Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Truth and Reconciliation, Part 3

First, a couple of administrative notes.

Due to the developing situation (-s) in Africa, I have now partitioned my list of links to multipart series into two sections: one dealing with Africa, the other dealing with everything else. The "everything else" category will later be divided up as well.

Also, I now have several series going which are related, and am about to start another series addressing the development of this story on this side of the Atlantic.

Thank you to my readers who have pointed me in the direction of further information. I now have thousands more pages of pdf's to read, in addition to the thousands I am still trying to sort through. :)


In Part 1, we saw some vids and read some information providing background into what the international community is doing in Côte d'Ivoire, and gained some insights in why this might be happening.

Of course, there is much more of the documented story yet to be told. And, there is the "undocumented" story that is developing. :)

In Part 2 we began examing how West Africa is becoming a hub for the movement of cocaine from South America to Europe. I also pointed out the growing presence of Islamic terrorists in South America - and hinted at (not sure if you caught it) the presence of such terrorists infiltrating the southern border of the United States!

I now begin with an excerpt from a paper entitled From Colonization to Globalization: Difference or Repetition? by Professor Martial Frindethie of Appalachian State University. The paper is undated, but appears to be from 2008; it can be found here and here. The excerpt from page 7 is about Alassane Ouattara (whom I consider to be Côte d'Ivoire's newly-installed international frontman):

As prime minister of Côte d'Ivoire, his solutions for redressing the country's economy did more harm than good. Ouattara cut subsidies to farmers, as recommended by the WTO, at the same time as the European Union and the United States were heavily backing their own farmers with huge subsidies; he dismissed more than 10,000 employees from the state payroll. Those who were lucky to keep their jobs saw their salaries reduced by 40% or were forced to accept an early retirement package. He reduced access to early education by freezing the recruitment of new teachers. He closed students' subsidized restaurants. He eliminated transportation and basic healthcare services for students. He imposed fees on the masses for basic healthcare services. He initiated the devaluation of the CFA at the rate of 100 CFA francs for 1 French franc. He instituted the highly controversial resident cards for foreigners, which was the source of much harassment toward foreign nationals coming from neighboring African countries, and he aggressively pursued Mauritanian and Lebanese merchants for so-called back taxes in the upward of millions of CFA francs. In a word, Ouattara executed the World Bank/IMF's recommendations to the letter. These measures, as it was to be expected, frustrated the masses even further. Workers and students' demonstrations intensified; which, under his orders, were repressed in blood. Scores of students were killed and student, union, and opposition leaders, among whom the current president, Laurent Gbagbo and the leader of higher education teachers' union, Marcel Etté, were jailed and tortured amidst international outcries and unsuccessful calls for an independent investigation. Undeniably, Ouattara was a good student of the IMF. In Côte d'Ivoire, Ouattara was the praiseworthy son of a powerful institution that had reared him to serve the father unreservedly. The question was whether he was really a son of Côte d'Ivoire, concerned with the interests of his fellow citizens.

This information corresponds with that from another paper I quoted in previous posts.

Professor Frindethie was quoted in Ouattara: Financial questions and "the bleeding of Africa", April 14, 2011:

During his term [as unelected Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Interim President of Côte d'Ivoire, 1990-1993], Ouattara reportedly oversaw an estimated $22 billion of capital flight from the Ivory Coast to foreign shores.

"As a result of Ouattara's collusion with French businessmen, 27 per cent of the assets of Ivorian enterprises were French owned; 240 subsidiaries and more than 600 companies belonged to French businessmen, representing 68 per cent of direct foreign investments in the Ivory Coast," according to Dr Frindethie.

At the same time, it's alleged that Ouattara ordered all public receipts to be transferred from the treasury directly to an account at the office of the Prime Minister, "mixing public and individual assets with state property for the first time, making him one of the richest men on earth," according to Dr Frindethie.

A spokesman for Ouattara denied "in the strongest terms" any improper financial accounting during this period. The Ivorian Ministry of Finance was unavailable for comment.

'Questionable financial transactions'

After what Dr Frindethie called "Ouattara's questionable financial transactions", the former IMF economist went on to cut subsidies to Ivorian farmers - at the same time as the EU was heavily backing European farmers with huge subsidies - and caused living standards in rural areas to plunge.

His scaling back of the state meant 10,000 state employees were instantly dismissed, and those who kept their jobs had their salaries cut by half.

"Good governance has nothing to do with the Structural Adjustment Policies, it is about the economic domination and the bleeding of Africa," said Dr Frindethie.

Welfare budgets were slashed, healthcare services cut, and education grants were frozen. It caused mass student protests on the streets of Abidjan and elsewhere - protests that were put down violently by the army under its head Robert Guei.

It's claimed that hundreds of students "disappeared", and union and opposition leaders - including Laurent Gbagbo - were jailed and tortured by Guei's secret police.

Ouattara's policies, acting as IMF frontman and Prime Minister in Côte d'Ivoire many years ago, helped generate the very crisis that led to the civil war which, in turn, led to a de facto partition of Côte d'Ivoire in the wake of the civil war there a few years back. This partition only ended when a disputed election was settled by international force in favor of a man who would do the bidding of the foreign powers that backed him militarily and diplomatically.

The international puppetmasters sent in their man, he did their dirty work, and they rewarded him by giving him a presidency 1) for which he was not legally eligible, 2) which he won in a dirty election, and 3) which was enforced only by military power of neo-colonial forces operating under the auspices of the UN.

Furthermore, the conduct alleged of Ouattara's backers then is the same kind of thing we are seeing today.

We now consider the first part of Dozens dead as Ivorian troops clash with militia from May 3, 2011:

Abidjan -- Dozens of bodies littered the streets of an Abidjan neighborhood on Tuesday as fighting continued between Ivory Coast troops and the remnants of a militia loyal to deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo.

The clashes highlight the West African country's struggle to restore security after a violent power struggle between Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara, who won a November election and is now president.

"We have seen many dead. We recovered 40 bodies over two hours, but we were forced to stop because he had no room left in our van," said Franck Kodjo, an official at the International Committee of the Red Cross, adding at least five corpses were from Tuesday's fighting.

The world's largest cocoa grower nation tipped toward civil war after Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara, triggering a conflict that killed thousands and displaced more than a million people and only began to ease with Gbagbo's arrest last month.

A commander for the Ivorian army, known as the FRCI, said the remaining pro-Gbagbo fighters in the Abidjan neighborhood of Yopougon were mostly Liberians who had crossed the border in the election dispute's aftermath as soldiers for hire.

As I pointed out in a previous post, after the international community cut off Gbagbo's control of Côte d'Ivoire's finances, Ouattara - the IMF moneyman - then told everyone Gbagbo was going to default on Côte d'Ivoire's debt.

In other words, Gbagbo, when still acting as president of Côte d'Ivoire, had no money.

Now, though, we are supposed to believe that this same man - who has been deposed and is under arrest - has mercenaries from Liberia fighting for him in Abidjan.

Mercenaries get paid.

Other reports I had seen earlier had Liberian mercenaries returning to Liberia, raping, pillaging, plundering and killing as the left - they had been willing to work for either side, but no one hired them.

Here, though, we are told they are fighting... for what? For loyalty to Gbagbo? For free?

This makes no sense.

Here are two things that do make sense.

1) France's (neo-) colonial interests were jeopardized by Gbagbo, who came to power ready to defy France, and with a plan to do so successfully, freeing Côte d'Ivoire from Paris' yoke.


(Source: UNODC 2010 World Drug Report)

Dig down deep and you will find money and cocaine.

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