Milady, coming from the lips of a Nigerian, unthinkable ?
 
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Aesma
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:51 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 16):
...in the history of the Ivory Coast of course.

No, in the history of the world (not my claim).

Ivory Coast political system is copied from the French one, where indeed the constitutional court would have the last word in an election. But does it really matter, if at least one participant (I'm not excluding Ouattara wouldn't have accepted electoral defeat either) isn't ready to accept the results ? Contrast this to the 2000 US election. It's arguable Bush wasn't elected, but Gore accepted defeat, and in fact even if he hadn't it certainly wouldn't have led to a civil war !

Fact is, there was a big participation (80%, a record for the country), and people really wanted the election to work, meaning they were ready to accept defeat. Watch how little real support Gbagbo has ! It's really only the army fighting for him.

Even before the election you can't argue Gbagbo wasn't trying to keep the country for himself, he didn't want the election to begin with.
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:22 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
No, in the history of the world (not my claim).

Whoever made that claim is either an ignorant or a liar.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
Fact is, there was a big participation (80%, a record for the country), and people really wanted the election to work, meaning they were ready to accept defeat.

I do not relate participation with readiness to accept defeat, perhaps even to the contrary.
If you have lived elections in sub-Saharan Africa you would know that people (like in: families-tribes-ethnies) do not understand that the one for which they voted did not win, and if he did not win it necessarily has to be because of a fraud of some sort, in which invariably the "international community" is a party.
Perfectly understandable when you live in totally corrupt systems and you have no idea what honesty means.
Sad but true.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
Even before the election you can't argue Gbagbo wasn't trying to keep the country for himself, he didn't want the election to begin with.

Absolutely true of course, that old crocodile has been hanging on power at almost all costs, so far for a responsible leader. But his opponent is in the same league.
If the UN pursues their inquiries into the recent massacres and the ICC follows the matter, they should both end up in The Hague...(it will not happen of course)

According to Jeune Afrique, the panel of African leaders who visited him last month offered him: immunity, unfreezing of his assets, freedom to travel and 2 million Euro/year.....he said no.
Justice in Africa ?
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:19 pm

You can debate fine points of law, or you can just see this for what it is.
Another African leader who thinks it's been 'his turn to eat' and does not want to leave the dinner table.

Just one more of a long, depressing list over 50 years.
For the first few decades, you could put some of it down to Cold War machinations, like blaming the half century gone colonialists, that has also run out of road.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:38 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 22):

Just one more of a long, depressing list over 50 years.

...and millions of graves and plenty of food for the scavengers.

Can it stop, how and when ? I will watch from my hammock in my afterlife.
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:28 am

Im glad there is some UN action and finally some global attention. What I found irksome about Obama's reasoning for action in Libya being "he could not stand idly by while innocent civilians were massacred by their governement" or words to that effect, yet this was already happening in more numbers in the Ivory Coast, yet there was no big call for international aid and military intervention here.

Of course, Iakobos is completely right, there is no winning solution here.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 16):
Everyone who has an ounce of experience of sub-Saharan Africa and its elections know that fair play and honesty are never factors to be found. Fraud, manipulation and corruption are the rules of the game to Power.

   Line my pockets and belly for as long as I can until Im deposed. Too many decisions made on the enjoyment of the here and now while the going is good with not much foresight beyond the end of their noses.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 16):
But, how many presidential candidates would accept that procedure under the pretence of "foreign interference", "neo-colonialism" or other ? few, the lives of their subjects is of so little value to them.

   Life is cheap, unfortunate but true fact. They are dispensible to satisfy ego's and greed.

In fairness, both of these guys should be chained together and locked in a cell forever. But the chances are the next guy wont be any better. All the UN can really do is protect civilians, and really, if they feel they have a duty to do it in Libya, they should here too.

After all, what was the UN founded for??
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stasisLAX
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:00 am

The French ambassador's residence in the Ivory Coast was hit with artillery shells for the second time according to the Associated Press. Things seem to be coming to a climax in the country.

According to the Associated Press, mercenaries from neighboring Liberia appear to have committed killings of some civilians. Liberia is still recovering from its own civil war and there is growing concern that Liberian ex-combatants were going to Ivory Coast as hired death squads by the current regime in Ivory Coast.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110409/ap_on_re_af/af_ivory_coast

[Edited 2011-04-08 23:06:30]
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:30 pm

Laurent Gbagbo has gone from illegal President with an office to deposed President in a room without a view this afternoon. (13:00z)

According to one side, it was an FRCI (Ouattara forces) operation with French Licorne in support, at a distance.
According to the other side, it was the French who took Gbagbo (and wife and son).

Somewhere between these versions, and probably closer to the truth, Licorne deployed 35-40 tanks and APC and a couple of helos (confirmed by many witnesses), went close to Gbagbo's residence but stopped there and let the pro-Ouattara do the last two hundred yards and catch the big boy.

The family is now guest of Mr Ouattara, acting President, in the same Hotel du Golf where the latter was holed since the beginning of the drama.
The family is guarded by members of ONUCI police.

Bad or good, the decisive factor was, as might have been expected, the French forces (mainly 43rd marine infantry Bn).

End of the story or end of an episode ?

There are still thousands of troops loyal to their deposed chief as well as a number of "young patriots" who have been weaponized recently and, last but not least, Liberians and Angolan mercenaries.
 
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Aesma
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:08 pm

Gbagbo arrested, good.

Apparently an helo shot the residence, putting it on fire, so Gbagbo had to get out of there.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 21):
Whoever made that claim is either an ignorant or a liar.

Maybe they were thinking about the cost of the election itself, and not what candidates spend on their campaign (where the US must have the top several records easily).

Quoting iakobos (Reply 21):
I do not relate participation with readiness to accept defeat, perhaps even to the contrary.

That's not what I was saying, those were two separate affirmations (in one sentence, so I understand the confusion).
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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RE: French UN Troops "occupying Force" In Ivory Coast

Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:28 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
Maybe they were thinking about the cost of the election itself

The DRC elections in 2005-06 emptied the "international partners' team" wallet by 482 million $, add 50+ from the DRC government and another few millions contributions from non-team donors and we are talking well above 400 million Euros.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 27):
Apparently an helo shot the residence, putting it on fire, so Gbagbo had to get out of there.

The only damage I could see so far is a medium caliber shell (possibly 20mm) high up in the concrete that dismantled about ten tiles covering a sidewall.

It will be interesting to see if Mr Gbagbo will receive a one-way ticket to The Hague... (I do not think so)

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