The International Elite vs. Communal Democracy of Ivory Coast

The International Elite vs. Communal Democracy of Ivory Coast

By Hwaa Irfan

When the Ivorians revolted to the January presidential election results of 2011, the feelings of the people were clearly evident, but the West being what it is interpreted this backlash as the result of two warring (tribalistic)  political factions that required their help. Ignored were the external influencing factors i.e. the electoral commission which declared Alassane Outtara a former IMF CEO, and former Prime Minister of Houphouet-Boigny (where Outtara administered an IMF deal that plunged Ivorians into poverty) as the winner, was financed by Ivory Coast’s pre-colonial and neocolonial masters, France. As such, France as a member of struck back, advancing Outtara as the new president, along with the support of the international activist communities, while the Constitutional Court declared Laurent Gbagbo as the president.

The international activist community dealt with the situation in basic western secular terms, and therefore not able to discover that Ouattara’s relationship as the “Father of Rebellion” with the shipped arms from Chirac and Ghadaffi, or with war criminal Blaise Compaore who profited from the delivery of those arms, or that Ouattara was based in Burkino Faso, or that his support came from Burkino Faso, or that the attempted coup against Gbagbo was organized from  Ouattara’s strong point in Burkino Faso along with the active involvement of two French military officers.

The above characterizes Western secular democracy, which considers itself superior. But it is only superior in that it achieves the results, no matter how temporary, in favor of the international elite – the Empire.

Whenever two sides do not agree to the point of causing the instability of a country, members of the African Elders step in to nurture a process of cooperation, one which only works if the parties involved are not consumed by the thirst for secular power. The beginning of this process actually began with the rejected Constitutional Court of Ivory Coast, which operated by the rule of law. Pressured to bow to outside of the rule of law, i.e. the empires, Electoral Commission, the Constitutional Court allowed the Electoral Commission to carry out the elections in acknowledgment of the rule of law, which is that the Council of State affirms the final results in order to ensure that there was no electoral fraud.  Therefore the elite international community – the Empire, as it is perceived by Africans of Africa, entrenched in the traditional communal democracy process of Africa, and make decisions on that basis, the Empire had in fact sided with electoral fraud. The elite international community ignored the role of South Africa’s Mbeki, member of the African Elders, and mediator of the two sides, as the armed rebels (who were not Ivorians) rejected Mbeki as much as the elite international community ignored most of the concessions Mbeki made to allow for mutual agreement.

The basic essence of the African communal democracy process is that the parties talk and talk until there is consensus, or they agree to disagree. This was the foundation of the successful end to South African Apartheid known to the world as Ubuntu, the philosophy of which the international elite community has not been able to duplicate. The democracy that the international elite community refers to is exampled by a so-called security line maintained by French forces separating the North from the South, and in Addis Ababa, by Ban Ki-Moon’s frustration with the lack of resolution in the Ivory Coast as follows:

“I am concerned that differences of opinion are now surfacing among the African Union. This is not desirable at this time in preserving the integrity and fundamental principle of democracy”

Relief from this external pressure was earned at the cost of the suffering of others in Tunisia and Egypt as they have grabbed worldwide attention.  As such the African Union, AU was able to tell President Sarkozy of France, and Ban Ki-Moon representative of the international elite community, the U.N., that the Ivory Coast is an African problem. Kenya’s Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, official mediator for the AU was able to return the focus to the African communal democracy process, which in this case was to get Ouattara and Gbagbo to sit down and talk at a time when the AU view the Tunisian and Egyptian problem as one of the toll imposition of policies from the said same international elite community.

“Because China stood independent of this Euro-American tyranny of unemployment, poverty, and wrath, the streets of China have been saved from the spectre of hundreds of millions protesting and burning down buildings. Due to a strange historic deafness, Ban Ki-moon wants to put in power Alassane Ouattara as a puppet that will take Cote d’Ivoire down that same route to destruction,” writes Okello Oculi, executive director of Africa Vision 525 Initiative.

The international elite community ignored what was common knowledge that the National Assembly held evidence that Ouattara sold registration documents to purchasers who were not always Ivorian.  The President of the National Assembly, Mamadou Koulbaly held up one registration form of Sanago Aboubacar, and the real Sanago Aboubacar was surprised to see someone else’s face on his identity card, which one could embrace as an analogy of the relationship between France and the Ivory Coast. Despite 50 years of independence, the Ivory Coast is classified as one of 14 Francophone zones, with amenities : the airline, telephone, electricity, water companies, some banks remaining under French control, with France maintaining a stranglehold on the Ivorian commerce preventing a realized independence.

Maritime – The main operator is French, Bollore, Saga, Delmas controlling  the port of Abijan, the main transit port of West Africa.

Railway – The Ivorian-Burjino railway is controlled by the French company Sitarail, which controls the tobacco and rubber industry.

Construction – Along with public works is controlled by French company Bouygues

Oil – 160 petrol stations, is owned by the French oil company Total, which also has 25% of the shares of the top Ivorian oil refinery Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage, and controls the supply of bitumen.

Telephone – The main shareholder in Cote d’Ivoire Telecom and Societe Ivoirienne des Mobiles is French Telecom …
And cars, pharmaceutics, and new technology is monopolized by Groupe Compagnie Francaise de l’Afrique de l’Ouest de Cote d’Ivoire, along with exports and retail trade now taken over by Pinault-Printemps-La Redoute group.

The Ivory Coast is an example of Haiti today, and the Doctrine of Discovery in process, with the Ivory Coast as a profitable colony for the neo-colonists with only a direct investment of €3.5 billion. Impoverishing Ivorians, the only call is surely to liberation, not governance over a country that is still being governed slave owners. If that seems an untrue picture, then define slavery as since the elections, and Ouattara’s march on Abijan 16th December 2010, hundreds have died. Ouattara and his supporters, as well as security forces kept demonstrators off the streets through extreme violent measures, but as indicative of the violence on protestors in Egypt, when external forces are involves, it is not always clear who is doing what to whom, especially when the UN is keeping quiet about it!  Ban Ki-Moon’s position is apparent to the AU, when he is quiet about Korea, Palestine, and Sudan, but rudely vocal about the Ivory Coast.  In agreement with the AU, research director for Third World Forum Bernard Founou-Tchuigoua writes:

“In these circumstances it is understandable that the people of West Africa oppose a military intervention by ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) in Côte d’Ivoire, because they know that the United States and the European Union are in line with the monopolisation of natural resources in West Africa using two complementary strategies, the installation or enhancement of military bases and the introduction of chaos to come as the saviours of people at risk. West Africa needs a regionalisation which supports the efforts of peoples to control their fate.”

Sources:

Badreddine, K. “ Ivory Coast Crisis is About Oil.” http://www.henrymakow.com/ivory_coast.html

Busch, G. K. “The Empire Strikes Back: France and the Ivory Coast.”  http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/69808

Deen, T. “U.N. Tight-Lipped on Use of Military Force in Cote D’Ivoire.” http://www.ips.org/africa/2011/01/un-tight-lipped-on-use-of-military-force-in-cote-divoire/

Founou-Tchuigoua, B. “People of Cote D’Ivoire: Keep Lucidity.” http://pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/70612

IRIN: Cote D’ivoire: Human Rights Getting Ugly – Briefing.” http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=91568

Oculi, O. “Lumumba, Gbagbo, and Ki-Moon.”http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/70651

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