From Colonization to Globalization: Difference or Repetition? Martial Frindethie

global
. . . since the collapse of the USSR, the dynamics of empire has changed. The World is now more multipolar and mercantile, with China and Europe emerging to compete against the US. Empire is more driven by multinational corporations, whose interests transcend those of any particular nation-state.
STEVEN HIATT—"Global Empire: The Web of Control," A Game As Old as Empire

Crisis as Possibility or Globalization à la française 
General Charles de Gaulle, this most beloved French president and iconic figure of French resistance and morality, once formulated an aphorism whose hideous veracity is only equaled by the unscrupulous zeal with which France put it into practice throughout history. "France," he said, "has no friends, but only interests." This Gaullist maxim, which foreboded an unchanged paradigm of philosophical disinformation, economic strangulation, military persecution, and political destabilization, if it has proven factual over time and has helped France accumulate a colossal fortune to the detriment of its former colonies, is today being challenged by most French-speaking African countries. Perhaps, the most powerful counter-hegemonic social movement of the twenty first century witnessed in French Africa is the resistance movement that has been taking place in Côte d’Ivoire since 2002. Sidiki Bakaba, an Ivorian filmmaker, has documented it in his Bare-handed Victory.1 It is a mobilization and struggle against French neocolonial agenda disguised under the coat of globalization. The objective of this polymorphous resistance movement is to unveil and defeat France’s imperial economic and political scheme wherever it will manifest itself in Côte d’Ivoire and under whichever form it will hide. Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivorian patriotes often chant, will be the graveyard of France’s deceitful policy in its former colonies. What they mean is that, at least in Côte d’Ivoire, they are determined to put an end to the French arsonist policy by which France has historically schemed to set multiple fires in Africa in order to hire itself as emergency management agency via the United Nations and the world financial institutions.

THE LOGIC OF FRENCH INTERVENTIONS IN AFRICA 
No matter under which form they come into view, the various French interventions in Africa have never had a philanthropic thrust. French intrusions in Africa have always been driven by logic of maximum wealth through minimum or no effort. Historically, the French Republic has seldom won a war. In fact, the French have systematically lost most wars, even the ones that they confidently declared on their neighbors; and each time France was defeated, it turned to Africa or to the Caribbean with the most destructive designs to assuage its bruised ego and to rebuild its broken finances. An understanding of the French policy in Africa—and the Caribbean—whereby in moments of political and financial distress at home crises are implemented abroad as possibility for Hexagonal improvement could inform a discussion of the contemporary stance against France’s brand of globalization in Africa in general, and in Côte d’Ivoire in particular.

In 1871, in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, a war that France declared and seemed so confident to win on its Prussian neighbor, France emerged a broken and demoralized nation with a diminished territory, a poor economy, and an injured reputation. The German Alliance had just defeated France, annexed its territories of Alsace and Lorraine, and handed the French government a reparation invoice the equivalent of one billion dollars to be paid within three-year. Despite its drained reserves, France managed to acquit itself of the enormous bill long before the scheduled deadline. France’s alacrity to make good on the German humiliating tab would have seemed a casual occurrence if almost fifty years before this event, a less powerful country, Algeria, asking that France reimbursed a loan it had owed for too long, had not paid a heavy cost for its impertinence. In fact, the immediate economic outcome of the 1789 French Revolution was catastrophic. Agricultural methods in France had remained archaic. Unlike British farmers, for instance, French farmers had not been able to develop large agricultural exploitations to sustain the local markets and bring in much-needed revenues. The small farms could hardly feed the French populations, and the price of grain and firewood had skyrocketed; bread, the quintessential French food, was being rationed. France was on the verge of famine, and an even more dangerous prospect was developing: Napoleon’s hungry armies in Italy and Spain were getting irritable, and a mutiny could break any time. Subsequently, France turned to two Algerian commercial houses, Bacri and Busnach, for a loan in money and grains in order to remedy the country’s hardship. However, Bacri and Busnach, too, owed some money to the Algerian sovereign, Dey Kodja Hussein, and they were waiting for France to honor its tab, so they could settle their debt with the Dey. In 1815, by the end of the Napoleonic failed war, France’s debt to Algeria was about 18 million francs. Perhaps the merchants had asked Dey Hussein to recover the money from French authorities on their behalf, so that they could also settle their debts with him. Whatever the case, Dey Hussein grew impatient with France’s tergiversations. In 1827, during a heated argument with Pierre Deval, the French consul in Algeria about France’s long-due balance, the Dey’s flywhisk flew in the face of the French consul. King Charles X, who was not very eager to pay off his delinquent debt to Algeria, seized this occasion to protest what he perceived in the Dey’s gesture as lack of respect for the French Crown. Despite Dey Hussein’s explanation that his gesture was in response to Pierre Deval’s personal insult to him, and not a condescension directed at the king of France, 600 French ships landed 37,000 troops in Algeria on June 14, 1830. The French soldiers engaged in the most despicable acts of religious vandalism and human right abuses. They raided mosques and transformed them in cathedrals. They destroyed private properties; they raped women, and executed hundreds of Algerians. Less than a month later, on July 5, the French deposed Dey Hussein. By February 1831, Algeria became effectively a French settlement colony, and French authorities invited 4500 French colonists to farm the fertile coastal lands of Algeria.2 The French occupation of Algeria was not easy, nonetheless. Until 1962, the Algerians resisted the French. Finally, in 1962, the Algerians handed the French one of their most humiliating defeats in history. Germany of 1870 was not 1830’s Algeria. France understood that it was not in its interest to delay its obligation toward the Germans. So, France paid its debt promptly and spent the ensuing years ruminating its defeat and thinking of ways to brighten its tarnished image in Europe. Many social engineers suggested that France should concentrate its efforts overseas and build itself an empire that would both replenish its depleted coffers and extend to "inferior" races its ideals of civilization.

France, it should be noted, had been present in Africa as early as 1642 and had actively participated in the slave trade that sold more than 28 millions Africans in Europe and in the Americas between 1650 and 1900. At that time, the purpose was clearly economic, and no one spoke of extending French "superior" civilization to the "inferior" races of Africa. In the later years of the 1800, however, the climate was no longer the same. By 1804 Denmark initiated an abolitionist wave that started to sweep Europe and America. In 1848, France reluctantly abolished the official practice of slave trade. Among the people who had expressed disapproval of the slave trade, was Olaudah Equiano, a former slave. Equiano was also a former slave owner who had understood that slavery could only be stopped if there could be an incentive for not practicing it. So, he tried to convince slave owners that slave trade was depleting Africa of potential consumers of European goods, and he urged Europeans to turn instead to disseminating European civilization to Africa, as they exploited the many African raw materials from which slave trade had distracted them.3 The functioning semantic pair was thus launched, commerce and civilization, which would henceforth be seized on as determining the scope of France’s—and European—new globalizing efforts in Africa. Taking Equiano’s suggestions to globalize otherwise at heart, European countries raced for the riches of Africa. Ivory, gold, timber, cocoa, coffee, rubber, palm oil, nuts, and tropical fruits, and not slaves—even though some "lawbreakers" were still trading in slaves, for seventy years went by between the Danes’ abolition of slavery in 1792 and the effective stop of slave importation to Europe4— became the new commodities that brought huge profits to European markets. By the late 1800, Africa became so crowded with European fortune seekers that conflicts became inevitable. To better regulate trade in Africa and to avoid conflicts among the international actors in the region, the European powers held a conference in Berlin between November 15, 1884 and February 26, 1885, under the chairmanship of German Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck. Although the organizers publicized the conference as a meeting for discussing issues of humanity, peace, and the "civilizing" and "welfare" of the native populations of Africa, it was definition of the rules to govern the Europeans’ claims of territories in Africa that actually dominated the talks. The Conference resolved the question of territorial conflicts among European countries by deciding that any European nation that formally gave other nations notice of its occupation of a territory would be recognized as the rightful owner of that territory. So, having defined the rules of the game, European powers rushed to slash as larger morsels as they could of the African pie.

However, still haunted by the specters of defeat, the French had yet to be convinced. Their 1870 beating by the Germans had dampened all their enthusiasm for globalizing enterprises. Furthermore, their Algerian colonies had not turned out to be what India had been to Great Britain. Algerians continued to oppose long- drawn-out resistances to the French occupation, and the North African colony had cost more headaches to France than it had brought in profits. In light of so few encouraging events, French financiers were hesitant to spend money in African adventures; they preferred less uncertain governments bonds, and French politicians preferred for their constituencies a good pot-au-feu to the bad bread that they ate during the 1870 German siege of Paris. On the other hand, the wounds of humiliation inflicted by the Germans were slow to heal, and many government officials believed that France could shine again if only it could secure for itself a large African empire. Five months after the Berlin Conference, a debate between proponents and opponents of colonial expansion was raging in the hall of the French Assemblée Nationale. The two most memorable protagonists of this debate were Jules Ferry (Ferry was twice prime minister of France, once from September 1880 to November 1881, and another time from February 1883 to April 1885) and Georges Clémenceau. On July 28, 1885, five months after being driven out of office for overseeing the failed the 1885 Chinese-French war, Jules Ferry was making a case for colonialism in the chamber of the National Assembly.

Ferry invoked three arguments in favor of France’s colonial expansion. Economically, within the logic of its industrial aspirations, France needed to find new markets outside Europe and the United States for its export commodities, as Germany and America had become increasingly protectionist at the same time as they had been flooding France with new agricultural and industrials products. Economists like Leroy- Beaulieu, who tried to establish a nexus between Britain’s wealth and its possession of an overseas empire, and who argued that the acquisition of a colonial empire would indubitably bring economic wealth to France, supported this argument.5 From a humanitarian perspective, Ferry argued that, as a member of the "higher race," France had a divine right and a duty to civilize the "inferior races," perfect them, and improve their backward morals. From a political and patriotic perspective, Ferry insisted that France needed to ensure its place in the world by performing acts of grandeur. For Ferry, amidst the European rush for territorial expansion, any politics of abstention on the part of France would amount to abdication. To ascertain its position on the international exchequer, France would have to start importing its language, its customs, its flag, and its genius.6 Replying to Ferry, Clémenceau charged that Ferry’s dichotomy of superior race/inferior race was suspect and reminiscent of the German social engineers’ discourse in the days preceding the Franco-Prussian war. The Germans, like Ferry was doing then, had argued for racial superiority.  German scientists had asserted that because the French were an inferior race, France was doomed to lose the war. So, Clémenceau urged his fellowmen not to repeat this German axiom against African nations by trying to disguise violence under the cunning designation of civilization. For him, the excuse of right or duty to civilize was nothing but a right to brutality that scientifically advanced societies tend to arrogate to themselves in order to take possession of less advanced nations and torture their citizens and exploit them for the benefit of so-called superior races. Clémenceau concluded that to make civilization a justification for colonization was to adjoin hypocrisy to violence. In any case, the early 1890s witnessed the rise of a multitude of strong pro-colonialist pressure groups, such as, the Comité de l’Afrique française, the Comité de l’Égypte, the Comité de l’Asie française, or the Comité de Madagascar, all unified under the banner of the Parti colonial, which made the case for a revival of France’s place in the world. Their argument was less to sell an African business venture to French investors than to sell an African empire to the state. By 1890, a colonial consensus was in place in France, which advocated a new globalizing venture based less on treaties with local chiefs, and more on forceful military approach.7 Against all apprehensions, the French militarized globalization in Sub-Saharan Africa turned out to be more lucrative than even pro-colonists had previously thought. When the dust of the European global dash to Africa settled, the continent was parceled into fifty territories, and most European countries had their African colonies. France, Germany, Great Britain, and Portugal were the countries that obtained the lion part. France snatched a large territory in West Africa from Mauritania to Chad (French West Africa), and Gabon and Congo (French equatorial Africa), as well as the Island of Madagascar. France became an empire-building nation. Its overseas empire comprised the territories of present day Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Togo, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, the Islands of Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, and Mayotte.

The French territories did not all have the same status. They were slave colonies, exploitation colonies, settlers’ colonies, or protectorates, and they were ruled accordingly. Most French colonies in the Caribbean were slave colonies, whereas in sub-Saharan Africa they were principally exploitation colonies. In exploitation colonies, France’s goal was to run away with most of the resources the colonies could yield (coffee, cocoa, lumber, palm oil, rubber, tropical fruits and nuts, and various minerals) for the benefit of the metropolitan state. Also, Africans from exploitation colonies were not on the same footing as those living in settlers’ colonies or protectorates. Settlers’ colonies and protectorates had local rulers collaborating with a French appointed consul. The protectorate of Tunisia had a local sovereign, the Bey. In the Settlers’ colony of Algeria, it was the Dey. These first attempts at globalization were, like the ones that preceded them, devoid of any real reciprocity. The native peoples of the colonies resisted them ferociously; and whatever justification the imperialist countries gave for their retreat from the colonies, they did not leave on their own good will. The cost in human and financial capital was too high for France to sustain, the determination of the colonized too strong to break. The imperialist countries left because they were simply and purely beaten and forced to recognize the autonomy of their colonies.

However, the hexagonal impulse for profit was so imperative that France devised a number of "cooperation" schemes to remain the privileged speculator in the newly independent countries of Africa. French-speaking Africa’s independences in the 1960s did not preclude France from seeking to exploit its former colonies. France’s politics in Africa has consistently been governed by a protectionist itch; an itch that long after the African independences, continues to make France think that it is the Promised Land, its language the quintessential language, and its culture the exemplary culture, and that by indoctrinating Africans to think so to, France can keep on transferring economic resources from Africa to France as natural and expected. Already, during the colonial system, France’s protectionist impulse had mandated free entry of French goods in the French African colonies and imposed tariffs on colonial goods entering France.8 This decision had the obvious consequence of impoverishing the colonies while enriching the metropolis. However, the 1930s recession made it crucial, for France’s economic survival, that French authorities transform the African colonies into consumer markets. France thus eased tariffs on its colonies in order to allow them to sell more easily on French markets, earn money, buy French manufactured goods, and also pay interests on their debts. At the same time, in order to avoid competition from other powers, France imposed quotas on some foreign imports to France and to French colonies. France also forbade its colonies to export certain products to foreign markets, thus forcing those foreign countries to purchase only from France products that would otherwise be available in the colonies.  In addition, France placed duties on some foreign imports competing with colonial goods entering France. These duties ranged from 11% on non-colonial bananas to 110% on cocoa, passing through 34% on peanuts and palm kernels and 91% on non-colonial coffee. Although many analysts have wanted to see this pre-independence "preferential system" accorded to the colonies as having greatly contributed to keeping French Africa afloat during the 1930s economic slump and responsible for what came to be known in the 1980s as the economic miracle of Côte d’Ivoire, evidence disproves it.9 In fact, the market-driven economy that this colonial system fostered provided the colonies with some money, only to be returned tenfold to France. Furthermore, this market economy, which France managed to keep alive long after the African independences, was the source of many economic shocks, as it put French-speaking African nations at the mercy of international speculators.    The preferential economic systems established by France on its own—and later with the cooperation of the E.C., which became the E.E.C in 1975—actually sought to maximize France’s profits by curbing France’s diminishing returns in the colonies. Already in 1959, the French commercial system made it possible for France’s African colonies to consume 28.2% of French exports while contributing to 20% of French imports. These numbers dropped to 7.8% of French exports used by Francophone Africa against 5.9% of French imports coming from Africa. The various conventions (Lomé, Yaounde, Lomé 2), which reinforced France’s economic "cooperation" with its former colonies and later with Anglophone Africa and the ACP states, did little to create real conditions of development for non-European countries. In fact, France maneuvered to exclude "Asian ex-colonies from the ACP states on the ground that they would prove dangerous competitors in a range of industrial products," and the tiny country of Mauritius, a potential competitor in textiles was asked by the E.C. to voluntarily restrain from the ACP.10 The E.C. states, and particularly France, its most aggressive member, did nothing to foster manufactures in Africa. As far as the E.C. was concerned, Africa was to remain an eternal supplier of raw materials; and late 1980s Washington Consensus, with its menu of one-sided depoliticization of the state that opposes social public sector investment in welfare, job creation, environmental protection, healthcare, education, and poverty reduction,11 offered France the blessing of the Bretton Woods institutions to carry on a game that it had been perfecting for so long: that of draining off wealth from Africa under the semblance of reciprocal improvement.

As it turned out, economic globalization as conceived by the Washington Consensus presupposed an international violence. Economic globalization assumes, often on the ground of mere bureaucratic sixth sense and no scientifically dependable instance, that, in order to improve the welfare of human populations, the prescription is to oblige developing countries to fine-tune their economies according to the requirements of Euro-American multinational corporations by way of liberalizations of local markets. The result of this philosophical-economic exercise is that, as was the case in the days of the colonization of Africa, it effectively relocates crises of economic deterioration from North to South. The World Bank and the IMF’s persistence that developing countries open their economies to Foreign Direct Investments has enabled the re-occupation of the countries that have resolved, half a century ago, to determine the course of their particular developments away from the imperial ambitions of Europe. In most cases, globalization has succeeded in reinstating European—and American—imperialism by allowing First World capitalists quasi- ownership of Third World countries through purchases of strategic government-owned enterprises, such as, power, water, and communication companies. The scheme works when "the imperial state bails out banks, investors and speculators and provides political pressure to open markets, sends military expeditions to eliminate alternatives."12 In this grand design of re-colonization disguised as globalization, resistance is ruthlessly squashed by a variety of coercive methods. For the Third World leaders who, against the First World’s schema, try to pursue a populist agenda that advocates national control of their country’s resources and benefits, and who, true to their people, refuse to fall prey to the trap of corruption and the promise of First World lifestyle, "the EHM [Economic Hit Men] game plan includes a full menu of oppositions to ensure compliance, whether willing or not."13 The menu includes subversion of the political process, contact with and corruption of administration and business leaders, corruption of the military, of the media, of trade unions, and of academics, and the stirring of ethnic and religious divergences; a menu that seems to come directly from the handbook of the colonial era, and which begs to be verified against the inventory of treatments that countries like Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Haiti, to cite only these few, have endured for daring to stand against the tripartite collusion of the northern countries, the United Nations and the financial institutions, and their corrupt local political puppets. In Côte d’Ivoire, this threefold conspiracy functioned along the axis of a high-level African IMF executive, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, who doubled as a shady native informant, during his years as prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire, his direct association with French multinationals, Bouygues and Bolloré, and his ties with the Chirac government in France. This web of international relationships is essential for understanding Côte d’Ivoire’s resistance to globalization à la française.

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: FROM ECONOMIC PROSPERITY TO SCARCITY

The 1970s were an age of prosperity in Côte d’Ivoire. The skyrocketing prices on international markets of cocoa and coffee, the country’s main export commodities, had created an astonishing economic boom and established Côte d’Ivoire as the preeminent economic power in the West Africa. Signs of development were visible in all sectors; and economic observers were not shy to compare the Ivorian economic sensation to the Japanese miracle. They were partly right: The Ivorian growth rate was only second to Japan’s. However, this economic boom was heavily dependent on foreign capitals, as it was tied to international speculators’ willingness to pay high prices for coffee and cocoa. Attempts to diversify the economy and launch development programs led the country to borrow external capitals, which were not always well managed. Furthermore, the falling prices of coffee and cocoa in the late 1970s and early 1980s amplified the country’s external debt and led Houphouët to turn to the World Bank and the IMF for loans to stabilize his country’s economy. The period spanning from the mid-1980s to early 1990s was a time of mixed blessings for Côte d’Ivoire’s economy. The exploitation of newly discovered offshore oil reserves had helped alleviate some of the country’s hardships; however, the economic storm was not totally weathered. Amidst rumors of government layouts, people took massively to the streets to protest what they interpreted as the results of the grab for power of the PDCI (party in power). To save his presidency, Houphouët bent to the conditions of the Bretton Woods institutions and invited the IMF economist Alassane Ouattara in April 1990 to chair the Comité Interministériel de Coordination du Programme de Stabilisation et de Relance Economique (Interministerial Committee for Coordination of the Stabilization and Economic Recovery Program), a committee in charge of reflecting on ways to tackle the economic crisis and find adequate solutions. Five months later, an ailing Houphouët appointed Alassane Ouattara prime minister. What happens from April 1990 onward is a series of events that read like a novel.

DOMINIQUE NOUVIAN FOLLEROUX: FEMME FATALE 
Ouattara’s proximity to Houphouët allowed him greater closeness to Ms. Nouvian Folleroux, the woman that would become his wife and most trusted associate in the most rocambolesque financial intrigues to define the political future of Côte d’Ivoire. The circumstances in which Dominique Nouvian was introduced to the epicenter of power in Abidjan are still not very clear today. What is clear is that she became Houphouët’s official mistress and the exclusive administrator of Houphouët’s huge estate and part of the country’s estate. Her new title gave her tremendous name recognition and financial power, even as her benefactor’s popularity at home was declining. Indeed, in the early 1990s a fierce political opposition assailed the ailing Ivorian president, Houphouët. For the first time, the "Old Man," as he was affectionately called in Africa, released his grip on power. Under the pressure of the Bretton Woods institutions and France, he named Ouattara prime minister, legalized opposition parties and promised multiparty presidential and legislative elections in Côte d’Ivoire. The October 28 multi-candidate presidential election confirmed the strength of the opposition, and especially of Houphouët’s old political rival, Laurent Gbgagbo, leader of the socialist Ivorian Popular Front (FPI). According to international observers Gbagbo garnered more than 30% of the votes—though the official ballot count conceded him only 18.3% against 81.7% for the seating president. On November 26, 1990, eighteen opposition parties competed against Houphouët’s PDCI during the parliamentary elections. Houphouët’s PDCI retained 163 of the 175 parliamentary seats. If anything, the contestation of the Old Man’s hitherto absolute power was the confirmation of a new era. Houphouët was a diminished man. Nevertheless, Mrs. Dominique Nouvian Folleroux’s business seemed to suffer no setback at all from Houphouët’s trouble at home; au contraire. Among other things, she sold some of Houphouët’s real estates in France for the amount of 19 million Euros, a transaction that, though suspicious by Ivorian authorities, put her at the center of French big business. She acquired Jacques Desange’s hair saloons in the United States. AICI (Agence Iternationale de la Commercialisation Immobilière), the real estate office that she opened in Abidjan was attracting big clients, as she was making important friends. Her regulars were Martin Bouygues, the French king of concrete, owner at 42.9% of TF1 (the first French TV station drawing more than 31.6% of French TV audiences), owner of LCI, another French TV channel, special guest to Nicolas and Cécilia Sarkozy’s wedding, and godfather of their son Louis Sarkozy; Vincent Bolloré (business partner of Bouygues) king of cigarette paper and media—it was Bolloré who paid the new French president a vacation trip to Malta on his luxurious boat as a congratulation present after the 2006 French presidential election; it was he again who lent his private Falcon 900 to Sarkozy and his then new girlfriend Carla Bruni for their December 25, 2007 vacation trip to Egypt; Dominique Strauss-Khan, former minister of finance of President Mittérand and IMF president since 2007, Bongo, president of Gabon who, like Houphouët before him, has been so close to Dominique Nouvian Folleroux as to also entrust the administration of his real estate and part of his country’s property to the Gabon branch of Mrs. Folleroux’s company AICI, run by her brother Philippe Nouvian. Other patrons of Mrs. Dominique Nouvian Folleroux are Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, and Kadhafi of Libya. Hers was a network of powerful financial friends; the same network that Ségolène Royal, the Socialist candidate to the French presidential election accused on May 4, 2007, of trying to influence French elections by manipulating the news.14 The very network that Ms. Royal was denouncing during the French presidential elections is the association of powerful financial interests that Mrs. Dominique Nouvian Folleroux has been able to weave since she first entered Houphouët’s bedroom in Abidjan. Dominique Nouvian Folleroux was the powerful woman that Alassane Ouattara said to have fallen in love with, as he responded to President Houphouët’s IMF-coerced call for help.

"OUATTARA! OUATTARA! HE’S OUR MAN.  HE CAN’T DO IT, NOBODY CAN!"

Such seemed to be the mindset of the Bretton Woods institutions and big international corporations with financial stakes in Côte d’Ivoire since about the death of Félix Houphouët Boigny, in December 1993. An excellent student of the IMF, where he first worked from 1968 to 1973 before assuming various positions at the BCEAO (Central Ban of West African States), Ouattara was very receptive to the International Monetary Fund’s prescription of Structural Adjustment Programs in Africa despite the burden that these programs put on local populations. 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.

 As far as the World Bank and the IMF were concerned, this question had no bearing so long as the Washington Consensus had a powerful spokesperson in the country that would guarantee the interests of its shareholders. So, under further pressure, the ailing president Houphouët had Ouattara cumulate the portfolios of prime minister, minister of finance, and interim president. During Houphouët’s long sickness and his medical treatment in Europe in 1993, Ouattara ordered that all public receipts (collection of taxes, debts, and returns from the customs, the ports, and even the treasury) be directly deposited in a special account at the office of the prime minister rather than at the treasury, as it was customarily the case. This atypical management style, to say the least, quickly mixed individual assets with state property, and millions of dollars from the public treasury remained unaccounted for, while Ouattara, taking as much as two flights a week to Europe, officially to visit his sick boss—but unofficially on capital flight missions— was tucking enormous sums of money away in personal foreign bank accounts, making him one of the richest men on earth. Ouattara’s mysterious fortune raised some eyebrows, even among his supporters.15 However, Ouattara’s questionable wealth did not cause the slightest shudder among the high priests of morality who, in their immense chairs, in the temples of virtue of 1818 H Street as well as 700 19th Street, in Washington, D.C., were sermonizing the world about good governance and saintliness. Why should they care? Was it not fair that Ouattara be rewarded for being such a great agent to his masters? For Côte d’Ivoire, however, Ouattara’s activities were economically disastrous. During his term as prime minister, Ouattara became one of the biggest actors of capital flight from Côte d’Ivoire toward European banks. As he raided the country’s coffers, he also depleted Africa of much needed resources.

Indeed, capital flight, the bulk of the private assets—and as we have just seen with Ouattara, private and public assets can be easily mixed—that are legally or illegally held in foreign countries outside Africa, is one of the continent’s biggest impoverishers. Capital flight, reported to amount to about US$ 22 billions, is as much as half of the aid that Africa needs for its development programs. Were this money brought back to Africa, it would constitute 64% of Africa’s private capital stock.16 As one of Africa’s biggest capital jetsetters, Alassane Ouattara is, without doubt, and in proportion to the short time he spent as prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire (three years and 1 month), among the leaders who have economically siphoned the continent the most. As the prime minister was busy outsourcing his public function to the businessman in him, thus mixing state capitals with private capitals, Dominique Folleroux—whom Ouattara had by then married during a 1991 ceremony officiated by the former mayor of Neuilly, currently president of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy—was now, against all ethical propriety, lobbying for Bouygues and Bolloré to acquire state-owned EECI (Energie Electrique de Côte d’Ivoire) and SODECI (Société de Distribution d’Eau de Côte d’Ivoire), respectively power and water companies. It did not take long for her clients to obtain satisfaction. These strategic Ivorian companies and others were sold off to Mrs. Dominique Nouvian Folleroux Ouattara’s clients and friends, usually under their market values, sometimes for just one symbolic franc, all against the objection of opposition leaders and even leaders of Ouattara’s previous party (the PDCI). Henri Konan Bédié, at the time president of the National Assembly, fiercely opposed Ouattara’s unethical liberalization in the parliamentary chamber. As a result of Ouattara’s collusion with French businessmen, 27% of the assets of Ivorian enterprises were French-owned; 240 subsidiaries and more than 600 companies belonged to French businessmen; which represented 68% of direct foreign investments in Côte d’Ivoire. The shady investments enabled by Alassane and Dominique Ouattara’s, and which have mortgaged the economic and political future of Côte d’Ivoire, have been widely reported, rightly so, as quid pro quo investments.

 Mr. Michel Camdessus, a Frenchman who was the president of the IMF during the last term, when Alassane Ouattara was vice-president of the IMF, is currently serving as adviser to the French president Jacques Chirac. Of the members of the political parties and groups in Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, an unabashed advocate of IMF policies and an ideologue of the theology of neo- liberalism, and his current wife, a French businesswoman solidly connected with business lobbies, offer the best guarantee to satisfy the conditions for security and profit for the French government, corporations, settlers, and small-enterprise owners who can have a lifestyle of comfort they cannot afford or even imagine to have in France.17

For consenting to the corrupt terms of French business in Côte d’Ivoire at the detriment of the masses, Ouattara is allowed by France to realize his First Worldist jouissance by plundering his country’s coffers undisturbed. This lack of probity on the part of Africa’s most influential economists and leaders ought to be examined in relation to the dire future that their selfish proclivities set up for the continent. Between 1985 and 1998, the net outflows from Africa to developed countries have risen from of US$ 3.6 billion to the alarming amount of US$ 12.5 billion.18 Capital flight by native pillagers has contributed enormously to these outflows. This, of course, has profound depressing incidences on progress. As a result, Africa continues to service huge debts and remains unable to invest in public and private sectors; which in turn erodes, not just poverty reduction projects, but also, the confidence that honorable foreign investors have in the continent; and the cycle of poverty linked to debt servicing and fiscal deficit goes on until the corrupt agents’ facility to ransack is short-circuited. In Côte d’Ivoire, it was Henri Konan Bédié, the institutional heir to the presidency, who put an end to Ouattara’s capital flight activities, but not for long. Ouattara’s Parisian cronies were too determined to maintain their monopoly in the country to see the latter out of the political arena.

HENRI KONAN BÉDIÉ: NOT EXACTLY  THE MAN PARIS HAD DREAMED OF

On December 7, 1993, Houphouët, who for three years had been sidelined by his illness from participating actively in Ivorian politics, passed away in his native village of Yamoussoukro. The Ivorian constitution had a provision for replacing a deceased head of state. Article 11 of the constitution stipulated that in such a vacancy of power, the president of the National Assembly was to assume the duties of head of state until the outcome of new elections. Bédié was therefore the constitutional heir to Houphouët. However, bypassing the legal process, Ouattara proclaimed himself legitimate successor to the presidency. This obvious constitutional hold up provoked uproar at the National Assembly, and during an unscheduled
appearance on national TV, Bédié announced his intent to carry out his constitutional duty by finishing Houphouët’s term.

In the past, during his years as president of the National Assembly, Bédié had been openly critical of Ouattara’s complacent economic liberalism that widely opened the doors to foreign buyouts of strategic companies with very little regard for the country’s security. At the time when French politicians, led by Minister of finance Nicolas Sarkozy, were hammering at employees gatherings and at the French national Assembly that EDF (French state-owned power company) and GDF (French state-owned gas company) were never going to be privatized because of their strategic importance to French economy, Ouattara, the prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire, was selling his country’s power and water companies to the closest friends of the French government.19 What made Sarkozy’s position so tenable in France and so untenable in Côte d’Ivoire? Could it be for the simple reason that one was dealing in one case with a country located in Europe, and in another case with a country located in Africa? It is this lack of moral reciprocity, this kind of utter injustice that the movement of patriotes in Côte d’Ivoire has taken to task. In so doing, their demonstration was also aimed at denouncing the collaborators from within who have betrayed their people for the promise of economic lactification. For, the waves of coup d’état and political instabilities that have succeeded one another in Côte d’Ivoire since 1999 are strangely laden with odors of organic betrayals. Each time Côte d’Ivoire was affected by shockwaves of military blows, Ouattara was the insider that, for the promise of a First Worldist enjoyment, betrayed the loyalty of a country he claimed to love.

Bédié, like Ouattara, believed in economic liberalism. Only insofar as one can speak in relative terms, Bédie’s liberalism, however, was one that was committed to ensuring that his country would not lose total sovereignty to wealthy investors from Europe, or from anywhere else for that matter; and he was working at it by making a number of reforms. Some of the measures that Bédié took in that direction had to do with the thorough identification of the populations living on the Ivorian soil through a systematic census program, the cleaning up the prevalent anarchical land exploitation, and the regulating of landownership. In fact, from the mid- to the late 1990s, Côte d’Ivoire was the second immigration destination in Sub-Saharan Africa, right behind South Africa, with an unusually high immigrant population rate of 27% for 13 million Ivorians. The largest foreign communities were from Mali (2 millions), Burkina Faso (2 millions), Ghana (1.5 millions), Nigeria (500,000), and in smaller numbers from Benin and Togo. Though an agreement among the countries of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) allowed a free circulation and settlement of populations from any member state, the migration to Côte d’Ivoire was almost unidirectional. The important immigrant populations from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, whose main purpose for coming to Côte d’Ivoire was to work the fertile land of the country or to cut and burn trees for the very lucrative charcoal business toward drier countries  (Mali or Burkina Faso) had clashed several times with local populations over issues of landownership, forest fires, and severe national reserve deforestation. In 1999, a land dispute between settlers from Burkina Faso and locals from the region of Tabou (West of Côte d’Ivoire) had caused about 12,000 Burkinabé to flee their lands. This event, which took place a year after the National Assembly adopted a law that would prevent the sale of land to foreigner, invited even harsher criticisms towards Bédie’s reform. Bédie’s land reform did not sit well with his Malians and Burkinabé counterparts. The governments of Mali and Burkina Faso relied heavily for their national income on the money that their expatriates sent from Côte d’Ivoire. They perceived in Bédie’s reform a pretext to dispossess their compatriots of lands they had been exploiting for years, and they also found objectionable the reform’s obvious consequence of depleting their countries of much needed revenues. In their resentment of Bédie’s method, the Malians and Burkinabé could find stronger allies in the French. [T]he old class of French landlords who acquired large portions of land in the southern part of the country often in obscure contexts, with no proper or convincing legal papers stipulating, for instance, the duration of the lease . . . oppose any form of land reform, as it could jeopardize transfer of these lands to their descendants.20  These French landlords and businessmen had seen their privileges increased and consolidated with Ouattara. Under the administration of Houphouët’s prime minister, the status of the state had shifted from that of a governmental institution to the status of a non-governmental organization (NGO)—to use this term by James Ferguson.21 In other words, the prime minister had lost interest in state affairs and had, instead, become a businessman, increasingly drawn to establishing private business deals and building personal wealth to the disadvantage of public welfare. In the context of Bédie’s reform, the question then was whether, after having had a taste of the state of Côte d’Ivoire as a non-governmental institution, with all the advantages that this conversion entailed, France and the neighboring countries of Côte d’Ivoire, notably, Burkina Faso and Mali, were still inclined to see the administration of Côte d’Ivoire return to its rightful condition of a governmental institution committed to the welfare of the masses. This was the challenge that confronted the Bédié government in the mid to late 1990s.

Against this sociological background, it becomes clear that Bédie’s demise—for he was to fall soon—was not the result of mismanagement or hostility to openness. In fact, Bédié was as open to FDIs as Ouattara had been; he was just a little more mindful of the governmental role of the state. The fact that, for the most part, Africa’s openness to international trade and finance has left it at the mercy of insatiable First World capitalists and corrupt Third World collaborators should be less imputable to globalization itself than to the probity of the protagonists in the globalizing enterprise. Globalization has succeeded in places where the actors involved have shown a minimum of moral decency. Available data for Africa in the 1990s shows that countries in North Africa, and South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire had managed a low level of poverty with high level of openness. Côte d’Ivoire’s numbers are 20% of poverty incidence for 40% of openness. Incidentally the data is not distributed on specific years of the 1990s, but it is easy to surmise that the incidence of lower poverty occurred during the Bédié years. Even Bédie’s detractors acknowledged that between 1995 and 1999, Côte d’Ivoire had known economic growth and increase in individual wealth. Furthermore, a Trade Policy Review of Côte d’Ivoire’s trade policies conducted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 4 and 5, 1995, concluded with high praise for Bédie’s government open trade policies and expressed optimism for Côte d’Ivoire’s future.22 Bédie’s demise is just one more evidence that Foreign Direct Investments or private capital flows are not that private after all; Foreign Direct Investments often unleash state intervention, with all its military shock and awe. Whenever a powerful state intervenes to invade a weak state, one can be sure that some private investors from the powerful state, unhappy about their returns in the weak state, have directly or indirectly triggered the military intervention. History is littered with examples where private investors have sent their countries to war to protect or simply to increase their dividends. Bédie’s lukewarm support for French interests was not what France had hoped for. Bédié was a man of France’s, but not their number one man. His zeal for reforms could hurt French interests in Côte d’Ivoire. Ouattara had been more bighearted to French business with his unchecked liberalization and his gré à gré surrender of public corporations to French investors and to his French partners. With Ouattara in power, France was sure to regain its slippery grip on Côte d’Ivoire by continuing to buy under their market values state-owned enterprises and by continuing to get government contracts by bypassing any calls for bids that would put them in competition with investors from the United States, Canada, Japan, South African, China, among others. For the sake of French interests, Bédié had to be deposed.

 Meanwhile, Ouattara, who had returned to the IMF in 1993 upon the Supreme Court’s confirmation of Bédié as legitimate head of state, had been appointed by Michel Camdessus to serve as his deputy chairman of the institution one year later. Though at the IMF, Ouattara had not given up his presidential ambitions; neither was he willing to wait for regular elections to have his chance. The massive foreign electorate constituted by undocumented immigrants from Mali and Burkina Faso, many who had voted before in the one-party system farcical elections that had confirmed and reconfirmed Houphouët by acclamation, and on which Ouattara, too, was relying to win the 1995 presidential race, had been compromised by Bédie’s identification program. Bédie’s identification program required that only established Ivorians should vote in presidential elections, though established foreign residents were still allowed to vote in legislative and municipal elections. Bédie’s land reform as well as his census and civic formation projects fell under the umbrella of what he had termed ivoirité. This notion, whose origin had misleadingly been attributed to Bédié, and which had even more deceitfully been translated as Ivorianness, rather than simply Ivority—as one had spoken of Africanity, Americanity, and Francity elsewhere—was said to have first appeared in 1945 in Dakar at a black students’ conference. Later, in 1974, an Ivorian writer and poet, Niangoran Porquet, used it in an article entitled "Ivoirité et authenticité." Ivorian scholar, Kanvaly Fadiga, defined it as the national consciousness, the common will of brotherly people who have chosen to live together on the Ivorian soil, and share together the same sufferings, the same joys, and the same hopes.

WHY FRANCITÉ BUT NOT IVOIRITÉ?

Ivoirité, as Bédié had recuperated it, was first intended to be, for the more than sixty ethnic communities of Côte d’Ivoire, a signifier of identification, a social glue that would instill in them a more patriotic stance, and consequently a stronger attachment to the state and its institutions as embodying the sum total of all individual nationalistic expressions. This was an essential societal project given the lack of fervor that the Ivorian populations had up till then expressed for the state and state institutions. Côte d’Ivoire was in most Ivorians’ eyes a state-ECOWAS, a sort of Deadwood, but a rich one nonetheless, where any opportunistic member of the 15 ECOWAS nations, and even beyond, would come to seek fortune by all means necessary, with no sincere attachment to the land, but a lucrative one. The people of Côte d’Ivoire had lost faith in their successive governments as really preoccupied with safeguarding their welfare, rather than bending over to live up to an image of sanctuary country by satisfying the caprices of ECOWAS. This situation was exacerbated by Houphouët’s choice, throughout his presidency, of foreign nationals as cabinet members. For instance, Raphaël Saller (France) had been minister of finance and development; Mohamed Diawara (Mali) had been minister of development; Abdoulaye Sawadogo (Burkina Faso) had been minister of agriculture; Hamadou Thiam (Senegal) had been minister of information. To better understand this level of governmental openness and the resulting mass frustration that ensued, Americans would only have to imagine Canadian, Brazilian, Columbian, Senegalese, or Antiguan nationals (who have never been naturalized or who do not even intend to naturalize) occupy posts in the United Sates government, as treasury secretary, HUD secretary, or secretary of health. In the 1980s-1990s a phrase that illustrated the Ivorian distrust in their government and their detachment from public property was the infamous "on s’en fout, ça appartient à l’Etat" (who gives a damn? It belongs to the state), a phrase that would justify any act of vandalism or spoliation of state property.

Bédie’s Ivoirité intended to rectify this mass cynicism. It intended to create the conditions for an allegiance that would no longer be based on ethnic background—as it had until then been the case in the context of the aloof and impersonal state—but rather an allegiance that would be grounded in identification with the nation-state that was created on Independence Day, August 7, 1960. This was nothing novel. In the sphere of cultural contestations, coinages in -ité suggesting allegiance to geographical, national, racial or linguistic origins have abounded. Senghor, the only Black consecrated by France—this France so reactive to ivoirité—in its so elitist French Academy for being so French, thus so right, said in his December 11, 1974 course at the Sorbonne that it was important to struggle, to suffer, and to die, "plus volontiers pour une –ité ou une –itude que pour un –isme" (more readily for an –ity or an –itude than for an -ism)? Curiously, however, it seems that African heads of state have been more willing to struggle, suffer, and die for France’s specificity than their own. An illustrative example is their unashamed gathering around the theme of Francophonie, which, as we learn again from Senghor, is no more no less than a synonym of Francité. In May 1968, during a conference at the University of Beirut, while defending the so-called peaceful and non- imperialistic nature of Francophonie or Francité, Senghor insisted that Francophonie was not a war machine constructed by European imperialism, but a mode of thinking a certain way, a mode of approaching issues and seeking solutions, a spirit of French civilization or Francité. Francophonie, Senghor declared, is Francité; and Francité, he swore had not the slightest imperialistic bent in it, but was merely the expression of French civilization and culture devoid of any political agenda; and while most African leaders accepted the word of this griot of things French that Francité would not harm a fly, yet, the same leaders were quick to condemn ivoirité as a war machine. Today, as in 1968, the most passionate defender of Francité is an African, an ex-Senegalese president, Abdou Diouf. He is the current secretary general of Francophonie. He goes around world capitals selling French culture and civilization and promoting the expansion of French business and policy; and wherever he convenes his annual gathering, a plethora of African leaders follow him—among whom Bongo of Gabon, Wade of Senegal, Toumani of Mali, and Compaoré of Burkina Faso have the privileged seats on the baseline. Lately, however, the proselytizer-in chief of French culture, Diouf, got a blunt reminder that, despite his professed worship of things French, he was specifically an African, and African he would remain. On May 13, 2006, as he was responding to the Canadian government’s invitation to speak in Winnipeg on matters relating to the pseudo-apolitical Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, this easily recognizable towering political figure who travels with a diplomatic passport and a strong following, was stopped and body searched at Toronto Airport. The diplomatic reactions that followed this humiliation of an African politician proved beyond all doubts that Francité, or Francophonie as it is often referred to, was more political than its supporters knew or would admit to know.

President Diouf’s humiliation at Toronto Airport was only symptomatic of the duplicitous nature of the North/South encounter, a reality to which Africans have never been able to respond in a synchronized way because of the North’s successful politics of Divide and Rule, and most importantly, because of African leaders big complex of inferiority. While Senegalese, the most fervent believers of Francité in Africa, were protesting their ex-president’s treatment at Toronto Airport, many Ivorians were chuckling at what they perceived as a fair shock therapy to all the French-African puppets who, like the Senegalese sharpshooters of World War II, were busy fighting France’s war while the French populations were hiding in their basements,23 or the modern native Africans Economic Hit Men who were starving their peoples by selling off their countries’ resources to international multinational corporation in order to enjoy a little bit of white dreams. Ivorians had trouble understanding why, at the same time as Paris, with the support of some African leaders, was prosecuting Abidjan’s successive governments in the media for a so-called maintenance of Ivoirité; the same African leaders were touring the world to promote Francité. As if Francité was the natural expression of their own salvation, Francophone African leaders like Bongo of Gabon, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, and Toumani of Mali, had been more vociferous about French nationalistic interests than they had been supportive of their own national interests.

At least, President Bédié had been aware of cultural-ideological nature of the concept. Having sensed France’s undeclared support for Ouattara just before the 1995 presidential election, Bédié activated against the latter the ideological political dimension of Ivoirité. A modification of the electoral code of Côte d’Ivoire, adopted on November 23, 1994, stipulated that only Ivorians whose parents were both Ivorian- born could run for the presidency. Bédié took this new measure not out of the blue, but precisely because he knew Ouattara. They were from the same generation. They knew where each other came from. They had followed each other’s formation and ascent. They had served for the same international financial institutions, and they knew how and why each one of them was appointed at the various posts they held. Bédié knew Ouattara as much as Ouattara knew him. Bédié knew—and Ouattara had admitted this in a sign correspondence to the Supreme Court of Côte d’Ivoire—that after his high school studies in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Ouattara had benefited from an American scholarship to study in the US as a student from Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). Bédié knew that after his studies in the US, Ouattara first entered the IMF in 1968 under Upper Volta quotas. Bédié knew that Ouattara had obtained his first job at the BECEAO as an Upper Volta representative, and later served as vice-governor of the same institution between 1982 and 1984 as a functionary of Upper Volta (Burkina Faso). Apparently, Bédié was not the only one in the secret; for on August 8, 1984, on page 21 of an article entitled "Monsieur FMI," Béchir Ben Yamhed, the editorial manager of Jeune Afrique, reported that, starting November 1, 1984, the Africa Department of the IMF was going to have a new director; and that Dr. Ouattara, from Upper Volta, would be serving in replacement of Zambian Justin B. Zulu. The Jeune Afrique article even specified that Ouattara was born in Côte d’Ivoire of immigrant parents from neighboring Upper Volta.24 Alassane Ouattara’s Voltaic nationality was no secret to anyone, especially as he exhibited it whenever it served his purpose.

Having evolved in the same professional space as Ouattara, the sphere of international financial institutions, Bédié was well positioned to know, as Jeune Afrique had reported, the nationality of Ouattara. He was an Upper Volta citizen, who took advantage of an American scholarship as an Upper Volta student. He was first recruited at the IMF under the quota reserved for Upper Volta citizens, and later, he served as vice-governor of the BCEAO as a representative of Upper Volta, with an Upper Volta diplomatic passport. In 1985, After his military coup in Upper Volta, Thomas Sankara, the new strongman of Burkina Faso—a country that, unlike Houphouët’s Côte d’Ivoire, was not in the business of appointing foreign citizens as cabinet ministers—offered Ouattara to enter his government as minister of economy and finances, a post that Ouattara, utterly resentful of Sankara’s revolution, disdainfully rejected, preferring to remain at his more prominent and lucrative international position at the BCEAO. Sankara then asked him to resign as the Upper Volta representative. It is at that time that Houphouët, who had a profound aversion for military regimes, especially the ones operating too close to his borders, intervened, and in a taunting gesture toward Sankara’s junta, offered Ouattara an Ivorian diplomatic passport that would keep him at his post.25 In 1988, upon the death of Abdoulaye Fadiga, then BCEAO director, Houphouët twisted the arms of the member heads of state, and imposed Ouattara as the new governor of the institution.  Bédié knew, as another journalist of Jeune Afrique had also reported, that from the time he finished his studies thanks to an American scholarship awarded to him as a Voltaic student, and for the many years to come, Ouattara served in many capacities, in several places (Washington, Paris, Dakar), at several financial institutions (BCEAO, WAMU [West African Monetary Union], ADB [African Development Bank], UNCTAD [United nations Conference on Trade and Development]) and took part in many general assemblies as a Voltaic citizen, equipped with a Voltaic diplomatic passport.26 Bédié knew that by modifying the electoral code to request that both parents of any presidential candidates be Ivorian-born he was arresting Ouattara’s presidential ambition; which he did.

Bédié was a cunningly shrewd politician for changing the electoral rules in the middle of the political process. Ouattara was right to have protested Bédie’s unfair electoral practices. However, he challenged them on the wrong ground. It would have been more honorable of Ouattara to admit that, indeed, he had claimed Voltaic nationality to get a scholarship from the US and later to take advantage of an IMF quota system that favored Voltaic nationals; but that he had changed his nationality since then; and he could have provided documentation to that effect. He could also have maintained that, though his parents were Voltaic, he was born on Ivorian soil; and he could have challenged the Ivorian electoral rule on the ground of his birthplace. Instead, he told two momentous untruths that were totally undeserving of any prospective president. First, he denied, in the face of accumulating evidence that he had ever been a Voltaic national; he maintained that as far as he could remember, he had always had the Ivorian nationality. Secondly he denied that his parents were Voltaic, while his father had been a well-known village chief in Upper Volta. These two fabrications alone were good enough to disqualify any presidential candidate. As Bédie’s operatives started to produce proofs of Ouattara’s deceptions, he left the country for Paris under the pretext that his life was in danger. Bédie’s Justice Department launched against him an international warrant for forgery. Just immediately, there started a vast media campaign that sought to legitimate any unconstitutional blow against the Bédié regime; a media campaign that resuscitated some of Bédie’s formerly ignored shortcomings or simply invented him new ones.

HOW DOES ONE RATIONALIZE A COUP D’ÉTAT?  BY CONDUCTING IT THE NAME OF GLOBALIZATION

In Côte d’Ivoire, the first coup d’état started with demonizing the Bédié regime on two levels. Socially and politically Bédié was to be presented as an insufficient leader who could not be the unifier and leader open to human and capital flows that his predecessor, Houphouët, was. Economically, he was to be proven a reckless manager and an embezzler of public funds whose misconduct was hurting the masses. So, Bédie’s notion of ivoirité served to demonize him as a divider and a xenophobic. Ivoirité, as Bédié had explained, was a formulae meant to synthesize the aspirations of the multiple ethnic groups living within the borders of Côte d’Ivoire. As such, the concept was to encompass not only the autochthonous people of Côte d’Ivoire, but also, the people from all over the world who lived and worked in the country, insofar as they, too, shared and respected the values of the nationals. For Bédié, ivoirité ". . . la synthèse culturelle entre les ethnies habitant la Côte d’Ivoire . . . concerne en premier les peuples enracinés en Côte d’Ivoire mais aussi ceux qui y vivent et y travaillent en partageant nos valeurs." 27 ( . . . the cultural synthesis of the ethnic groups living in Côte d’Ivoire . . . is primarily about the peoples rooted in Côte d’Ivoire but also those who live in the country and share our values.) Nothing in these words could hint to some official anti-immigrant or xenophobic stance, despite the fact that—and it has historically tended to be the case more in France than in Côte d’Ivoire—some frustrated fringes of the populations usually displace the inadequacies of their societies on the presence of foreigners.

Nevertheless, a powerful media campaign led by Ouattara’s operatives successfully disseminated the idea that Bédie’s ivoirité was a recipe to repatriate immigrants from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso; and an apparently credible French press went so far as to link minor occasional conflicts opposing locals to immigrants as direct consequences of ivoirité, thus further exacerbating limited clashes by politicizing them. It did not take long for a country with nearly a 30% immigrant population to be indexed as xenophobic. However, the French Press’ real motive for demonizing Bédie’s regime was elsewhere: Alassane Ouattara, France’s preferred candidate, could not run for the Ivorian presidency on account of his doubtful nationality. Bédié is no saint, one must admit. He is only a politician, and every act he posited was politically calculated. Ivoirité in its political reach could also serve, not only to eliminate Ouattara’s chances at the presidency, but also, to contain the massive electorate from Burkina Faso and Mali on which Ouattara was counting to this effect, and which, fitted with Ivorian national ID cards since the 1970s, had hitherto voted in every election. This electorate was geographically from countries north of Côte d’Ivoire, and religiously more than 90% Muslim. Ouattara wasted no time to coalesce topography and faith to his advantage, launching this designed sentence from his self-imposed Parisian exile, "On ne veut pas que je sois président parce que je suis musulman et nordiste" [They do not want me to be president because I am a Muslim and a Northerner], thus instigating an interethnic and interreligious pandemonium.

There was no reason to link Ouattara’s disqualification to the fate of the five million immigrants that lived in Côte d’Ivoire. Yet, this is what a corrupt and irresponsible national and international media did. For the purpose of the denigration campaign that Bédié was to undergo under the hostile media, Ouattara suddenly condensed all that was foreign and Muslim; and any wrong done to him—either proven or unproven— became automatically a wrong done to any of the five million immigrants or the northern Muslims living in Côte d’Ivoire. Equally, any justice rendered him could be interpreted as justice rendered to the immigrants or northern Muslim populations of the country. Curiously, however, the self-professed certified media that supported Ouattara’s messianic campaign and was eager to impose him to Ivorians as legitimate president glossed over his own admission that he studied with an American scholarship reserved to Voltaic students and carried a Voltaic passport until the age of 42 with a disconcerting carelessness and an unforeseen lack of journalistic rigor.  As one could read in L’Express, A Paris, dans ce bureau de l’agence immobilière que dirige son épouse française, Alassane Ouattara, qui admet avoir été boursier du gouvernement de Haute-Volta et détenteur d’un passeport voltaïque, étale sur une tablette les copies des documents censés confondre ses détracteurs: cartes d’identité parentales, acte de naissance, certificat de nationalité.28  [In Paris, in the office of the real estate agency that his French wife manages, Alassane Ouattara, who admits to have held a scholarship from the government of Upper Volta and a Voltaic passport, displays on a little table copies of documents that are meant to prove his critics wrong: parents identity cards, birth certificate, certificate of nationality.]

Only journalists with premeditated purposes could be so blind as to pass over facts that begged so deafeningly for a minimum of objectivity.
Objectivity, however, was far from being the primary concern in the design to topple Bédié. Whoever has closely followed African politics, on the other hand, will know that African leaders are, in their great majority, corrupt officials, strongly encouraged by greedy northern political and business operatives to steal from their peoples or to embezzle foreign aids with impunity, insofar as these northern officials can be secured enormous benefits. One will recall how former French president Valérie Giscard d’Estaing and his cronies allowed former Central African Republic’s Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa to remain in power for many years so long as he permitted them to plunder the uranium and diamond mines of his country. One will also recall how successive French presidents, from Giscard d’Estaing to Jacques Chirac closed their eyes on the financial follies of dictators like Mobutu from Congo/Zaire, Bongo from Gabon, Eyadema from Togo, Papa and Baby Doc from Haiti, as long as these corrupt leaders made their countries the economic playgrounds of French multinational corporations. The rulers of Côte d’Ivoire, from Houphouët to Bédié, passing through Ouattara and Gueï, have all treaded in the muddy waters of France’s organized crime, whereby they would cede their countries’ resources to France under their market values in return for huge commissions that often came in the form of freedom to embezzle with assurance of no audits; this is, until the crooked leaders start acting like renegades. Bédié offers an interesting case study to this paradigm. Of all the misappropriations of funds in which Bédié and his close associates were involved, there is one that he would always remember the most as the scandal that helped kill his presidency. Between 1992 and 1997, the European Union approved several grants to Côte d’Ivoire; which were earmarked to improving the healthcare system and supporting the country’s decentralization program. Most of the aid vanished in government members’ bank accounts. Between 1992 and 1997, two different governments had been in control in Côte d’Ivoire, the all-powerful government of Prime Minister Ouattara (1990-1993)—which, under an ailing Houphouët, saw the prime minister cumulate the portfolios of interim president and finance minister with that of prime minister—and the Kablan Duncan’s government under Bédie’s presidency (1993-1999). Though the member states of the European Union acknowledged that the misappropriation of the European Union’s grants spanned over a five-year period, which should include at least one year of Ouattara’s administration, curiously, no mismanagement was imputed to the Ouattara government. The reason for this was quite simple. Ouattara had been good to French business in particular and to European interests in general, though at home much had been said and written on the illicit source of his huge personal fortune, on his elitist style, and on his arrogance toward the middle class that his blind support for the IMF and the World Bank’s forced structural adjustment was exponentially pauperizing. Bédié, on the other hand, was becoming an annoyance to France and to the European Union in general. His much-heralded reforms were not to the liking of France. Land reform threatened big French landowners, especially many who acquired their lands through deceitful means. Bédie’s project of identification, by regulating the flow of immigration along the borders of Côte d’Ivoire, threatened France’s own politics of immigration, which sought to keep West Africans away from French borders in particular, and from European coasts in general. For a long time, Côte d’Ivoire had been the basin of African immigration. Many West Africans with dreams of better lives away from home—who could have tried their luck in Europe— had settled in Côte d’Ivoire, and had found in the Ivorian social and economic haven, not only more than the economic prospects they could envisage in France, but also, better social political and religious integration than could be imagined in Europe. So long as these African immigrants could remain in Côte d’Ivoire, they were millions less souls for the European Union’s immigration systems to worry about. Furthermore, Bédie’s identification policy—termed as Ivoirité—was susceptible of disqualifying France’s greatest ally, Ouattara, and thus killing France’s hope of returning the state of Côte d’Ivoire to the status of non-governmental organization (NGO), a status which though disadvantageous to the Ivorian masses, had made so many French businesses wealthy and France’s balance of payments affirmative. So, five years after passively watching successive Ivorian governments indulge, among others, in the spoliation of the European Union’s grants, France was suddenly struck by some pang of conscience and decided to act on behalf of the oppressed masses that were being shortchanged by their leaders.

So, France, leading the European Union, ordered an audit of the management of the grants during 1995 and 1997, which was coincidentally the period concerning only the Bédié government, despite the widely reported fact that the scandal traced as far back as 1992, that is, as far back as the Ouattara administration.29 The audit of very limited scope undertaken by the European Union, though it appeared somehow commendable, was in fact one more artifice in a series of carefully choreographed ruses meant to sully Bédie’s government and justify any military blow to come. The audit, conducted in November and December 1998 by the audit firm 2AC, uncovered that more than $30 millions, of an $88 million package, have gone missing. This revelation coincided with the Cologne (Germany) announcement of debt reduction for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) and caused the European Union to freeze its budgetary help to Côte d’Ivoire. The story of embezzlement of international aid by the Bédié government made a big splash in Europe and was disseminated by all the conceivable French major TV networks and newspapers. Nevertheless, some voices in Europe expressed suspicion about the timing of this revelation.30 The experts of the European Union could not have been blind to the embezzlement going on for five years. They were well aware of the misuse of fund. They just chose to ignore it because the time was not right yet to blow the whistle. Bédie’s misappropriation of international development aid from the European Union became public only when came time to justify a coup against him. The revelation of the scandal coincided with the time when the question of Ouattara’s nationality became a burning issue in Ivorian politics, culminating with Ouattara’s self-imposed exile in France.  Now, Bédié had on his hands, not only multiple not-so-peaceful demonstrations organized by Ouattara’s followers, the ire of the World Bank, the IMF, and the European Union, but also, the incensed populations of Côte d’Ivoire prompted each day by a hostile national media and a French gregarious media that has always mechanically aligned itself with the international policy of French politicians. A few weeks after Ouattara turned up on the doorsteps of his Parisian friends and partners, on December 24, 1999, Bédié was deposed by the military. On January 3, 2000, Bédié went in exile in Paris via Lomé and went to live in his private apartments on rue Beethoven, in the luxurious 16th arrondissement. Ouattara, as for him, returned to Abidjan triumphantly, persuaded that Robert Gueï, the new strong man of Abidjan, who had been his army chief of staff during his days as prime minister, was warming up the presidential seat for him. Ouattara was wrong. General Gueï decided to hold on to power. He promised to maintain excellent relationships with France, honor Côte d’Ivoire financial obligations toward the Bretton Woods institutions, and return power to civilians as soon as he had swept the house and put things in order.

Gueï must have been very reassuring and unthreatening, for not a single time were there talks of French citizens being in danger in Côte d’Ivoire. None of the 20,000 French nationals living in the country was asked to leave by the French authorities. How could they be in danger? After all, was not Gueï close very close, to Ouattara? Was not Ouattara himself the man of the IMF and the World Bank, thus the man of France and of the West in general? In fact, "respectable" French newspapers, like Le Monde and French radio stations, like RFI, were literally dispatching Gueï’s version of the coup, presenting the despot as a hero who was forced by moral imperatives to take power in order to rectify injustices caused by Bédié; and while powerful African leaders like Obasandjo of Nigeria and Mbeki of South Africa saw no reason to justify Gueï’s military coup, and while they were strongly condemning the military overthrow in Côte d’Ivoire as illegitimate and were calling for the restoration of Bédie’s power, France wasted no time, through its minister of cooperation, Mr. Charles Josselin, to recognize the new praetorian regime and to announce its willingness to work with Gueï.

However, Gueï misinterpreted France’s support as a support for him instead of temporary regency of Ouattara’s throne. Mysteriously, the question of Alassane Ouattara’s nationality, which had been a sticking point during the Bédié administration, resulting in Ouattara being disqualified from the 1995 presidential race, and which according to Gueï was at the foundation of the December 1999 coup against Bédié, resurfaced on the occasion of Gueï’s presidential ambition. Like his predecessor, General Gueï pressed Ouattara to settle the issue of his doubtful Ivorian citizenship. On September 12, 2000, Gueï’s lawyers produced some papers intended to disprove Ouattara’s assertion that he had never availed himself of another nationality. Among the papers exhibited were Ouattara’s marriage certificate to an American woman named Barbara Davis, in which he declared himself a citizen of Upper Volta and stated at the time of marriage, in 1966, that his mother was no longer living; a fact that contradicted his earlier declaration that his mother was a living eighty-year-old Ivorian woman by the name of Hadja Nabintou Cissé. There were also a 1978 bank account document and of a 1980 property sale certificate in which Ouattara declared himself to be a citizen of Upper Volta. For Gueï, all these discrepancies spoke more of Ouattara’s immorality and criminal mind than they could shed light on his honesty. Gueï threatened to charge Ouattara with falsification, and once again, the Supreme Court of Côte d’Ivoire rejected Ouattara’s candidacy to the presidential election on the ground of suspicious nationality.

Members of foreign press did not remain silent to this nth injustice perpetrated against the misunderstood savior of the Ivorian flock and took it upon them to lecture the Ivorian people about what great opportunity they were missing by persecuting the great messiah come from the IMF. Nevertheless, unencumbered by the criticisms of international media that have lost all credibility even in the rare cases where they happen to get the news right, General Gueï barred Ouattara from the October 22, 2000 presidential election. As a result, five contenders vied for the presidential seat, General Robert Gueï for the military junta, Laurent Gbagbo for the socialist party FPI, Francis Wodié for the PIT, Mel Théodore for the UDCI, and the independent Nicolas Dioulo. Halfway through the ballot counting, Gueï attempted to load the dice to his advantage by stopping the count and declaring himself the winner while, the early returns had Gbagbo leading the race. Gbagbo’s supporters took to the street to protest Gueï’s coup de force, and with the support of the Defense and Security Forces of Côte d’Ivoire, they drove Gueï to hiding. A few days later, the Supreme Court declared Gbagbo the winner of the presidential race with 59.36% of the votes, against 32.7% for Gueï, 5.7% for Wodié, 1.5% for Mel, and .8% for Dioulo. Ouattara’s RDR contested the results, demanding that the election, which saw only a 37% participation and did not include Ouattara, be redone, this time with Ouattara’s participation. This protest by the RDR remains the Damocles Sword hovering over Gbagbo’s presidency that would be used to rationalize all the conceivable coups bas. Laurent Gbagbo, the saying goes, was elected in calamitous conditions–59% of the votes with a participation rate of only 37%, and above all without Ouattara, the darling candidate of France and of the Bretton Woods institutions, he who, more than anyone else before, made French multinationals in Côte d’Ivoire so wealthy by selling them the country’s strategic companies under the excuse of satisfying a World Bank/IMF program called the Washington Consensus. Therefore, against Gbagbo, all blows are permitted, even the most contemptible ones.

Hardly had Gbagbo been sworn into office than accusations of ethnocentrism and xenophobia started flying his way, and the "crimes" once imputed to Bédié and Gueï became his daily lot. Gbagbo had announced a program that disturbed French interests: Refondation (Reconstruction). It is true that the greatest distinguishing feature between imperial rule and independent government is the externality of the former. In colonial societies, the power to rule was taken away from local populations and entrusted to another state with which these populations had absolutely nothing in common. All happened as if "the ability to decide a country’s destiny, its collective mind, had been cut out surgically and transplanted into another mind in London, Paris, Brussels, The Haye or Washington;"31 a fact which in the France-Africa relationship, and for what concerns here, in the France-Côte d’Ivoire relationship, had persisted throughout all the governments that had preceded the Gbagbo administration. Gbagbo had decided that the transfer of power, thought, and responsibility from Côte d’Ivoire to the metropolis that had hitherto defined the France-Africa relation and made French African governments non-governmental organizations at the sole service of France’s interests with no regard to the interests of the Ivorian people had to come to an end through political, economic, and social purgative Refondation. Refondation was meant to dig into the foundation of the Ivorian society in order to correct the structural flaws that were slowing or impeding progress and, thus, undermining the social growth of the Ivorian people.32 Economically, among other resolutions, Refondation wanted to review the terms of renewal of a number of conventions ceded to France multinationals under their market values by the Ouattara government, conventions the clauses of which French firms had hardly abided by, and which were to fortunately come to expiration around 2004. Among these were the exploitation of Côte d’Ivoire Telecom conceded to France Telecom, the exploitation of Côte d’Ivoire’s power (EECI) and water (SODECI) companies conceded to Bouygues, the exploitation of the railway system conceded to Bolloré, and which was in dire need of modernization. Refondation also meant reassessing some construction contracts by which French firms were fleecing the Ivorian economy by overpricing their services. For instance, the contract of a third bridge to be built in Abidjan was ceded to the French Bouygues, although a Chinese company (COVEC) would build the same bridge for 1/3 of the price and would accept part of payment as exchange in coffee and cocoa. In a word, Economically speaking, Refondation was to liberate the Ivorian economy by doing away with France exploitative and manipulative "friendship," which had not changed since the days of the colonial exclusif—this French policy whereby French colonies could only buy from France and sell to France at prices fixed by France—in order to stretch a hand to all who were willing to be partners of good faith rather than abusing speculators, as has usually been the case with France. It was obvious that if such reassessing was to happen, the pressure exerted by France on Côte d’Ivoire cede all its development deals to French multinationals without any bid for contracts would be fruitless; and French firms would henceforth have to openly compete with other multinationals (American, British, Canadian, Chinese, Japanese, South African, etc.) for a chance to obtain contracts in Côte d’Ivoire. This could be economically hazardous for France, especially as 2005 was announcing new privatizations, such as the privatization of the Ivorian oil refining company (SIR) and number two Ivorian cellular phone company TELECEL. In an open competition, French multinationals, which have proven in the past to be driven by no other concerns but exponential returns at all cost, would have very little chance of securing further contracts in Côte d’Ivoire. Actually, in an open competition, French multinationals risked losing everything to Americans, British, Canadians, or South African, Japanese or Chinese.

Perhaps, after all, Refondation’s pretensions were only a tale, the bluff of a nostalgic socialist out of touch with the realities of the moment. Perhaps, France had nothing to fear from Refondation, as Gbagbo had practically inherited a country on its knees, a country that, because of the disastrous politics of the PDCI in the previous forty years, was more dependent than ever on international aid, and especially on France. Without France, its colonial and post-colonial guarantor, where could Refondation get the money it needed for its program of development? After all, the devaluation of the CFA, the depreciation of coffee and cocoa, the country’s two major exports, the European Union’s and the World Bank/IMF’s refusal to lend any more money to Côte d’Ivoire after the Bédié administration’s much-publicized financial scandal had left Côte d’Ivoire no other alternative than to be on the good side of France, which could then intercede with international financial institutions to garner some much-needed loans and grants on behalf of Abidjan. Gbagbo could not be serious. He could not run the risk of losing France’s support at such a crucial moment by threatening French multinationals’ monopoly in Côte d’Ivoire. Gbagbo had anticipated the dilemma of not receiving any external financial help. To remedy it, he initiated a measure of austerity that consisted in working at eradicating poverty with a secured budget (a budget that could not rely on any external help); he named it le budget sécurisé.  Also, he undertook to fight corruption in taxes and at the customs. Gbagbo’s determination, earnestness, and visible success caused the World Bank to unconditionally return to doing business with Côte d’Ivoire. In 2002, the IMF, the European Union, and the African Development Bank followed suite. This made it possible for Abidjan to have the necessary financial resources to implement its program of Refondation. France’s fear started to materialize, especially as to signal France’s loss of esteem in Côte d’Ivoire and Refondation’s resolve to rectify its cooperation with France, and with all partners for that matter, a South African Company had just beaten French Bolloré at a bid for the construction of a new airport in San Pédro, south-west of Côte d’Ivoire. French multinationals had no intention of competing fairly with other countries.

In the past, it had been easy for France to buy influences in French Africa by financing the campaigns of politicians sympathetic to French interests or by bribing local officials. Refondation was undercutting this practice and leaving French multinationals, which hitherto garnered enormous dividends for France’s economy, at the mercy of other international competitors. France had no intention of loosening its grip on Côte d’Ivoire, the wealthiest former French colony in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, Côte d’Ivoire’s stance, if left unchallenged, could be infectious. Other French financial havens could start questioning the validity of their "cooperation" with France; and should they, like Côte d’Ivoire, have the audacity to voice the anomalous makeup of that cooperation, France-Africa relations could be in great danger of vanishing forever. This was not about to happen, for, as Koureyssi Bâ observed so fittingly, the French policy in Africa, characterized by deceit, lawlessness and violence, remains unchanged no matter which party is in power in Paris. Furthermore, France can always rely on the servile devotion of its puppets and its docile locals informants who do not care about their legacy in history, and who are ready to draw a dagger into the back of any brother who dares to say no to the master.33 Ouattara, who had dreamed of being president of Côte d’Ivoire at all cost, had no problem driving the dagger in the back of Laurent Gbagbo, France most annoying killjoy in Africa. Convinced that France would back any subversive coup against Gbagbo, this is what Ouattara had to say in 2001 to a freshly elected group of mayors from his party:

 Nous n’attendrons pas 5 ans pour aller aux élections. Après tout, dans certains pays, il y a des coups d’Etat et les gens s’accomodent bien de ces personnes pendant une certaine période. Nous avons des monarchies dans le monde et les gens acceptent bien qu’une personne non élue représente le peuple dans sa totalité. Pourquoi devrions-nous attendre 5 ans pour que vous ayez ce à quoi vous avez droit et surtout ce que les populations réclament ? Nous avons certaines relations extérieures. Nous avons commencé à les actionner. J’aimerais vous dire aussi que nous avions convenu avec le maire Adama que nous aurons des réunions périodiques pour qu’ensemble, nous puissions développer assez rapidement une stratégie pour la conquête du pouvoir.34   [We will not wait 5 years to go to the elections. After all, in some countries, there are coups d'État, and people get used to the situation after a while. We have monarchies in the world, and people accept that a person who has not been elected represent the country in its totality. Why should we wait 5 years before you get what you deserve, especially when the populations are asking for it? We have external contacts. We have started to activate them. I would also like to tell you that with Mayor Adama we have agreed to have periodic meetings so that, very quickly, we can all develop a strategy for the conquest of power.] 

So, in the night of September 19, 2002, France triggered one of its bloodiest punitive campaigns against Côte d’Ivoire. A group of deserters from the Ivorian army, who had been training in neighboring Burkina Faso, simultaneously hit the cities of Bouaké and Abidjan with a brutality never experienced in the country. More than 100 unsuspecting members of the Ivorian defense forces in Bouaké were executed in their beds along with their families. Scores of wandering civilians were shot. Emile Boga Doudou, the Ivorian minister of interior who had just returned from a visit to his French homologue Sarkozy a day earlier, a visit during which he had raised the question of Ivorian deserters being trained in neighboring Burkina Faso, was executed in his bed, along with members of his family and his domestics. General Gueï, the former president and his wife were assassinated. It was a night of carnage. Gary K. Busch has detailed the operational organization of that atrocious nightly attack on Côte d’Ivoire.
In September 2002 about 650 rebels loyal to General Robert Gueï, attacked both Bouaké and Abidjan from neighboring Burkina Faso while Gbagbo was in Rome to meet the Pope. Their operation was supposed to last five days maximum. They were hoping to seize power and force Gbagbo to exile; but they were ill armed and disorganized, and soon the defense force of Côte d’Ivoire cornered them and reduced them to half. It was then that the commander of the French army in Côte d’Ivoire requested a cease-fire so that he could evacuate the French citizens and a few American nationals living in Bouaké. During the 48 hours allotted the French army, three Antonov-12 flew from Franceville (Gabon) to supply the rebels in armament. Other planes and truck brought in armament and mercenaries from Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the rebel force, which was previously estimated at 320 troops, grew to 2500 mercenaries armed with kalachnikovs and other weapons that had never been part of the Ivorian armory. The French army also supplied the mercenaries with sophisticated communication equipments that kept them always aware of the movements of the Ivorian defense troops. The French then retreated gradually leaving the rebels in charge with Eastern Europeans mercenaries as technical advisers. Once the rebels were well positioned, Chirac then activated the international pressure machinery through the United Nations to obtain a resolution entrusting France with a peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire.35 While tergiversations were taking more time than needed at the United Nations, the rebels were multiplying their fronts not just in the Northern part of the country, but also in the Western parts, recruiting more mercenaries from Samuel Doe’s civil war troops as well as mercenaries from the RUF in Sierra Leone. The rebels’ indiscriminate killing and raping of thousands of children, elderly, and women led to mass exodus toward Yamoussoukro and Abidjan. Gbagbo had dared to defy France, and France had launched against his regime the biggest firepower ever delivered on Côte d’Ivoire. Now the United Nations, through the Security Council, could play its partition by blessing France’s direct intrusion in the country.

Yet, Gbagbo’s Refondation was not merely a rumination posture against France. Evidently it intended to rectify Côte d’Ivoire’s anomalous relationship with France. The rosy economic definition of liberalization that treats Foreign Direct Investment as ". . . a decentralized process wherein each foreign company takes the investment decisions of the others as beyond its control . . ."36 is exploded in French Africa. There, nothing is meant to remain beyond the control of French multinationals whose barons have vouched to filter all non-French multinational investments’ access to the continent to the point of reducing them to nothing. "Exploding" is not just a figure of speech, as the daily conflagrations caused by heavy French artillery and the frequent turning out of black corpses scare Anglo-Saxon and Asian investments out of French Africa, while France remains curiously present before, during, and after the cannon roars. From the perspective of most French investors in Africa, Foreign Direct Investment should have nothing to do with each firm forming ". . . an expectation about the host country’s eventual trade policy and [evaluating] the profitability of its own potential foreign investment accordingly."37 Instead, the host country should be bomb-pressured to accepting the level of protection and the terms of profitability dictated by France. It is unfortunate that, in economic circles, the kinds of quid pro quo foreign investments that have made French multinationals and a few corrupt nationals wealthy while impoverishing most Africans by a relocation of their economic resources are still treated as epiphenomenal or isolated episodes involving a small number of disreputable industrialists. French multinationals’ brutal practices in Africa are systemic, and they ought to be examined as such. The much-publicized Elf-Aquitaine affair has now shown that French multinationals’ dirty economic practices run deep into the French government no matter which party is in power. Gbagbo’s Refondation was principally a program of poverty reduction through a distribution to the masses of healthcare and education services and the creation of jobs; a program that fell well within the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for Africa. The French-supported rebellion put Gbagbo’s poverty reduction program at a standstill, and the passion with which Koffi Anan’s United Nations defended the French actions and supported France’s subsequent direct intervention in Côte d’Ivoire was mind-boggling. The victim was presented as the victimizer, and the victimizer was made both judge and Jury of the victim. This collaboration of African leaders such as Ouattara and Kofi Anan with a brutal European force against their people, though revolting, nevertheless has an explanation. In all times, Africa has had local collaborators who enabled the exploitation and impoverishment of the continent by Western powers, so long as these local informants could be left to collect a few morsels alongside their plundering Western masters. At the time of the question of Côte d’Ivoire, Kofi Anan had his own scandals at the United Nations hovering over his head, and the oil for food humiliation in which his son, using the father’s influence, was deeply involved, and for which Anan needed France more than ever to testify on his behalf. This could only happen if he took care of France’s interests in Africa, no matter what the consequence could be for the African people. Anan and Ouattara were only repeating an ancient gesture called North/South collaboration. Unfortunately, It would be utterly hypocritical for anyone who unreservedly condemns the resistance organized by the Ivorian Patriotes to pretend to speak in favor of poverty reduction and growth in the Third World, and especially in Côte d’Ivoire. It is obvious that France’s gangster-like intervention in Côte d’Ivoire has undermined progress by any theory of economics. I shall point to some of the consequences of France’s disquieting intrusion in Côte d’Ivoire as they relate to the armoring of the most pessimistic economics theories for the Third World and the undercutting of all development theories ever to cast any promising outlooks on poor countries.38

To proponents of dependency theory—the theory that winners and losers are two inevitable sides of the same coin of development39—the Chiraquian martial incursion in Côte d’Ivoire to protect lamenting French multinationals terrified of international competitions makes factual the hypothesis that as economic trade grows between rich and poor nations, global income inequality grows, too. In the kind of liberal commerce that, in the wake of the Washington Consensus, has characterized the "exchanges" between Côte d’Ivoire and France, and in which the French government and the French army, following an age-old tradition, have figured more like bullying middlemen than state institutions, profits have been unashamedly unidirectional. So, this explaining that, the convergence theory—the theory claiming that someday, in a happy future, the last shall meet the first, and that rich countries will experience dwindling returns and be caught up by poor countries—is belied. If the economic trends, as we observe them today, keep up, convergence theory becomes, for the proponents of global equality, wishful thinking, an unrealizable fancy. The impossible possibilization of convergence theory is pushed even further back into the dominion of bleakness by the doing of rich countries that have specialized in altering, in poor countries, all the control variables in which advocates of endogenous growth have invested so much optimism. How so?

Against convergence theorists’ pessimistic outlooks for rich countries and optimistic perspectives for poor countries, proponents of endogenous theory would argue that humanity is only at the beginning of useful discoveries, and therefore, rich countries will always be able to subvert the menace of diminishing resources and remain dominant just by the significance of the scientific, technological innovations that they make at home. This is possible because rich countries have traditionally been able to control certain variables, such as, fertility rate, level of human capital (education), and government spending. These controlled variables are referred to as conditional factors. Traditionally, the control for these variables has been absent in poor countries. So then, the factors that come to be known in rich countries as conditional convergence factors (insofar as the conditions for their control are present) become unconditional convergence factors in the Third World (insofar as the condition for their control are absent). No one, however, would dispute the fact that conditional and unconditional convergence factors are not natural occurrences. They do not respectively appear in rich and poor countries by Devine design. They are not the making of an omnipotent Big-Other who assigns them, in that order, to civilized capitalist societies on the one hand, and to primitive territorial populations on the other hand. Conditional and unconditional convergence factors are not inherently attributed to one group of people who are in control of all their intellectual faculties as opposed to another group subjected to lobotomy. Conditional and unconditional convergence factors are created and manipulated by greed, ruthlessness, and brutality, which are not necessarily signs of intelligence. Therefore, before proponents of endogenous theory rest assured that any responsibility for failure and economic decline is entirely organic, perhaps, it would be wise to situate responsibility. On the levels of human capital and government spending, the multiple muscled interventions of France in West Africa have always, intentionally, turned conditional and unconditional factors on their heads in a theatrical diagram that made perfect sense for France while disturbing any prospect of planned development for the African nations. This viciously masterful manipulation made conditional factors unconditional for national social engineers while at the same time keeping them conditional for French business. Bare Hands Victory becomes enlightening in disclosing France’s responsibility in that regard; but Bakaba’s documentary can only expose the symptoms of a bigger infection in Africa. In Bare Hands Victory, Côte d’Ivoire is but a case study of a more pervasive hexagonal will to power determined to make profits by all means necessary.

Is it only by killing Africa’s human capital that the rest of the world could give the black continent a chance of turning the tides of global inequality? France seems resolved to spin the grim images of Ivorian youth falling under French multinationals’ hired guns into a neo-classical resolution of income inequality; one which would eerily assert, on account of the role of population growth in the race for development, that "we are saving them from themselves." If growth is a race between increases in population and capital stock, this pessimistic-optimist argument would thus go, then, wars—which have been more exogenous than endogenous in French Africa—by their ensuing effects of population decrease, will lead to better distribution of wealth in Africa. How depressing! And how disingenuous, too, to link the slaughter of the dynamic and educated force of a country to its chances for progress! In fact, until an international outcry puts an end to the incendiary practices of the hired armies of imperial nations, the butchering of the young brains of Africa will continue to widen the technological gaps between North and South—one of the major causes of global inequality—and maintain an East-West-West-East-bound spread of technology and industrialization. It is not by accident that most Third World countries, claim appurtenance to the Orient when they cannot establish their belonging to the Occident.40 Have not theorists of economic geography told us that the Occident, with its temperate climate and smoother terrains, is blessed by the gods and has all the best prospects for development? Nevertheless, has African geography really been a hindrance at any time in history for opportunists resolute to plunder the riches of the African continent? Have not European explorers, as far back as the sixteenth century, defied the negative endowments of Africa and pushed deep into the heart of darkness to dig up Africa’s iron ores, its gold, its diamond, to cut its timber, to bleed its rubber trees, to remove its elephants’ defenses, to practice their shooting ability on its game? Have not European speculators designed ingenious methods to transfer Africa’s human capital and riches to the Occident despite Africa’s much-heralded negative endowments? Why has Europe become so paradoxically impotent when it came to developing infrastructures in the continent that would benefit African populations? And what to say of this so-called poor continent that yet continues to stir up so much interest in greedy multinationals? Geography and poverty have nothing to do with the underdevelopment of Africa. In fact, to be fair, Africa is victim of its wealth and a globalization gone mad.

NOTES
1 Sidiki Bakaba, director, Bare Hands Victory (Abidjan: Kepri Creations, 2005).

2 See, The Washington Times, Special International Report Prepared by The Washington Times Advertising Department, July 2, 1999

3 Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African

4 J.D. Fage, A History of Africa (London: Routledge, 1995), 334.

5 Ibid., 327.

6 Jules Ferry, "Les fondements de la politique coloniale," discours prononcé à la Chambre des députés: le 28 juillet 1885

7 H. L.Wesseling, Divide and Rule: The Partition of Africa, 1880-1914, trans. Arnold J. Pomerans (Westport: Praeger, 1996), 200-203.

8 Much of the discussion here is inspired by D. K. Fieldhouse’s The West and the Third World (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1999), 99-105.

9 Actually, as Fieldhouse notes, evidence points to the contrary. All of black Africa within the European Community’s preferential economic system in the 1980s had a lower per capita growth rate than South Asian countries which were not part of the system (105).

10 Ibid.

11 Richard Falk, Predatory Globalization: A Critique (Malden: Polity Press), 131.

12 James Petras, and Henry Veltmeyer, "World Development: Globalization or Imperialism?" in Globalization and Antiglobalization: Dynamics of Change in the New World Order, ed. Henry Veltmeyer (Burlington: Ashgate, 2004), 18.

13 Steven Hiatt, editor, "Global Empire: "The Web of Control," in A Game as Old as Empire: The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption (San Francisco: Berret-Koehler, 2007), 12- 29. 14http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/speciales/elysee_2007/20070504.OBS5597/segolene_royal_denonce_les_ liensentre_sarkozy_bouygues_.html

15 Xavier Harel, Interview with Ahmadou Kourouma, in Politique Internationale, Issue 98 (Winter, 2003), http://www.politiqueinternationale.com/revue/read2.php?id_revue=13&id=223&content=texte&search= (accessed on January 19, 2008).

16 Alemayehu Geda, and Abebe Shimeles, "Openness, Trade Liberalization, Inequality and Poverty in Africa," in Flat Wold, Big Gaps: Economic Liberalization, Globalization, Poverty & Inequality, eds. Jomo K. S., and Jacques Baudot, 297-326 (London: Zed Books, 2007), 304.

17 Assié-Lumumba, and Lumumba-Kasongo, "Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in the French and Global Capitalist System," in Africa Update, vol. X, Issue 4 (Fall 2003).

18 Alemayehu and Geda, 305.

19 Had not Sarkozy, as French minister of finance and industry, reassured EDF and GDF union members worried about privatization prospects in the following terms on April 4, 2004?
EDF et Gaz de France ne seront pas privatisées. Pourquoi? Parce que EDF et Gaz de France ne seront pas et ne seront jamais des entreprises tout à fait comme les autres . . . du fait de leur importance pour l’indépendance nationale, de leur rôle dans le service public de l’électricité et du gaz.
[EDF and GDF will never be privatized. Why? Because EDF and GDF will not be and will never be ordinary companies . . . given their importance for national independence, given their roles in public distribution of electricity and gas.]
See http://sarkozyblog.free.fr/index.php?2004/04/04/108-rencontre-avec-les-syndicats-edf

20 Assié-Lumumba, and Lumumba-Kasongo, "Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in the French and Global Capitalist System," in Africa Update, vol. X, Issue 4 (Fall 2003)

21 James Ferguson, Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 39.

22 The review concluded that
Members congratulated Côte d’Ivoire on its pursuit of macroeconomic stabilization and trade liberalization, and noted the positive effects registered to date. They nonetheless encouraged Côte d’Ivoire to make additional commitments and bind more tariffs so as to ensure that current reforms continue. Participants expressed their conviction that the consolidation of reforms in the goods and services sectors would attract new investment and ensure sustained economic growth. See World Trade Organization, "Trade Policy Reviews: Second Press Release and Chairperson’s Conclusions Côte d’Ivoire: July 1995, http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/tp9_e.htm

23 In a letter to his family, Frantz Fanon expressed his regrets of choosing to fight for France during WW2, complaining that he was wrong to enroll to fight for the freedom of French people while French farmers themselves were not ready to fight for their liberty. See Black Skin, White Masks (videorecording)

24 Jeune Afrique, issue 1231 (August 8, 1984), p. 21

25 H. K. Bédié, Les chemins de ma vie, (Paris: Plon, 1999), 50.

26 Francois Soudan, "Ouattara est-il ivoirien?" (13 juin, 2000), http://www.jeuneafrique.com/jeune_afrique/article_jeune_afrique.asp?art_cle=LIN13063ouattneirio0

27 Ibid., 44.

28 Vincent Hugeux, "Quand la Côte d’Ivoire joue avec le feu," http://www.lexpress.fr/info/monde/dossier/cotedivoire/dossier.asp?ida=418738&p=2

29 See Jérôme Dupuis, and Jean-Marie Pontaut, "Mains basses sur l’aide européenne," April 6, 2000, http://www.lexpress.fr/info/monde/dossier/cotedivoire/dossier.asp?ida=418736:
Où ont disparu les 180 millions de francs que l’Union européenne a versés à la Côte d’Ivoire? Cette aide, destinée essentiellement au programme de santé, a été systématiquement détournée entre 1992 et 1997, comme l’attestent plusieurs audits récents de la Commission européenne et un rapport accablant de l’Inspection des finances ivoirienne, dont L’Express a pris connaissance [[What happened to the 180 million francs that the European Union disbursed to Côte d'Ivoire? This money especially earmarked for healthcare has been systematically diverted between 1992 and 1997 as indicated by several recent audits by the European Commission and a report of the Ivorian finance inspection obtained by L'Express.]
30 Ibid.
Il est scandaleux que les députés européens n’aient pas été informés de ces détournements, qui concernent des secteurs aussi sensibles que la santé. Je ne comprends pas que la délégation sur place et les quatre experts du Fonds européen de développement détachés auprès de l’administration ivoirienne n’aient rien vu. Cela pose un problème de compétence. A moins qu’il n’y ait d’autres explications [It is outrageous that the members of the European Parliament had not been informed of these embezzlements that touch such sensitive sectors as health. I cannot understand how the delegation on the ground and the four experts of the European Development Fund assigned to the Ivorian administration did not detect anything. This raises a question of competence. Unless some other explanations exist.]

 31 David Kenneth Fieldhouse, The West and the Third World: Trade, Colonialism,  Dependence and Development (Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1999), 72

32 Pr. Mamadou Koulibaly, La guerre de la France contre la Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan: La Refondation, 2003), p. 4.

33 Interview by Abdou Salam Diop, in “L’Harmattan” No 854-9056, January 2, 2005, http://www.midici.com/

34 Ibid.

35 La guerre de la France, 11-14.

36 Gene M. Grossman, and Elhanan Helpman, Interest Groups and Trade Policy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002) 235.

37 Ibid.

38 Much of my discussion here will rely on Glenn Firebaugh’s summary of the theories of world stratification as he laid them out in The New Geography of Global Income Inequality (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003),170-84.

39 Firebaugh, 170.

40 See Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Wonders of the African World (videorecording)

Pourquoi faut-il que tout ce que Dramane Ouattara et sa clique touchent se transforme en un désastre ?

l'échangeur de la Riviera: vieilli dès sa livraison

l’échangeur de la Riviera: vieilli dès sa livraison

Hier encore, nous dénoncions le peinturlurage de l’Université FHB surfacturé à 110 milliards de francs au contribuable ivoirien, l’autoroute du Nord qui, tombant en décrépitude, avait fait des dizaines de morts avant d’être officiellement ouverte, le pont Nzuéba qui semblait avoir été conçu et construit par des apprentis bâtisseurs sortant tout droit d’une kermesse bien arrosée ou d’un jubilé dans l’un des nombreux fumoirs du Dramanistan.

Aujourd’hui, c’est pour un échangeur de la Riviéra déjà démodé et désuet avant sa livraison que les griots du dictateur d’Abidjan ont sorti leurs darboukas.

Les efforts de Dramane pour s’approprier les travaux pour lesquels le président Gbagbo a trouvé les financements nécessaires avant son transfert à la Haye ne se sont soldés que par des échecs. Dans une Côte d’Ivoire déjà balafrée, encrassée, polluée, et maculée par l’indiscipline que Dramane a importée, le dictateur et ses rattrapocrates continuent d’encourager l’insubordination, la vulgarité, la grossièreté et l’abjection morale en surfacturant des édifices de reproduction de chaos et de violence.

ailleurs, elles se traçaient dès 1936 ...

ailleurs, elles se traçaient dès 1936 …

Une route, ça se trace au moins, afin d’infuser aux automobilistes et aux piétons un minimum de discipline et leur offrir un tant soit peu de sécurité. Cela, les « émerzers » du Dramanistan, trop occupés à faire des économies au détriment de la sécurité des usagers, ne l’ont pas compris. Tant pis si ces mouroirs à peine achevés deviennent des pièges pour le contribuable ivoirien !

Et pourtant, ailleurs, les routes qui ont survécu le temps sont celles qui ont été construites par des visionnaires. Il est plus facile d’entretenir une route dans laquelle l’on a investi intelligence, énergie et clairvoyance qu’une route construite dans la précipitation, la malhonnêteté, et la cupidité.

Déjà en 1936, les ingénieurs de cette voie rurale qui passe à quelques encoignures de ma rue l’avaient compris, qui ont bâti un édifice qui aujourd’hui encore résiste au test du temps.

1936-2014, cette route de campagne de 78 ans se porte mieux que le tout dernier échangeur des rattrapocrates

1936-2014, cette route de campagne de 78 ans se porte mieux que le tout dernier échangeur des rattrapocrates

Depuis leur arrivée au pouvoir, les rattrapocrates ont pris des habitudes de voyageurs. Ils voyagent beaucoup, mais leurs grands yeux ne voient que le superflu, les parfumeries, les

boutiques d’habilleurs et les concessionnaires de voitures. Et puis, ils reviennent patauger dans le p’tit bain de la piscine génétique sans avoir profité de la moindre expérience affirmative.

Dommage qu’au Dramanistan, ce qui importe soit moins la solidité des édifices que les profits illégaux que l’on en tire par leur surfacturation.

C’est pourquoi en voyant hier dans une vidéo le ministre de la construction de Dramane et toute sa smalah bouffonner sur un site de logements sociaux à Bingerville, je me suis demandé le cœur meurtri quel autre ghetto ces hommes sans vision se préparaient encore à servir aux Ivoiriens.

(vidéo) Charles Blé Goudé depuis sa cellule de la DST

La sauce bonne pour l’oie ne l’est-elle pas aussi pour le jars ? M. Frindéthié

ToungaraAvec la crise énergétique et les délestages intempestifs qui sévissent en Côte d’Ivoire, les Ivoiriens ont plus d’une fois aperçu Adama Toungara, le « ministre du pétrole, des mines et de l’énergie » de Dramane Ouattara, flanqué du très belliqueux Amadou Soumahoro, dans un ballet de sensibilisation des populations du Nord, afin que celles-ci s’acquittent de leurs factures d’électricité restées impayées depuis 2002.

Si l’agitation de Toungara provoque chez nous une franche hilarité, c’est tout simplement en ce qu’elle révèle le manque de clairvoyance et l’immaturité politique des rattrapocrates ; car ce sont bien eux, qui dans leur haine aveugle du président Gbagbo, ont inculqué aux populations du Nord cet incivisme économique qu’ils se dépatouillent aujourd’hui à leur faire désapprendre. C’est bien la clique à Ouattara qui en 2002 insistait qu’afin de mettre à mal la politique de développement du Président Gbagbo, les populations du Nord s’abstiennent de payer leur factures d’électricité et d’eau. Et pendant dix ans, les rattrapocrates s’étaient bien réjouis que les populations du Sud supportent à elles seules le fardeau économique de l’incivisme auquel s’étaient habitué le Nord.

Et lorsque le 14 décembre 2010, du haut de sa tribune de président de la Chambre de Commerce, un Jean-Louis Billon titillé par la partialité de plus en plus explicite de la France et de L’ONU dans la crise ivoirienne, fermait les yeux sur le racket dans le Nord par les adjoints de Dramane, et appelait paradoxalement sur RFI, les sociétés exerçant sur le sol ivoirien à un incivisme fiscal, les invitant à ne pas s’acquitter de leurs impôts, les rattrapocrates avaient bien applaudi.billon

Et si les rattrapocrates ont dansé le Goumbé hier lorsqu’une moutonnerie en liesse répondait en chœur à leurs appels répétés au sabotage de l’économie ivoirienne, pourquoi refusent-ils donc de danser le Goumbé aujourd’hui aussi, lorsque la moutonnerie, toujours enivrée au spiritueux du désordre social et économique, continue de parfaire la leçon d’incivisme qu’ils lui ont si bien apprise. Pour faire mieux dans la chaosmogonie de la Rattrapcratie, ne serait-il pas juste qu’au Sud aussi, comme au Nord, l’on apprenne à ne pas payer ses factures d’électricité et d’eau ; que l’on apprenne à ne pas s’acquitter de ses impôts, surtout en ces temps où les factures élevées continuent d’arriver malgré la sécheresse des robinets et les nuits ténébreuses? Car la sauce bonne pour l’oie ne l’est-elle pas aussi pour le jars ?

Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council regarding threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, New York, 24 September 2014

LavrovColleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Terrorism has been growing stronger ideologically and financially and expanding through a connection with transnational organised crime, support from the drug business, seized oil deposits and extremist ideas, including ideas on religious and ethnic grounds. Terrorism is becoming an indivisible part of regional conflicts.

ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the ANF (the Al-Nusrah Front) and other terrorist cells have long been growing in the Middle East. They have acquired additional opportunities for their criminal activity due to the weakening, including with foreign assistance, of state institutions and the support of various foreign sponsors. Having grown stronger, extremist groups are threatening the future of whole nations, as evidenced by the example of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The next targets are Lebanon, Yemen, Mali and the Central African Republic.

Russia has consistently advocated closer international cooperation to cut short all kinds of terrorism and to renounce dual standards and the division of terrorists into “good” and “bad.” All states must faithfully implement the decisions of the UN Security Council that provide for preventing the instigation of terrorism and blocking illegal oil trade, approve sanctions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda and impose an arms embargo on Libya. Russia has supported Resolution 2170, which aims to strengthen the sanctions regime against terrorists in Syria and Iraq. These documents are evidence of the ability of the UN Security Council to agree on issues of fundamental importance and to take coordinated decisions based on the UN Charter.

The intervention of Iraq, the bombing of Libya and foreign support for extremists in Syria have aggravated the issue of foreign militants fighting in the terrorist organisations in many countries of the Middle East, Africa and the Afghan-Pakistani border regions. We need a comprehensive approach that will include the financial, institutional, social and ideological elements of this problem and will ensure respect for the sovereignty of all states. Russia supported the initiative of the US presidency of the UN Security Council for adopting a resolution to pull the plug on the operation of foreign terrorist militants.

At the same time, we would like to warn against the temptation to restrict the issue, because the Islamic State with its inhuman ideology and disgusting executions of journalists is far from the only threat in the region.

We need to launch a comprehensive analysis of the issue of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa in all its dimensions. We propose convening a representative UN-sponsored forum of all countries in the region, the African Union, the Arab League, the permanent UN Security Council members and other concerned parties. The agenda of this forum should also include older conflicts, the largest of which is the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is widely believed that the failure to settle the Palestinian issue over the past decades is one of the main reasons why terrorists continue to receive “moral support” and recruit new members.

Russia is urging you to look at the deep roots of regional problems rather than deal only with their symptoms. We are willing to cooperate on an equal basis, starting with an honest cooperative analysis to identify the reasons behind the problems and to find a way out of this chaos.

Thank you.

 

Remarks by President Obama in Address to the United Nations General Assembly

ObamaPRESIDENT OBAMA:  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen:  We come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

Around the globe, there are signposts of progress.  The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted, and the prospect of war between major powers reduced.  The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half.  And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.

Today, whether you live in downtown Manhattan or in my grandmother’s village more than 200 miles from Nairobi, you can hold in your hand more information than the world’s greatest libraries.  Together, we’ve learned how to cure disease and harness the power of the wind and the sun.  The very existence of this institution is a unique achievement — the people of the world committing to resolve their differences peacefully, and to solve their problems together.  I often tell young people in the United States that despite the headlines, this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, to be free to pursue your dreams.

And yet there is a pervasive unease in our world — a sense that the very forces that have brought us together have created new dangers and made it difficult for any single nation to insulate itself from global forces.  As we gather here, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa and threatens to move rapidly across borders.  Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition.  The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness.

Each of these problems demands urgent attention.  But they are also symptoms of a broader problem — the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world. We, collectively, have not invested adequately in the public health capacity of developing countries.  Too often, we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.  And we have not confronted forcefully enough the intolerance, sectarianism, and hopelessness that feeds violent extremism in too many parts of the globe.

Fellow delegates, we come together as united nations with a choice to make.  We can renew the international system that has enabled so much progress, or we can allow ourselves to be pulled back by an undertow of instability.  We can reaffirm our collective responsibility to confront global problems, or be swamped by more and more outbreaks of instability.  And for America, the choice is clear:  We choose hope over fear.  We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort.  We reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs.  We choose to work for the world as it should be, as our children deserve it to be.

There is much that must be done to meet the test of this moment.  But today I’d like to focus on two defining questions at the root of so many of our challenges — whether the nations here today will be able to renew the purpose of the UN’s founding; and whether we will come together to reject the cancer of violent extremism.

First, all of us — big nations and small — must meet our responsibility to observe and enforce international norms.  We are here because others realized that we gain more from cooperation than conquest.  One hundred years ago, a World War claimed the lives of many millions, proving that with the terrible power of modern weaponry, the cause of empire ultimately leads to the graveyard.  It would take another World War to roll back the forces of fascism, the notions of racial supremacy, and form this United Nations to ensure that no nation can subjugate its neighbors and claim their territory.

Recently, Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order.  Here are the facts.  After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt president fled.  Against the will of the government in Kyiv, Crimea was annexed.  Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands.  When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days.  When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.

This is a vision of the world in which might makes right — a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different.  We believe that right makes might — that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones, and that people should be able to choose their own future.

And these are simple truths, but they must be defended. America and our allies will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy.  We will reinforce our NATO Allies and uphold our commitment to collective self-defense.  We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and we will counter falsehoods with the truth.  And we call upon others to join us on the right side of history — for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.

Moreover, a different path is available — the path of diplomacy and peace, and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold.  The recent cease-fire agreement in Ukraine offers an opening to achieve those objectives.  If Russia takes that path — a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people — then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges.  After all, that’s what the United States and Russia have been able to do in past years — from reducing our nuclear stockpiles to meeting our obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to cooperating to remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons.  And that’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again — if Russia changes course.

This speaks to a central question of our global age — whether we will solve our problems together, in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect, or whether we descend into the destructive rivalries of the past.  When nations find common ground, not simply based on power, but on principle, then we can make enormous progress.  And I stand before you today committed to investing American strength to working with all nations to address the problems we face in the 21st century.

As we speak, America is deploying our doctors and scientists — supported by our military — to help contain the outbreak of Ebola and pursue new treatments.  But we need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders.  It’s easy to see this as a distant problem — until it is not.  And that is why we will continue to mobilize other countries to join us in making concrete commitments, significant commitments to fight this outbreak, and enhance our system of global health security for the long term.

America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue, as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them.  And this can only take place if Iran seizes this historic opportunity.  My message to Iran’s leaders and people has been simple and consistent:  Do not let this opportunity pass.  We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.

America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations.  But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law.  That’s how the Asia-Pacific has grown.  And that’s the only way to protect this progress going forward.

America is committed to a development agenda that eradicates extreme poverty by 2030.  We will do our part to help people feed themselves, power their economies, and care for their sick.  If the world acts together, we can make sure that all of our children enjoy lives of opportunity and dignity.

America is pursuing ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions, and we’ve increased our investments in clean energy. We will do our part, and help developing nations do theirs.  But the science tells us we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every other nation, by every major power.  That’s how we can protect this planet for our children and our grandchildren.

In other words, on issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule book written for a different century.  If we lift our eyes beyond our borders — if we think globally and if we act cooperatively — we can shape the course of this century, as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age.  But as we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail so much progress, and that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.

Of course, terrorism is not new.  Speaking before this Assembly, President Kennedy put it well:  “Terror is not a new weapon,” he said.  “Throughout history it has been used by those who could not prevail, either by persuasion or example.”  In the 20th century, terror was used by all manner of groups who failed to come to power through public support.  But in this century, we have faced a more lethal and ideological brand of terrorists who have perverted one of the world’s great religions.  With access to technology that allows small groups to do great harm, they have embraced a nightmarish vision that would divide the world into adherents and infidels — killing as many innocent civilians as possible, employing the most brutal methods to intimidate people within their communities.

I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism.  Instead, we’ve waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces — taking out their leaders, denying them the safe havens they rely on.  At the same time, we have reaffirmed again and again that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam.  Islam teaches peace.  Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice.  And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them, there is only us — because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.

So we reject any suggestion of a clash of civilizations. Belief in permanent religious war is the misguided refuge of extremists who cannot build or create anything, and therefore peddle only fanaticism and hate.  And it is no exaggeration to say that humanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along the fault lines of tribe or sect, race or religion.

But this is not simply a matter of words.  Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment.  Moreover, this campaign against extremism goes beyond a narrow security challenge.  For while we’ve degraded methodically core al Qaeda and supported a transition to a sovereign Afghan government, extremist ideology has shifted to other places — particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where a quarter of young people have no job, where food and water could grow scarce, where corruption is rampant and sectarian conflicts have become increasingly hard to contain.

As an international community, we must meet this challenge with a focus on four areas.  First, the terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded and ultimately destroyed.

This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria.  Mothers, sisters, daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war.  Innocent children have been gunned down.  Bodies have been dumped in mass graves.  Religious minorities have been starved to death.  In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.

No God condones this terror.  No grievance justifies these actions.  There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil.  The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.  So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.

In this effort, we do not act alone — nor do we intend to send U.S. troops to occupy foreign lands.  Instead, we will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities.  We will use our military might in a campaign of airstrikes to roll back ISIL.  We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground.  We will work to cut off their financing, and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region.  And already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition.

Today, I ask the world to join in this effort.  Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can.  Those who continue to fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone.  For we will not succumb to threats, and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build — not those who destroy.  So that’s an immediate challenge, the first challenge that we must meet.

The second:  It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL.

It is one of the tasks of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world.  No children are born hating, and no children — anywhere — should be educated to hate other people.  There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they’re Jewish, or because they’re Christian, or because they’re Muslim.  It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source, and that is the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.

That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate.  It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down.

That means contesting the space that terrorists occupy, including the Internet and social media.  Their propaganda has coerced young people to travel abroad to fight their wars, and turned students — young people full of potential — into suicide bombers.  We must offer an alternative vision.

That means bringing people of different faiths together.  All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all great religions:  Do unto thy neighbor as you would do — you would have done unto yourself.

The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day.  Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies — Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose:  “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”  Look at the young British Muslims who responded to terrorist propaganda by starting the “NotInMyName” campaign, declaring, “ISIS is hiding behind a false Islam.”  Look at the Christian and Muslim leaders who came together in the Central African Republic to reject violence; listen to the Imam who said, “Politics try to divide the religious in our country, but religion shouldn’t be a cause of hate, war, or strife.”

Later today, the Security Council will adopt a resolution that underscores the responsibility of states to counter violent extremism.  But resolutions must be followed by tangible commitments, so we’re accountable when we fall short.  Next year, we should all be prepared to announce the concrete steps that we have taken to counter extremist ideologies in our own countries — by getting intolerance out of schools, stopping radicalization before it spreads, and promoting institutions and programs that build new bridges of understanding.

Third, we must address the cycle of conflict — especially sectarian conflict — that creates the conditions that terrorists prey upon.

There is nothing new about wars within religions.  Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict.  Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery.  It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East.  And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife.  So let’s be clear:  This is a fight that no one is winning.  A brutal civil war in Syria has already killed nearly 200,000 people, displaced millions.  Iraq has come perilously close to plunging back into the abyss.  The conflict has created a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists who inevitably export this violence.

The good news is we also see signs that this tide could be reversed.  We have a new, inclusive government in Baghdad; a new Iraqi Prime Minister welcomed by his neighbors; Lebanese factions rejecting those who try to provoke war.  And these steps must be followed by a broader truce.  Nowhere is this more necessary than Syria.

Together with our partners, America is training and equipping the Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrorists of ISIL and the brutality of the Assad regime.  But the only lasting solution to Syria’s civil war is political — an inclusive political transition that responds to the legitimate aspirations of all Syrian citizens, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of creed.

Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass.  But there is no other way for this madness to end — whether one year from now or ten.  And it points to the fact that it’s time for a broader negotiation in the region in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies.  I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.

My fourth and final point is a simple one:  The countries of the Arab and Muslim world must focus on the extraordinary potential of their people — especially the youth.

And here I’d like to speak directly to young people across the Muslim world.  You come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder.  Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.

You have demonstrated that when young people have the tools to succeed — good schools, education in math and science, an economy that nurtures creativity and entrepreneurship — then societies will flourish.  So America will partner with those that promote that vision.

Where women are full participants in a country’s politics or economy, societies are more likely to succeed.  And that’s why we support the participation of women in parliaments and peace processes, schools and the economy.

If young people live in places where the only option is between the dictates of a state, or the lure of an extremist underground, then no counterterrorism strategy can succeed.  But where a genuine civil society is allowed to flourish — where people can express their views, and organize peacefully for a better life — then you dramatically expand the alternatives to terror.

And such positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith.  We see this in Iraq, where a young man started a library for his peers.  “We link Iraq’s heritage to their hearts,” he said, and “give them a reason to stay.”  We see it in Tunisia, where secular and Islamist parties worked together through a political process to produce a new constitution.  We see it in Senegal, where civil society thrives alongside a strong democratic government.  We see it in Malaysia, where vibrant entrepreneurship is propelling a former colony into the ranks of advanced economies.  And we see it in Indonesia, where what began as a violent transition has evolved into a genuine democracy.

Now, ultimately, the task of rejecting sectarianism and rejecting extremism is a generational task — and a task for the people of the Middle East themselves.   No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds.  But America will be a respectful and constructive partner.  We will neither tolerate terrorist safe havens, nor act as an occupying power.  We will take action against threats to our security and our allies, while building an architecture of counterterrorism cooperation.  We will increase efforts to lift up those who counter extremist ideologies and who seek to resolve sectarian conflict.  And we will expand our programs to support entrepreneurship and civil society, education and youth — because, ultimately, these investments are the best antidote to violence.

We recognize as well that leadership will be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.  As bleak as the landscape appears, America will not give up on the pursuit of peace.  Understand, the situation in Iraq and Syria and Libya should cure anybody of the illusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the main source of problems in the region.  For far too long, that’s been used as an excuse to distract people from problems at home.  The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace.  And that’s something worthy of reflection within Israel.

Because let’s be clear:  The status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable.  We cannot afford to turn away from this effort — not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world will be more just and more safe with two states living side by side, in peace and security.

So this is what America is prepared to do:  Taking action against immediate threats, while pursuing a world in which the need for such action is diminished.  The United States will never shy away from defending our interests, but we will also not shy away from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights — the notion that peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of a better life.

I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within its own borders.  This is true.  In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.  So, yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions.  And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

But we welcome the scrutiny of the world — because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems, to make our union more perfect, to bridge the divides that existed at the founding of this nation.  America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, or even a decade ago.  Because we fight for our ideals, and we are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short.  Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary.  Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy — with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and every religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and their circumstances and their countries for the better.

After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world.  Because I have seen a longing for positive change — for peace and for freedom and for opportunity and for the end to bigotry — in the eyes of young people who I’ve met around the globe.

They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share.  Eleanor Roosevelt, a champion of the UN and America’s role in it, once asked, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?  In small places,” she said, “close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.  Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.”

Around the world, young people are moving forward hungry for a better world.  Around the world, in small places, they’re overcoming hatred and bigotry and sectarianism.  And they’re learning to respect each other, despite differences.

The people of the world now look to us, here, to be as decent, and as dignified, and as courageous as they are trying to be in their daily lives.  And at this crossroads, I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done.  We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we’re prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come.  I ask that you join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s.

Thank you very much.

Russians Laugh at Obama After He Rips Them on Ukraine at UN, Greg Richter

laughing at ObamaMembers of Russia’s U.N. delegation laughed after President Barack Obama criticized their country for recent incursions into Ukraine in his speech before the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin can be seen on video covering his mouth, laughing, and tapping the arm of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who also is laughing.

"Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition," Obama told the Assembly. "We call upon others to join us on the right side of history — for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions."

Russian troops took over the Crimean region of southern Ukraine earlier this year, and in recent weeks have crossed the Russia-Ukraine border to assist separatist rebels. The White House has increased sanctions on Russia repeatedly, but Republican critics have said the United States should help arm Ukraine, among other actions.

Obama on Wednesday urged a "path of diplomacy and peace and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold." He called the recent cease-fire agreement in Ukraine an opening to achieve that objective.

"If Russia takes that path – a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people – then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges," he said.

Source: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/speech-Russians-laugh/2014/09/24/id/596731/

Mes Questions aux Tirailleurs Sénégalais, M. Frindéthié (30 janvier 2012)

Pour vous, prétendues élites africaines, tirailleurs sénégalais des temps modernes, qui hier encore vous réjouissiez des interventions occidentales en Libye et en Côte d’Ivoire, j’ai ces questions : vos peuples sont-ils mieux lotis qu’ils l’étaient avant l’assassinat de Kadhafi et la déportation de Gbagbo ? Vos rues en sont-elles plus certaines et vos nuits plus paisibles ?  Vos écoles en sont-elles mieux équipées et vos enfants mieux instruits ? Vos femmes en sont-elles mieux soignées et vos marchés plus fournis ? Votre presse en est-elle plus affranchie et la parole plus émancipée ? La démocratie en est-elle plus expansive et vos prisons moins suffocantes ? Vos peuples en mangeront-ils mieux ce soir ? En boiront-ils mieux ce soir ? En verront-ils mieux ce soir ? Ou bien, pis que naguère, chercheront-ils à tâtons, dans l’obscurité et les frayeurs de la nuit, un point d’eau qui n’existe pas, une pitance qui n’arrive pas, pendant que vous, auguste bouffon d’un gala, soupant à la table du « Grand Blanc », continuez d’exhiber à votre hôte votre sourire imbécile de Nègre insoucieux, repu et satisfait ?

Comprendre le supplice du PDCI, M. Frindéthié (publié le 30 avril 2013)

schizoidC’est vers les premiers schizoanalystes que nous dûmes nous tourner, dans notre désir de comprendre le supplice du PDCI, ce grand enfant de soixante ans, qui se fait entuber, se fait violer, se fait  fouetter par ce tout jeune führer du RDR, et qui toujours, tel un mouton de panurge, suit tout bonnement le RDR, et continuera à suivre niaisement jusqu’en 2015. Et ce qu’il nous fut donné de voir, ce fut le programme bien élaboré de l’esclave et de sa dominatrice, lorsqu’immobilisé sur l’autel de son supplice, le PDCI en redemandait encore et encore :

« Maîtresse, 1) tu peux me ligoter sur la table, solidement serré, dix à quinze minutes, le temps de préparer les instruments ;

2) Cent coups de fouet au moins, quelques minutes d’arrêt ;

3) tu commences la couture, tu couds le trou du gland, la peau autour de celui-ci au gland l’empêchant de décalotter, tu couds la bourse des couilles à la peau des cuisses. Tu couds les seins, mais un bouton à quatre trous solidement sur chaque téton. Tu peux les réunir avec un élastique à boutonnière. Tu passes à la deuxième phase :

4) tu as le choix soit de me retourner sur la table, sur le ventre ligoté, mais les jambes réunies, soit de m’attacher au poteau seul, les poignets réunis, les jambes aussi, tout le corps solidement attaché ;

5) tu me fouettes le dos les fesses les cuisses, cent coups de fouets au moins ;

6) tu me couds les fesses ensemble, toute la raie du cul. Solidement avec du fil double en arrêtant chaque point. Si je suis sur la table, tu m’attaches alors au poteau ;

7) tu me cravaches les fesses cinquante coups ;

8) si tu veux corser la torture et exécuter la menace de la dernière fois, tu enfonces dans les fesses les épingles à fond ;

9) tu peux alors m’attacher sur la chaise, tu me cravaches les seins trente coups et tu enfonces les épingles plus petites, si tu veux tu peux les faire rougir au réchaud avant, toutes ou quelques-unes. Le ligotage sur la chaise devrait être solide, et les poignets dans le dos pour faire ressortir la poitrine. Si je n’ai pas parlé des brûlures, c’est que je dois passer d’ici quelque temps une visite et que c’est long à guérir – et 2015 n’est pas bien loin »

Peur, sadisme inversé, ou tout simplement "lo péi avanche" ?

Comprendre la crise ivoirienne (3e partie), M. Frindéthié

flagPourquoi la Francité et pas l’Ivoirité?

L’ivoirité pour Bédié était une colle sociale pour les 60 communautés ethniques vivant en Côte d’Ivoire, un signifiant d’identification censé les unir en leur instillant une fibre patriotique, et par conséquent un attachement plus prononcé à l’Etat et à ses institutions comme incarnant la somme totale de toutes les expressions nationales individuelles. C’était un projet sociétal essentiel étant donné le manque d’enthousiasme que les Ivoiriens avaient naguère exprimé à l’endroit de l’Etat et des institutions étatiques. Pour la plupart des étrangers vivant en Côte d’Ivoire, le pays était un Etat-CEDEAO, une sorte d’eldorado où l’on venait chercher fortune par tous les moyens, sans attachement sincère à la terre. Le peuple de Côte d’Ivoire avait perdu foi en ses gouvernements successifs, qui semblaient se préoccuper plus du bien-être des étrangers que des Ivoiriens eux-mêmes. La situation était exacerbée par l’attitude du président Houphouët, qui n’hésitait pas à inclure dans ses gouvernements des ministres de nationalités étrangères. Par exemple, Raphaël Saller (un Français) avait été ministre des finances et du développement ; Mohamed Diawara (un Malien) avait été ministre du développement ; Abdoulaye Sawadogo (un Voltaïque) avait été ministre de l’agriculture ; Hamadou Thiam (un Sénégalais) avait été ministre de la communication. Dans les années 1980, une expression qui illustrait ce malaise ivoirien envers l’Etat était la fameuse phrase « on s’en fout ; ça appartient à l’Etat », qui accompagnait tout acte de vandalisme et de spoliation de la chose publique.

            L’ivoirité de Bédié entendait corriger ce cynisme ivoirien. Elle entendait réformer cet état d’esprit, en créant les conditions d’une allégeance, non plus fondée sur la base ethnique, comme cela était le cas dans la situation de l’Etat impersonnel et détaché du peuple, mais plutôt une allégeance fondée sur une identification à l’Etat-nation créé le 7 août 1960. Dans la sphère des contestations culturelles, les néologismes en -ité et –itude suggérant une allégeance à l’origine nationale, géographique, linguistique ou raciale étaient bien courants. Senghor, le premier Noir consacré dans l’élitiste Académie française disait lui-même, dans son discours du 11 décembre 1974 à la Sorbonne, qu’il était important de lutter, de souffrir et de mourir « plus volontiers pour une –ité ou une –itude que pour un –isme ». Curieusement, cependant, il semble que les chefs d’états africains sont plus prompts à lutter, à souffrir et à mourir pour la spécificité de la France que pour la leur. Un bel exemple de cet état d’esprit est l’assemblée annuelle humiliante qu’ils organisent autour de la notion de la francophonie, qui comme nous dit encore Senghor dans sa conférence de mai 1968 à l’Université de Beyrouth, n’est qu’un synonyme de la francité. Et ce même Senghor de nous dire, la main sur le cœur, que la francité ou la francophonie n’est pas une machine de guerre ni d’oppression construite par l’impérialisme français, mais plutôt un mode de penser, une façon particulière d’appréhender les problèmes et de leur trouver des solutions, un esprit de la civilisation française. Si la francophonie ou la francité n’est pas un instrument d’oppression, pourquoi voudrait-on donc que l’ivoirité en soit un ? Si les chefs d’état africains acceptent et célèbrent chaque année la francité, pourquoi ont-ils mis Bédié au pilori pour sa célébration de l’ivoirité ? Pourquoi les chefs d’état africains se font-ils les griots de la francité plutôt que ceux de leurs propres –ités ?

            Aujourd’hui, comme en 1968, le défenseur le plus passionné de la francité est un ex-chef d’état sénégalais, Abdou Diouf. Il est le démarcheur mondial du fromage, de la baguette, et de la civilisation française. Et partout où il va vendre sa francité, il est accompagné d’une pléthore de chefs d’état africains, qui se bousculent pour avoir une place d’honneur au premier rang. Cependant, le 13 mai 2006, Diouf, ce nouveau prosélyte de la Francité se fit dire à l’aéroport de Toronto, où il était en transit pour une conférence à Winnipeg, que Nègre il était, Nègre et inférieur il resterait. Diouf subit une fouille au corps, tel un vulgaire suspect. Mais qu’avait-il donc cru ? Qu’en chantant à longueur de journée la beauté de la France, ses zébrures noires se perdraient dans une rosée de lait ? L’humiliation de Diouf à l’Aéroport de Toronto était symptomatique de la duplicité dans les rapports Nord/Sud, une duplicité à laquelle les Africains n’ont jamais su répondre de manière coordonnée à cause de la politique réussie du  diviser pour régner, mais plus précisément à cause de leur complexe d’infériorité légendaire. Pendant que les Sénégalais, les plus fervents croyants de la francité, protestaient l’humiliation faite à leur ancien chef d’état, les Ivoiriens riaient sous cape, estimant qu’ils l’avaient bien mérité, à trop vouloir lécher du cul blanc. Car le Sénégal, avec le Mali et le Burkina Faso, fit partie de ceux qui le plus s’en prirent à Bédié pour sa politique d’ivoirité. L’événement de Toronto confirmait une chose. La francité n’était pas innocente. Elle avait une dimension idéologique, politique et impérialiste. L’on comprenait aisément pourquoi, à la suite de la France, les Africains s’attelaient à démanteler l’ivoirité.

L’ivoirité, comme la francité, avait une portée politique, que Bédié, en bon politicien, activa le 23 novembre 1994 par la modification du Code Electoral, lorsqu’il se rendit compte de l’amour un peu trop inhabituel que la France exhibait pour Ouattara juste avant les élections de 1995. Désormais, ne seraient candidats que les Ivoiriens de père et de mère ivoiriens.

Bédié connaissait bien Ouattara. Economiste lui-même, il avait suivi le parcours de Ouattara. Tous les deux avaient servi dans les mêmes institutions internationales ; et ils savaient tous les deux dans quelles circonstances s’étaient faites leurs ascensions. Bédié connaissait Ouattara autant que Ouattara le connaissait. Bédié savait—et cela, Ouattara lui-même l’avait admis dans une déclaration signée à la Cour Suprême de Côte d’Ivoire—qu’après ses études au Lycée de Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) et de Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Ouattara avait bénéficié d’une bourse américaine réservée aux étudiants voltaïques, en tant qu’étudiant voltaïque. Bédié savait qu’après ses études aux Etats-Unis, Ouattara était rentré au FMI en 1968 en tant que représentant de la Haute Volta, grâce au quota réservé à la Haute Volta. Bédié savait que Ouattara avait obtenu son premier poste à la BECEAO en tant que représentant de la Haute Volta, et que plus tard, entre 1982 et 1984, Ouattara avait servi à la même institution comme vice-gouverneur au titre de fonctionnaire de la Haute Volta. Apparemment, Bédié n’était pas le seul dans le secret, car le 8 août 1984, à la page 21 d’un article titré « Monsieur FMI », Béchir Ben Yamhed, l’éditorialiste de Jeune Afrique, rapportait que le département Afrique du FMI avait un nouveau directeur, le Burkinabé Ouattara, qui venait en remplacement du Zambien Justin B. Zulu. L’article de Jeune Afrique était même plus précis, qui spécifiait que Ouattara était né en Côte d’Ivoire, de parents immigrants de la Haute Volta. La nationalité voltaïque de Ouattara était un secret de polichinelle. Il la brandissait toutes les fois que cela l’arrangeait, mais s’empressait de la renier quand cela ne l’arrangeait pas. Bédié le savait. Il savait que Ouattara était un Voltaïque, qui avait étudié aux Etats-Unis grâce à une bourse réservée aux étudiants voltaïques, qui avait servi dans plusieurs institutions financières en tant que fonctionnaire voltaïques muni d’un passeport diplomatique voltaïque.

En 1985, après son coup d’état militaire, Thomas Sankara, le nouvel homme fort du Burkina Faso demanda à Ouattara d’être son tout nouveau ministre de l’économie et des finances. Ouattara refusa la proposition de son compatriote, préférant son poste plus stable et plus juteux de la BCEAO. Sankara exigea alors que Ouattara démissionne du poste qu’il occupait au nom du Burkina Faso. C’est alors que Houphouët, dédaigneux du gouvernement militaire de Sankara, offrit à Ouattara un passeport diplomatique ivoirien et, pour narguer Sankara, joua de son autorité pour que Ouattara conserve son poste. Bédié en parle dans Les chemins de ma vie, qui écrit : «Le président Houphouët lui avait accordé un passeport diplomatique quand il avait des difficultés avec les autorités du Burkina Faso. Il servait alors à la Banque centrale, commune aux sept États d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Un passeport diplomatique, vous savez, n’est pas une pièce d’état civil ». En 1988, lorsque Abdoulaye Fadiga, le patron de Ouattara à la BCEAO mourut, Houphouët tordit encore le bras aux autres chefs d’état pour que Ouattara le remplaçât comme le nouveau gouverneur de l’institution. Bédié savait, comme l’avait d’ailleurs rapporté un autre journaliste de Jeune Afrique, que Ouattara avait occupé plusieurs postes, à plusieurs endroits (Paris, Washington, Dakar), dans plusieurs institutions en tant que voltaïque. Bédié savait que Ouattara était voltaïque : «[Alassane Dramane Ouattara] était burkinabé par son père et il possédait toujours la nationalité du Burkina Faso, il n’avait donc pas à se mêler de nos affaires de succession ». Bédié savait qu’en réformant le Code électoral pour exiger que tout candidat aux présidentielles soit ivoirien de père et de mère ivoiriens, il éliminait la candidature de Ouattara, celui par qui la France entendait l’écarter. C’est ce qu’il fit.

            Bédié venait de changer les règles du jeu électoral en plein milieu du jeu. Ouattara avait raison de s’en plaindre. Mais il aurait été plus honorable que Ouattara challengeât Bédié en dénonçant en justice ses pratiques peu orthodoxes ou bien en produisant les preuves de sa nationalité ivoirienne sur le droit de sol. Au lieu de cela, Ouattara dit deux mensonges monumentaux qui ne faisaient pas honneur au fauteuil présidentiel qu’il voulait tant occuper : d’abord, Ouattara nia avoir jamais profité de la nationalité voltaïque ; ensuite il renia ses parents en leur niant la nationalité voltaïque, alors que son père était bien un chef de village bien connu en Haute Volta. Et lorsque les avocats de Bédié commencèrent à produire des preuves du parjure de Ouattara, il courut se réfugier à Paris. Bédié lança alors contre Ouattara un mandat d’arrêt international pour faux et usage de faux. C’est à ce moment que s’intensifia la campagne médiatique française anti Bédié. Dans le but de légitimer un coup d’état contre Bédié, les amis français de Ouattara ressuscitèrent les péchés de Bédié ou lui inventèrent simplement de nouveaux péchés. (à suivre)

Comprendre la crise ivoirienne (2e partie), M. Frindéthié

Henri Konan Bédié : pas exactement l’homme dont avait rêvé Paris

Le 7 décembre 1993 le président Houphouët, qui avait été tenu loin de la politique par sa longue maladie, mourut dans son village natal de Yamoussoukro. La constitution ivoirienne prévoyait un tel cas de vacance du pouvoir. L’article 11 de la constitution ivoirienne stipulait que le président de l’Assemblée nationale assumerait les fonctions de chef d’état jusqu’à l’organisation de nouvelles élections Bédié était donc l’héritier constitutionnel d’Houphouët. Cependant, contournant tout processus légal, Ouattara s’autoproclama Président de la République de Côte d’Ivoire. Ce holdup constitutionnel ne dura que quelques heures, le temps pour Bédié d’apparaître à la télévision pour revendiquer son droit et annoncer son intention de finir le mandat du président Houphouët dans le strict respect de la constitution.

            Dans le passé, en tant que président de l’Assemblée Nationale, Bédié s’était élevé contre le libéralisme béat de Ouattara, qui ouvrait grandement les portes aux multinationales étrangères désireuses de s’accaparer les sociétés d’état ivoiriennes. Pendant que les politiciens français avec à leur tête le ministre des finances d’alors, Nicolas Sarkozy, martelaient que jamais l’EDF (Energie de France) ou le GDF (gaz de France) ne seraient privatisés, car trop stratégiques pour la souveraineté de la France, Ouattara, le premier ministre ivoirien, privatisait et vendait aux amis de son épouse les sociétés d’état ivoiriennes d’eau et d’électricité. Pourquoi la position de Sarkozy était-elle tenable en France et récusable en Côte d’Ivoire ? Etait-ce parce que d’un côté l’on se trouvait en Europe et de l’autre en Afrique ? C’est ce manque de réciprocité morale que le mouvement patriotique de Côte d’Ivoire était décidé à combattre. De cette perspective, le combat des patriotes revenait aussi à dénoncer les collaborateurs locaux qui, succombant à la promesse de la lactification économique, avaient trahi leurs peuples. Car les vagues successives de coups d’état et d’instabilités politiques qui depuis 1999 endeuillent la Côte d’Ivoire sont aussi chargées de fortes odeurs de déloyautés organiques. Chaque fois que la Côte d’Ivoire était secouée par des coups militaires, Ouattara était l’insider   qui, pour se rapprocher d’un monde blanc qui l’a toujours fasciné, trahissait le pays qu’il prétendait aimer. Les antécédents à cette propension à l’autodestruction donnent des frissons. Rappelons-nous que dans le système du Congo léopoldien, les auxiliaires africains du roi belge avaient pour récompense de faire la razzia sur des villages, d’en violer les femmes, d’en piller les maisons, quand ils assuraient au roi une bonne récolte de caoutchouc. Là bas, dans le Congo léopoldien aussi, comme cela fut le cas pendant l’administration de Ouattara, les conséquences de cette déliquescence morale se révélaient désastreuses pour les femmes et les enfants.

            Tout comme Ouattara, Bédié croyait au libéralisme économique. Cependant, le libéralisme de Bédié accordait une certaine importance à la souveraineté nationale. C’était un libéralisme qui n’entendait pas brader les richesses nationales aux multinationales étrangères ; pour ce faire, Bédié entreprit un certain nombre de réformes dont les plus importantes étaient l’identification de la population ivoirienne par un programme de recensement systématique et la régulation de l’exploitation et de l’appropriation anarchiques des terres ivoiriennes. En effet, au milieu des années 1990, la Côte d’Ivoire était la seconde destination d’immigrants d’Afrique subsaharienne après l’Afrique du Sud, avec un taux d’immigration tournant autour de 27% pour 13 millions d’Ivoiriens. Les plus grandes communautés étrangères venaient du Mali (2 millions), du Burkina Faso (2 millions), du Ghana (1,5 millions), du Nigéria (500.000), et en plus petits nombres du Bénin et du Togo. Bien qu’un accord entre les pays de la CEDEAO permette la libre circulation de personnes de biens de tout état membre dans leurs zones, la migration vers la Côte d’Ivoire était presqu’unidirectionnelle. La grande population d’immigrants venant du Mali et du Burkina voisins pour l’exploitation des terres fertiles ivoiriennes et la fabrication et l’exportation vers les pays sahéliens de charbon de bois s’est plusieurs fois accrochée aux populations autochtones qui l’accusaient d’appropriation illicite de terres, de déforestation sauvage d’espaces classés, et d’incendie de forêts. En 1999, une telle dispute opposant des immigrants du Burkina Faso et des autochtones de la région de Tabou (sud-est de la Côte d’Ivoire) causa le départ d’au moins 12.000 Burkinabés de leurs champs. Cet événement, qui intervint un an après que la réforme foncière de Bédié interdisant la vente de terre aux étrangers fut adoptée par l’Assemblée nationale ivoirienne, dirigea des critiques plus acerbes à l’encontre de Bédié. La réforme foncière de Bédié seyait mal aux présidents malien et burkinabé dont les budgets de fonctionnement dépendaient énormément des immenses revenus que leurs émigrés en Côte d’Ivoire leur faisaient parvenir chaque année. Ces présidents virent la réforme de Bédié comme un prétexte pour déposséder leurs compatriotes de terres qu’ils exploitaient depuis de longues années, et donc une façon déguisée de démunir leurs pays de recettes nécessaires à leur développement. Dans leurs griefs contre Bédié, les Maliens et les Burkinabés reçurent le soutien de puissants alliés en la France dont certains citoyens propriétaires de terres illégalement acquises risquaient de se faire déposséder.

            Par ailleurs, les opérateurs économiques français avaient vu leurs dividendes baisser sous Bédié. Avec Ouattara, le premier ministre d’Houphouët, les opérateurs économiques français avaient vu le rôle de l’état passer de celui d’une institution gouvernementale à celui d’une institution non gouvernementale. Ouattara lui-même avait troqué ses habites de gouvernant contre ceux de businessman, faisant personnellement affaires avec les opérateurs économiques, leur proposant des bénéfices faramineux. L’administration de Bédié était tout autre. Pour le Burkina, le Mali, et surtout la France, il était impératif que l’état ivoirien retournât à son rôle d’ONG. Il était impératif que Ouattara retournât aux affaires. Tel était le challenge auquel Bédié était confronté au milieu des années 1990. L’on comprendra aisément, à la lumière de ce contexte sociologique, que la chute de Bédié ne vint pas d’une mauvaise de gestion de la Côte d’Ivoire ou même d’une certaine hostilité envers les investissements directs étrangers. Bédié était aussi libéral que Ouattara. Il était aussi ouvert que Ouattara aux investissements étrangers. Cela, même les détracteurs de Bédié le reconnaissent. Entre 1995 et 1999, la Côte ‘Ivoire a connu une belle croissance économique et une croissance du bien-être individuel des populations. D’ailleurs, la politique économique de la Côte d’Ivoire a été célébrée les 4 et 5 juillet dans un rapport de l’Organisation Mondiale du Commerce, qui félicitait l’administration de Bédié et projetait un avenir radieux pour la Côte d’Ivoire. La chute de Bédié vint de ce que son support timide du business français n’arrangeait pas vraiment Paris, qui lui préférait l’administration irresponsable de Ouattara. Bédié voulait mettre la France en compétition avec des pays comme la Chine, le Canada, le Japon, les Etats-Unis, et l’Afrique du Sud, pour ne citer que ceux-là. La France n’avait pas l’habitude de la compétition en Côte d’Ivoire. Dans la compétition, le business français s’enliserait. Pour les intérêts économiques de la France, il était impératif que Bedié fût déposé. Mais pour cela, il était nécessaire que l’on lui découvrît des péchés.

            En attendant, Ouattara, qui après son coup d’état constitutionnel manqué de 1993 s’en était retourné au FMI servir sous Michel Camdessus, préparait son retour à la politique ivoirienne. Il n’attendrait pas d’y revenir par les voies institutionnelles. Il comptait en grande partie sur l’électorat étranger massif (du Burkina et du Mali) qui, muni de cartes d’électeurs fournies par Houphouët, avait plusieurs fois réélu « le Vieux » dans la comédie électorale qu’organisait le parti unique. Or, voilà que le programme d’identification de Bédié, qui bien que permettant aux étrangers de voter au cours des législatives, leur enlevait le droit de vote aux présidentielles, menaçait aussi cette perspective. La réforme foncière et le programme d’identification de Bédié faisaient partie d’une vision d’ensemble que Bédié avait nommée l’ivoirité. Cette notion dont l’on attribuait trompeusement la paternité à Bédié avait déjà été utilisée par des étudiants en 1945 à Dakar au cours d’une conférence. Plus tard, des intellectuels ivoiriens tels le poète Niangoran Porquet (1974) et l’universitaire Kanvaly Fadiga (1997) l’avaient aussi utilisée pour signifier la conscience nationale et la volonté fraternelle des peuples de tous les horizons qui avaient choisi de vivre sur le sol ivoirien, partageant les mêmes joies et les mêmes espoirs. L’ivoirité fut le péché que l’on trouva à Bédié. (à suivre)

Bédié offre le PDCI à Dramane; le champagne a dû être exceptionnellement pétillant! M. Frindéthié

ChampagneHier à Daoukro, au sortir d’une beuverie de champagne avec Dramane Ouattara, Bédié a tout bonnement offert le PDCI-RDA à ce dernier. Comme ça ! Comme un marmot sur l’aire de jeux échangeant le jouet que lui ont offert ses parents pour une friandise, Bédié a tout gaminement tronqué le PDCI pour on ne sait quoi. Le champagne a dû être exceptionnellement pétillant pour que Bédié, sans consulter son parti, se débarrasse du PDCI en un tour de main. Pourquoi devrions-nous nous étonner de cet enfantillage de Bédié ? L’on n’a vraiment de considération que pour la chose dans laquelle l’on a investi de l’énergie. Or, à voir le parcours de Bédié, s’est-il jamais battu pour quelque chose qui en vaille la peine ? S’est-il jamais battu pour une conviction ? En fait de conviction, en a-t-il jamais eu une ? Pourquoi l’enfant éternellement gâté, qui n’a jamais vraiment rien gagné de lui-même, qui n’a jamais su ce qu’il en coûte de créer quelque chose, ne s’amuserait-il pas casser les jouets qu’ont peiné ses parents à lui offrir. Pour Bédié, le PDCI a toujours été un jouet dont il peut disposer comme il lui semble. Et tant pis pour les militants de ce parti qui verraient les choses autrement. Hier, à Daoukro, le champagne a dû être exceptionnellement pétillant ! Mais une signature arrachée à un intempérant au sortir d’un jubilé un peu trop arrosé mérite-t-elle d’être prise au sérieux ? Pas plus qu’un aveu soutiré à un sénile. C’est d’ailleurs ce que pensent les membres du GRAPA-PDCI (Groupe de Réflexion et d’Appui aux Programmes d’Actions du PDCI), qui pour être plus circonspects préfèrent caractériser l’élan de Bédié de « déclaration émotionnelle », une litote appuyée qui dissimule mal l’aphorisme que Dramane aurait profité de la légendaire faiblesse de Bédié pour l’alcool.

Comprendre les origines de la crise ivoirienne, M. Frindéthié (première partie)

crise

Crises et possibilités: la mondialisation à la française

Le général Charles de Gaulle, ce président aimé des Français, figure emblématique de la résistance et de la morale française, a formulé une pensée dont l’hideuse véracité n’a d’égale que l’ardeur avec laquelle la France l’a pratiquée à travers toute son histoire. « La France n’a pas d’ami ; elle n’a que des intérêts ». Cet idéal  gaulliste de désinformation philosophique, d’étranglement économique, de persécution militaire et de déstabilisation politique, qui a immensément enrichi la France au détriment de ses anciennes colonies, est aujourd’hui combattu par certains pays francophones. Il ne serait pas excessif d’affirmer qu’en ce nouveau millénaire, la résistance la plus farouche que connaît l’hégémonie française en Afrique est celle qui a lieu en Côte d’Ivoire depuis 2002, et que le cinéaste ivoirien Sidiki Bakaba a documentée dans son film La victoire aux mains nues. C’est une mobilisation des patriotes ivoiriens contre le néocolonialisme français déguisé sous les accoutrements de la mondialisation. L’objectif de la résistance ivoirienne est d’exposer et de tuer dans l’œuf la politique de génocide économique et politique de la France, qui, par un artifice séditieux perfectionné au cours des ans en Afrique, allume des feux multiples, les active, afin de s’inviter ensuite comme pompier par la manipulation des Nations Unies et des institutions financières internationales.

 La logique de l’intervention française en Afrique

Quel que soit le regard que l’on pose sur les interventions françaises en Afrique, l’on se rend compte que celles-ci n’ont jamais été motivées par un élan philanthropique. Les intrusions françaises en Afrique ont toujours été gouvernées par une logique du gain maximum par l’effort minimum. Historiquement, la France n’a jamais gagné de guerre. En fait la France a même perdu les guerres qu’elle a déclarées avec assurance à ses voisins. Et toutes les fois que la France se faisait humilier, c’était vers l’Afrique et les Caraïbes qu’elle se tournait, armée de projets destructeurs, pour restaurer son orgueil meurtri et renflouer son économie en désarroi. Afin d’appréhender la politique française en Côte d’Ivoire aujourd’hui, il convient de comprendre la politique de mondialisation à la française, cette exception française, qui prescrit la déstabilisation en Afrique comme remède à toute calamité politique et économique en Hexagone.

                En 1871, au soir de la guerre franco-allemande, une guerre que la France, certaine de sa victoire, avait déclarée au royaume de Prusse, la  France n’était plus qu’un pays physiquement diminué, moralement brisé, et financièrement asphyxié. L’alliance allemande avait donné une bonne raclée militaire à la France, lui avait arraché ses territoire d’Alsace et de Lorraine, et lui avait présenté une facture de réparation équivalente à un milliard de dollars de nos jours, que la France était sommée de payer dans un délai de trois mois. En dépit de ses réserves épuisées, la France ne perdit pas de temps pour payer à l’Allemagne cette facture honteuse, passant le plus clair de son temps à ruminer sa défaite et son humiliation. La promptitude avec laquelle la France a payé sa dette à l’Allemagne ne serait qu’une occurrence bien banale si, presque 50 ans auparavant, cette même France n’était allée en guerre contre un pays africain, l’Algérie, qui lui demandait de s’acquitter d’une dette restée trop longtemps due.

                En effet, les conséquences immédiates de la Révolution française de 1789 étaient catastrophiques. Au lendemain de la Révolution, les méthodes agricoles en France étaient demeurées archaïques, et, contrairement aux agriculteurs britanniques, les fermiers français n’arrivaient pas à développer des exploitations adéquates pour approvisionner les marchés locaux. Les prix des produits de première consommation étaient hors de portée pour la majorité des Français. Le pain, la nourriture quintessentielle des Français, se fit rare. La famine s’installa. Pire encore, en Italie et en Espagne, l’armée affamée de Napoléon grognait et menaçait de se révolter. Aussi, la France se tourna-t-elle vers deux maisons commerciales algériennes Bacri et Busnach, afin qu’elles lui prêtent de l’argent et des grains pour pallier sa catastrophe économique et sociale. Cependant, Bacri et Busnach devaient, eux aussi, de l’argent au souverain algérien, le Dey Kodja Hussein, qu’ils espéraient rembourser dès que la France leur aurait payé sa dette. En 1815, à la fin de la guerre perdue de Napoléon, la dette de la France envers l’Algérie s’élevait à 18 millions de francs, que Bacri et Busnach implorèrent le Dey Hussein de les aider à recouvrer. En 1827, au cours d’une conversation qu’il avait à ce propos avec M. Pierre Deval, le consul français en Algérie, le Dey fut excédé par l’insolence de celui-ci à son égard, et le souffla de son chasse-mouche. Le roi Charles X, qui n’était d’ailleurs pas disposé à régler la dette de la France, saisit cette belle occasion pour s’élever contre un geste qu’il interpréta comme un manque de respect à la couronne française. Et, malgré les explications du Dey Hussein, qu’il n’avait fait que répondre à une insolence personnelle faite à lui par M. Deval, 600 navires français débarquèrent 37.000 soldats en Algérie le 14 juin 1830, qui s’adonnèrent à des actes de vandalisme, de viols, de meurtres et d’exécutions sommaires. Le 5 juillet de la même année, le Dey fut destitué. Dès février 1831, l’Algérie devint une colonie française de peuplement. Les autorités françaises y invitèrent donc 4500 colons français à exploiter les terres fertiles des côtes algériennes. Cependant, l’occupation française de l’Algérie ne fut pas sans heurts. L’Algérie opposa à la France une résistance farouche, qui, en 1962, tendit à l’Hexagone l’une de ses défaites les plus humiliantes. L’Allemagne de 1870 n’était pas l’Algérie de 1830. C’est pourquoi la France paya rapidement sa dette à l’Allemagne et passa les années qui suivirent à ruminer sa revanche . . . ailleurs qu’en Europe. De nombreux ingénieurs sociaux en France suggérèrent que la France devrait penser à redorer son blason en se construisant un empire d’outre-mer, qui étendrait sa civilisation, ses idéaux et sa gloire chez les « races inférieures ».

                La France, il convient de le noter, avait été présente en Afrique depuis 1642 et avait participé au commerce triangulaire qui vendit plus de 28 millions de Noirs aux Amériques entre 1650 et 1800. En ce temps-là, les objectifs de l’Hexagone en Afrique étaient ouvertement pécuniaires, et personne ne parlait d’étendre aux races supposées inférieures la civilisation d’une prétendue race supérieure. Dès années 1804, cependant, un vent abolitionniste, initié par le Danemark, se mit à souffler sur l’Europe et l’Amérique. En 1848, la France abolit aussi la pratique officielle de l’esclavage. Parmi les personnes qui s’étaient opposées à l’esclavage, l’on notait aussi Olaudah Equiano, un ancien esclave, lui-même propriétaire d’esclaves, qui avait compris que la bonne foi seule ne pouvait pas arrêter la pratique de l’esclavage. Il fallait proposer aux esclavagistes une alternative économique. Aussi, Equiano suggéra-t-il aux esclavagistes que la pratique de l’esclavage les avait détournés des vraies richesses de l’Afrique ; qu’il y avait plus à gagner à exploiter les matières premières africaines et à transformer les Africains en civilisés consommateurs de produits manufacturés européens et  américains qu’à les maintenir en esclavage. La paire sémantique était ainsi lancée : commerce et civilisation. Suivant donc les conseils d’Equiano, les pays européens s’engagèrent à mondialiser autrement, se lançant dans une course effrénée vers les matières premières africaines. L’ivoire, l’or, le bois, le café, le cacao, le caoutchouc, l’huile de palme, les noix, les fruits tropicaux, et non plus les esclaves—bien que certains renégats continuèrent le commerce des esclaves 70 ans au-delà de l’abolition officielle de l’esclavage par les Danois en 1792—devinrent les nouvelles marchandises du commerce intercontinental. Vers la fin des années 1800, l’Afrique grouillait tellement de chercheurs de fortune que les conflits entre Européens devinrent monnaie courante. Afin de mieux réguler le commerce africain et d’éviter que n’éclate une guerre intereuropéenne, les puissances européennes tinrent une conférence à Berlin du 15 novembre 1884 au 26 février 1885, sous la présidence du chancelier allemand Otto Von Bismarck. La conférence de Berlin qui fut présentée au monde comme un colloque pour discuter de questions relatives à l’humanité, la paix, la civilisation et le bien-être des populations africaines, était en fait une réunion des grandes puissances occidentales pour se partager l’Afrique. La conférence de Berlin résolut la question des conflits en stipulant que toute nation européenne qui la première préviendrait les autres nations de son occupation d’un territoire africain serait officiellement reconnue comme propriétaire de ce territoire. Ayant donc défini les règles du jeu, les nations européennes se ruèrent sur le gâteau Afrique pour en mordre le plus gros morceau possible.

                Cependant, toujours hantée du spectre de sa défaite cuisante de 1870, la France hésitait à se lancer dans un autre aventure internationale. Par ailleurs, les colonies algériennes n’avaient pas généré les gains escomptés comme l’avaient fait l’Inde pour la Grande Bretagne, et de nombreux politiciens français disaient ouvertement qu’ils préféraient servir à leurs électorats un bon pot au feu plutôt que le pain rassis auquel ils eurent droit pendant le siège allemand de Paris. D’autre part, cependant, les plaies de l’humiliation infligée par les Allemands devaient se cicatriser. Il était nécessaire que la France brillât de nouveau en Europe et sur l’échiquier mondial. Cinq mois après la conférence de Berlin, se tint à l’Assemblée Nationale française un débat entre les opposants et les partisans de l’expansion coloniale. Les deux protagonistes mémorables de ce débat étaient Jules Ferry et Georges Clémenceau. Le 28 juillet 1885, cinq mois après s’être fait destituer de son poste de premier ministre pour avoir lamentablement perdu la guerre sino-française, Jules Ferry prenait la parole à l’Assemblée en faveur du colonialisme.

                Pour Ferry, la France gagnerait à se construire un empire d’outre-mer pour trois raisons principales : économiquement, la France devait se trouver de nouveaux marchés en dehors de l’Europe et des Etats-Unis, précisément à un moment où l’Amérique et l’Allemagne se faisaient de plus en plus protectionnistes en même temps qu’elles inondaient les marchés européens de produits agricoles et industriels bon marché. Dans leur élan d’enthousiasme, des économistes comme Leroy-Beaulieu, estimaient que la France s’enrichirait autant de ses colonies que la Grande Bretagne s’est enrichie des siennes. D’un point de vue humanitaire, arguait Ferry, en tant que membre de la « race supérieure », la France avait le devoir divin de civiliser les « races inférieures », de les parfaire, en leur apportant sa moralité supérieure. Finalement, d’un point de vue politique et patriotique, la France devait s’assurer une place honorable dans le monde en posant des actes de grandeur. A l’instar de toutes les grandes nations, la France devait exporter son drapeau, sa langue, sa civilisation et son génie dans toutes les contrées du monde. Répondant à Ferry, Clemenceau s’insurgea contre la dichotomie race supérieure/race inférieure. Cette distinction avait été aussi faite par les scientifiques allemands lors de la guerre franco-allemande, qui avaient maintenu que les Allemands battraient les Français parce qu’ils leur étaient ontologiquement supérieurs. Pour Clémenceau, il fallait se garder de répéter cet axiome allemand, qui servait de prétexte aux sociétés scientifiquement et militairement avancées pour déguiser la violence sous l’appellation charmante de civilisation. Les excuses de devoir et de droit divins de civiliser n’étaient, selon Clémenceau, rien de plus qu’un droit à la brutalité. Clémenceau conclut que justifier la colonisation par la civilisation revenait à adjoindre l’hypocrisie à la violence. En tout état de cause le début des années 1890 vit se développer des groupes de pressions pour le colonialisme, tels que Comité de l’Afrique française, le Comité de l’Égypte, le Comité de l’Asie française, ou le Comité de Madagascar, tous derrière le parti colonial, et qui revendiquaient que soit redoré le blason de la France dans le monde. Dès 1890, un consensus colonial fut établi en France, qui entendait moins vendre une entreprise africaine à des hommes d’affaires qu’un empire africain à l’Etat, et qui recommandait plus la voie de l’occupation forcée des territoires africains que celle de signature de traités avec les chefs locaux.

                Contre toute appréhension, la mondialisation martiale de l’Afrique subsaharienne par la France s’avéra bien fructueuse. Quand la poussière de la ruée vers l’Afrique se fut enfin tassée, le continent était parcellé en 50 territoires répartis entre les puissances européennes. La France, l’Allemagne, la Grande Bretagne et le Portugal s’offrirent les plus gros morceaux. La France se saisit d’un grand territoire comprenant la Mauritanie, le Sénégal, le Mali, le Burkina Faso, le Benin, la Guinée, la Côte d’Ivoire, le Niger, le Togo, le Gabon, la république démocratique du Congo, la Centrafrique, le Cameroun, l’Algérie, la Tunisie, le Maroc, les iles Maurice, la Réunion, les Seychelles, Madagascar, les Comores, et Mayotte ; des territoires qui n’avaient pas tous le même statut et étaient, selon leur statut, régis par des lois différentes. Les territoires des Caraïbes étaient principalement des colonies d’esclaves. En Afrique subsaharienne, ces territoires constituaient des colonies d’exploitation dont la France tirait le maximum de profit des matières premières générées. La Tunisie était un protectorat avec un souverain local, le Bey ; et l’Algérie était une colonie de peuplement avec un Dey. Quel que soit le statut de ces diverses colonies, leurs populations locales devaient se soumettre à la juridiction d’un consul ou d’un gouverneur nommé par la France. L’injustice française révolta les populations locales qui combattirent l’envahisseur jusqu’à l’obtention de leurs indépendances politique au début des années 1960.

                Cependant, l’impulsion hexagonale pour le gain était si impérative que la France devisa des schémas biaisés de « coopération » pour rester le spéculateur privilégié des nouvelles nations indépendantes de l’Afrique francophone. Dans le système colonial, dans un emportement protectionniste, la France avait décidé d’imposer des tarifs élevés aux produits coloniaux qui entaient en métropole ; une décision qui appauvrissait les colonies tout en enrichissant la France. Cependant, dans les années 1930, la grande récession obligea la France, pour sa survie économique, à transformer les colonies en des marchés de consommation pour la vente de produits manufacturés français. La France relâcha donc un peu son système tarifaire, permettant ainsi aux colonisés de vendre facilement leurs produits sur les marchés français, de gagner de l’argent pour acheter des produits français et pour aussi payer des intérêts sur leurs dettes. Mais en même temps, afin d’éviter la compétition des autres puissances, la France imposa des quotas sur certains produits étrangers entrant en France et dans les colonies françaises. La France interdit aussi à ses colonies d’exporter certains produits chez ses compétiteurs, les forçant ainsi à n’acheter qu’à l’Hexagone des produits qui étaient pourtant disponibles dans les colonies. En plus de ces mesures protectionnistes déjà excessives, la France imposa des taxes sur les produits des colonies non françaises entrant en France. Ces taxes allaient de 11% pour la banane à 110% pour le cacao, en passant par 34% pour l’arachide, les graines de palmier et 91% pour le café. Bien que certains observateurs aient voulu attribuer à ce système économique préférentiel la résistance de l’Afrique francophone à la crise économique des années 1930, et le miracle économique de la Côte d’Ivoire des années 1980, il n’en est rien. En fait, l’économie de marché qu’a générée ce système colonial a pourvu les colonies françaises de capitaux qu’elles ont été obligées de retourner à la France au centuple. En outre, cette économie de marché que la France s’activa à maintenir dans ses anciennes colonies longtemps après leurs indépendances fut la source de nombreux chocs économiques ; elle plaça les pays francophones à la merci des spéculateurs internationaux.

                Le système préférentiel établi unilatéralement par la France, et plus tard avec la collaboration de la Communauté Européenne (qui deviendra plus tard la Communauté économique européenne), entendait en réalité, maximiser les profits de la France en jugulant ses pertes dans les colonies. Déjà en 1959, le système commercial français forçait les colonies africaines de la France à consommer 28,2% des exportations françaises, alors que les exportations de ces colonies vers la France ne constituaient que 20% des produits exportés en France. Ces chiffres sont passés 7,8% contre 5,9%. Les différentes conventions (Lomé, Yaoundé, Lomé 2) renforçant la « coopération » entre la France et ses anciennes colonies, et qui inclurent plus tard les pays anglophones et les pays ACP, ne créèrent pas de vraies conditions de développement dans les pays non européens. En fait, la France manœuvra pour exclure les anciennes colonies asiatiques des ACP, sous prétexte qu’elles pourraient être des concurrentes dangereuses en ce qui concerne un certain nombre de produits, et le petit état de l’île Maurice fut exclu par la France pour être un compétiteur sérieux en produits textiles. Les états de la C.E., et la France particulièrement, ne firent aucun effort pour développer l’activité de production en Afrique. Pour la C.E., l’Afrique devait demeurer éternellement le fournisseur de matières premières de l’Europe. Vers la fin des années 1980, le Consensus de Washington, avec son long menu de dépolitisation unilatérale de l’Etat, hostile à l’investissement de l’Etat dans le secteur social, dans la création de l’emploi, dans la protection de l’environnement, dans l’éducation, dans la santé et dans la réduction de la pauvreté, donna à la France la bénédiction officielle des institutions de Bretton Woods afin qu’elle continue son exploitation de l’Afrique.

                La mondialisation économique, telle que conçue par le Consensus de Washington, présuppose une violence internationale. Elle assume, parfois sur le fondement d’un sixième sens bureaucratique et sur aucune base scientifique, qu’afin d’améliorer le sort de leurs populations, les pays du Tiers Monde doivent adapter leurs économies aux conditions dictées par les multinationales européennes et américaines en libéralisant leurs marchés. Le résultat de cet exercice philosophico-économique est que, comme cela fut le cas pendant la colonisation, les crises économiques sont déplacées des pays du nord vers les pays du sud.

L’insistance de la Banque mondiale et du Fonds que les pays en développement ouvrent leurs économies aux investissements directs étrangers a favorisé la recolonisation des pays qui cinquante ans plus tôt avaient lutté pour leurs indépendances. Dans la plupart des cas, la mondialisation a réussi à installer l’impérialisme euro-américain en permettant aux capitalistes des pays industrialisés de devenir les nouveaux propriétaires de compagnies d’Etat (eau, électricité, communication) des pays en développement. Ce plan fonctionne parfaitement lorsque l’état impérial ‘achète’ les banques et les spéculateurs et exerce des pressions sur les états pour  ouvrir les marchés, et envoie des expéditions mercenaires et militaires pour réprimer toute résistance.

Dans ce grand design de recolonisation déguisée en mondialisation, toute opposition est impitoyablement réprimée par une variété de méthodes coercitives : Pour les pays en développement dont les gouvernants, s’opposant à l’exploitation occidentale, mènent une politique populiste et préconisent le contrôle des ressources nationales et qui, attentifs aux besoins de leurs peuples, refusent la corruption et le style de vie promis par les pays industrialisés, les tireurs à gage économiques possèdent tout un menu de dissuasion : la subversion du processus politique, le corruption des administrateurs, des officiers de l’armée, des médias, des syndicats, des universitaires, l’incitation à la guerre ethnique et religieuse ; un menu tiré tout droit du guide de la colonisation, et qu’illustrent les cas du Congo, d’Haïti et de la Côte d’Ivoire, ces pays qui ont osé s’opposer à la coalition tripartite des pays du nord, des Nations Unies et des institutions financières internationales.

                En Côte d’Ivoire, cette conspiration tripartite fonctionne grâce à un ancien fonctionnaire du Fonds, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, dans ses oripeaux de collaborateur, et à ses associations avec le gouvernement français et les multinationales françaises, qui mettront en place une nouvelle marque de mondialisation que nous baptiserons ici la mondialisation à la française.

La Côte d’Ivoire : de la prospérité économique à l’austérité

                Les années 1970 étaient une période de prospérité pour la Côte d’Ivoire. La hausse des prix du café et du cacao sur le marché mondial avait positionné la Côte d’Ivoire comme la première puissance économique de l’Afrique de l’ouest dont les signes de croissance étaient visibles dans tous les secteurs. Les observateurs n’hésitaient pas à comparer le miracle ivoirien au miracle japonais –nous nous souvenons encore que notre sujet de géographie au baccalauréat était ainsi libellé : « comparez le miracle ivoirien au miracle japonais ». Cette comparaison n’était nullement pas exagérée. Le taux de croissance ivoirien était le deuxième du monde après celui du Japon. Cependant le boom économique ivoirien dépendait énormément de capitaux étrangers, étant donné qu’il était amarré aux caprices des spéculateurs internationaux qui décidaient du prix des matières premières. Dans sa volonté de diversifier l’économie et de lancer des programmes de développement, la Côte d’Ivoire emprunta de l’extérieur des capitaux qu’elle manqua souvent de gérer avec sagesse. En outre, la chute des prix du café et du cacao du début des années 80 amplifia la dette extérieure du pays ; ce qui emmena le président Houphouët à se tourner vers la Banque mondiale et le Fonds monétaire pour des prêts de stabilisation de l’économie de son pays.

                La période s’étendant des années 80 aux années 90 fut un temps économiquement mouvementé. L’exploitation de nouveaux gisements de pétrole offshore aida le pays à parer à certaines difficultés économiques. Cependant, l’incertitude économique persistait toujours et des rumeurs de compression des fonctionnaires mirent des manifestants dans la rue pour protester contre le contrôle absolu du pouvoir par le parti unique (le PDCI-RDA). Afin de sauver son pouvoir, Houphouët se plia aux exigences de ses créanciers (principalement la Banque et le Fonds) et nomma un économiste du FMI, Alassane Ouattara, en avril 1990 comme président du Comité Interministériel de Coordination du Programme de Stabilisation et de Relance Economique, un comité chargé de trouver des solution à la crise économique—mais entendez plutôt un comité chargé de trouver des moyens des rembourser à la Banque et au FMI ce que lui devait la Côte d’Ivoire, en dépit de la crise. 5 mois plus tard, un président Houphouët agonisant nommait Alassane Dramane Ouattara premier ministre de Côte d’Ivoire. Ce qui se passa à partir d’avril 1990 est une série d’événements dignes d’un roman.

Dominique Nouvian Folleroux : femme fatale

                Le fait d’être proche du président Houphouët permit aussi à Ouattara d’être très proche de Mlle Nouvian Folleroux, la femme qui devint plus tard son épouse et son associée la plus écoutée dans l’intrigue rocambolesque qui se tissa au détriment du peuple ivoirien. Les circonstances dans lesquelles Dominique fut introduite à l’épicentre du pouvoir ivoirien demeurent encore floues. Ce qui est clair, cependant, c’est qu’elle devint la maîtresse officielle du président Houphouët et la gestionnaire exclusive de son immense domaine personnel et d’une grande partie du patrimoine ivoirien. Son nouveau titre donna à Mlle. Folleroux d’immenses pouvoirs financiers, alors même que déclinaient la sante et la popularité du président Houphouët en Côte d’Ivoire. En effet, au début des années 1990, le président Houphouët fut confronté à une opposition politique farouche, qui l’obligea, pour la première fois, à desserrer son contrôle du pouvoir. Sous la pression des institutions de Bretton Woods, le président Houphouët nomma Ouattara premier ministre, légalisa les partis d’opposition et promis des élections législatives ouvertes à toutes les tendances. Les élections présidentielles d’Octobre confirmèrent la force des partis d’opposition, et principalement l’influence du parti du plus grand opposant d’Houphouët, le Front Populaire Ivoirien de Laurent Gbagbo. Les observateurs internationaux estimèrent à 30% les votes pour Gbagbo (seulement 18,3% contre 81% pour Houphouët selon les chiffres officiels). Le 26 novembre 1990, 18 partis d’opposition se présentèrent aux législatives contre le PDCI d’Houphouët. Le parti d’Houphouët retint 163 des 175 sièges parlementaires. Une histoire s’écrivait : le pouvoir du PDCI n’était plus absolu. Houphouët, le Vieux comme l’on l’appelait affectueusement, était désormais un homme physiquement et politiquement diminué.

                Qu’à cela ne tienne, les affaires de Mlle. Nouvian Folleroux, quant à elles, marchaient à merveille : Elle sépara le président Houphouët de quelques uns de ses domaines français pour un montant de 19 millions d’euros, une transaction qui, bien que trouble, lui ouvrit les portes du business international. Elle acquit les salons Desanges aux Etats-Unis. L’Agence Internationale de la Commercialisation Immobilière qu’elle s’offrit grâce à sa nouvelle fortune lui attirait de gros clients dont Martin Bouygues, roi du béton français, Vincent Bolloré (partenaire de Bouygues) et roi des médias français et du papier d’emballage de tabac—c’était bien Bolloré qui avait payé des vacances de félicitations à Sarkozy à l’Ile de Malte sur son luxueux yacht après les présidentielles françaises de 2006 ; c’était encore lui qui avait prêté son avion privé à M. Sarkozy pour qu’il impressionne sa nouvelle girlfriend d’alors, Carla Bruni, pour leurs vacances de décembre 2007 en Egypte—et Dominique Strauss-Khan, ex-ministre des finances de Mitterrand et président du Fonds monétaire international depuis 2007, le président Bongo du Gabon, qui lui aussi confia la gestion d’une partie de son patrimoine à la branche gabonaise d’AICI, dirigée par le frère Philippe Nouvian, le président Blaise Compaoré du Burkina Faso, et le président Kadhafi de la Lybie. Tel est le réseau que Mlle. Folleroux se tissa depuis le jour où elle atterrit dans la chambre du président Houphouët. Et cette femme-là, Dominique Nouvian Folleroux, est la femme dont Alassane Ouattara, le premier ministre d’Houphouët, s’enticha.

« Ouattara ! Ouattara! C’est notre homme! S’il ne peut le faire, alors nul autre ne peut le faire! »

                Tel semblait être le chant des institutions de Bretton Woods, créancières de la Côte d’Ivoire depuis la mort du président Houphouët en décembre 1993. Excellent élève du FMI où il travailla de 1968 à 1973 avant d’occuper divers postes à la BCEAO, Ouattara était très attentif à la politique d’ajustement structurel prônée par le FMI en Afrique, bien que cette politique ait des conséquences catastrophiques pour l’Afrique. En tant que premier ministre de Côte d’Ivoire, ses solutions pour le redressement de l’économie firent plus de mal que de bien. Comme le lui avait recommandé l’O.M.C., M. Ouattara élimina les subsides aux planteurs ivoiriens, alors que l’Amérique et l’Union Européenne subventionnaient généreusement leurs agriculteurs. Il mit à la retraite anticipée plus de 10.000 fonctionnaires ; ceux qui avaient encore la chance de conserver leur emploi virent leur salaire chuter de 40% ; M. Ouattara réduisit l’accès à l’éducation en réduisant de moitié le salaire des enseignants ; il élimina la subvention aux restaurants universitaires, le transport des bus universitaires, la couverture médicale universitaire, et il imposa aux populations des frais d’accès aux premiers soins ; il initia la dévaluation du CFA et institua la carte de résidence très controversée qui fut à la base du harcèlement des étrangers. Ces échecs, comme il fallait s’y attendre, frustrèrent les populations, qui manifestèrent leur mécontentement par des marches de protestation. M. Ouattara réprima ces marches dans le sang, la torture et la mort ; et malgré les appels répétés pour une enquête indépendante, M. Ouattara demeura inflexible. Ouattara était un bon ami des institutions financières internationales et des multinationales. Etait-il aussi un ami de la Côte d’Ivoire ? Pour la Banque mondiale et le Fonds Monétaire international, cette question-là importait peu.

                Aussi, les institutions financières insistèrent-elles davantage pour que le premier ministre eût plus d’autorité. M. Ouattara cumula donc les postes de premier ministre, ministre des finances et président par intérim pendant la longue hospitalisation du président Houphouët en Europe en 1993. Il ordonna que toutes les recettes publiques lui soient versées directement à la primature dans un compte spécial, plutôt qu’au trésor, comme cela était de coutume. Ce style de gestion atypique mélangea très vite les comptes personnels du premier ministre aux comptes de l’Etat, et des millions de dollars disparurent des caisses de l’Etat, alors que M. Ouattara, en raison de deux vols internationaux par semaine, mettaient des fortunes à l’abri dans des comptes étrangers, intégrant prématurément le club des hommes les plus riches du monde. La fortune subite de Ouattara n’émut aucun des moralisateurs de la Banque mondiale et du Fonds si prompts pourtant à sermonner les dirigeants africains sur la sainteté et la « bonne gouvernance ». Pourquoi devraient-ils s’émouvoir que Ouattara fût l’un des plus grands acteurs de la fuite des capitaux ? N’était-il pas seulement juste qu’il fût récompensé, ce bon agent du Fonds ?

                Et pourtant la fuite des capitaux dont Ouattara était l’un des principaux acteurs constituait l’une des plus grosses sources d’appauvrissement de l’Afrique. En effet, les capitaux africains maintenus légalement ou illégalement dans les banques en dehors de l’Afrique s’élèvent à 22 milliards de dollars américains. Cette somme à elle seule constitue plus de la moitié de la somme dont l’Afrique a besoin pour ses programmes de développement. Si cet argent était investi en Afrique, il constituerait 64% du stock de capitaux privés de l’Afrique. Il n’y a pas de doute que de par sa participation à la fuite de capitaux, et proportionnellement au peu de temps qu’il a passé au pouvoir (3 ans et 1 mois), Alassane Dramane Ouattara fut l’un des dirigeants qui ont le plus siphonné les richesses du continent africain.

                Pendant qu’Alassane Dramane Ouattara passait de ses fonctions de premier ministre à celles de businessman et vice versa, mélangeant ainsi ses comptes personnels à ceux de l’Etat de Côte d’Ivoire, Madame Dominique Folleroux—que M. Ouattara avait alors épousée au cours d’une cérémonie officiée par le maire de Neuilly d’alors, M. Nicholas Sarkozy—sans aucune décence éthique, faisait du lobbying afin qu’il soit vendu à Bouygues et Bolloré les compagnies d’état que son cher époux privatisait (EECI, SODECI, etc.). Ce qui fut fait. Ces compagnies d’état, stratégiques pour l’indépendance de tout pays, furent cédées parfois même au coût d’1 franc symbolique. En ce temps-là, même des leaders du parti de Ouattara (le PDCI) avait crié au scandale sans rien pouvoir faire. Henri Konan Bédié qui était président de l’Assemblée Nationale s’était farouchement opposé à la libéralisation sauvage et choquante de Ouattara. La libéralisation de Ouattara fit de la Côte d’Ivoire un pays économiquement assiégé par la France : 27% des actifs des entreprises ivoiriennes appartenaient à des français. 240 filiales et plus de 600 compagnies en Côte d’Ivoire étaient détenues par des Français. Les investissements louches que permirent monsieur et madame Ouattara firent couler beaucoup d’encre et de salive (à suivre)                                         

Que ceux qui ont été réconciliés par Konan Banny lèvent la main, M. Frindéthié

bannyIncroyable ! C’est à croire que sous le charme des dozos de Dramane Ouattara l’ex-gouverneur de la BCEAO, Charles Konan Banny, a été scotché à cette chose, à ce CDVR, à ce cadavre créé de toutes pièces par Dramane pour se disculper devant l’opinion publique et exorciser les nombreux homicides qui jalonnent son parcours. Konan Banny n’a-t-il vraiment pas d’autre ambition que de baguenauder de régions en régions au nom de ce truc mort qui n’a jamais réconcilié personne et ne réconciliera jamais personne, tant l’esprit qui l’a fondé et le finance est empêtré dans la bouse du tribalisme et de la division ? Plutôt que de se contenter de cette nomination empoisonnée, n’est-il pas temps que Konan Banny aspire à une ambition moins polluée ? Car j’attends depuis sa génuflexion théâtrale au Palais de la culture que ceux qui ont été réconciliés par Konan Banny lèvent la main … et j’attends toujours.

Côte d’Ivoire: le pont Nzueba, immergé avant sa livraison

3epontQue les automobilistes abidjanais se préparent au grand cataclysme ; car, pour qui connaît bien la Côte d’Ivoire, de juin à août, nzuéba tô (il tombera un déluge). Et à Abidjan, quand nzuéba, nzuéba trélélé (quand ça tombe, ça tombe abondamment et continuellement). Or, ce « pont Nzuéba », qui semble avoir été conçu et construit par des rattrapés ivres de pouvoir mais incultes de tout bon sens, est déjà à fleur d’eau, immergé même par endroits, avant d’avoir été livré. Après la couche de peinture de l’université à 110 milliards, les 2 (deux) bus électriques de Bolloré qui firent fitzzzz comme un pétard mouillé, les 5 universités invisibles, les 65000 emplois jeunes imperceptibles, les pluies de milliards transformées en endettements, réendettements et surendettements, admirez le pont Nzuéba, le pont sous-marin. Chaque année, de juin à août, Nzuéba tô. Et les automobilistes abidjanais qui s’aventureront sur ce pont à ce moment-là auront tout intérêt à se munir d’un gilet de sauvetage, car on ne sait jamais dans dans cé pei ki anvanche dans l’émerzance.

Youssouf Bakayoko se comporte comme un potentat de village en Côte-d’Ivoire

voyou« Que Bakayoko soit de nouveau installé comme président de la Commission électorale inféodée (Cei) est dans l’ordre normal de la fraude électorale dont il représente les préliminaires. Et cela est dommageable pour nous qui voulons le renforcement de la démocratie et qui rêvons de société ouverte, apaisée et tranquille, Dommage pour les gens de leur génération dont on se demande bien quelle leçon de morale ils donnent à leurs descendances, lorsque la triche devient officiellement leur mode de fonctionnement. Après, comment s’étonner qu’aux examens, les enfants considèrent que la fraude soit moralement défendable ? »–Mamadou Koulibaly

“A steady flow of stupidity”: Reality in Ukraine — and Obama and the New York Times’ bizarro parallel universe

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A new cease-fire in Ukraine seems durable — despite best efforts of Washington and the media to provoke conflict

Patrick L. Smith

 

Patrick Smith is the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.” He was the International Herald Tribune’s bureau chief in Hong Kong and then Tokyo from 1985 to 1992. During this time he also wrote “Letter from Tokyo” for the New Yorker. He is the author of four previous books and has contributed frequently to the New York Times, the Nation, the Washington Quarterly, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @thefloutist.

We may or may not have a durable cease-fire in Ukraine, given reports of sporadic shelling and machine-gun fire, by who can tell which side, since hostilities were formally halted last Friday. But, always good for a wager, my money is it will hold.

True, the vicious neo-Nazis at last acknowledged to be pressing much of Kiev’s campaign in the east will be difficult to disarm — assuming, even as we cannot, that President Poroshenko’s government wants to. Recall: After violence-loving fascists led the coup in February, the provisionals gave them three ministries and organized some into the Azov Battalion. National Socialist ideologues still control those ministries.

As to the battalion, with its black ski masks and refashioned swastika, it has been so visible in the east that not even the New York Times, although still committed to maintaining a parallel universe in reporting this crisis, can pretend any longer that the neo-Nazi connection is other than essential to the government’s survival.

But other factors weigh more heavily, in my calculation. First, the cease-fire deal struck in Minsk last week came after months of back-channeling between two oddly sympatique leaders, Chancellor Merkel in Germany and the demonized Vladimir Putin. This is a matter of record (if not the American record).

The European Union and Russia — the first portrayed as Washington’s willing acolyte, the second as an intractable enemy — have shaped this shaky peace. This is the reality, and they want their project to hold, however much Kiev and the Americans cannot resist turning everything they touch into a confrontation.

Second, Poroshenko’s cabinet has been forced to conclude that a victory on the ground is out of the question. Its army is simply not strong enough and — greatly to its credit — is of mixed minds when it is ordered to shoot other Ukrainians because they happen to speak Russian. Azov and the other paramils are plenty loyal to the atavistic cause — one reason Kiev deploys them — but there are not enough of them, either.

Equally, Putin made his position crystal clear a couple of weeks ago, you may have noticed. It was this: “Kiev and Washington are overplaying their hand as I work with the Europeans to get a deal stitched.” This is why the Russian leader was accidentally on purpose overheard telling an EU minister at the time, “I could take Kiev in two weeks.”

It seems to have gone this way. As the army and the Falangists advanced on anti-Kiev strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk, it had begun deploying weapons from one NATO nation — news that floored the NATO summit in Wales when Poroshenko delivered it last week. He did not name the country, but it is likely to be either the U.S. or Poland, and the weapons would almost certainly be American in any case.

There had been speculation in Germany and elsewhere in Europe as to why the tide had suddenly turned in Kiev’s favor in the eastern campaign. In effect, Poroshenko gave the game away, and Putin’s response was, roughly, You’ve called my bluff and lost, my dear Poroshenko. We’ll avoid the East-West cataclysm you spoil for, but you and your militarist friends in Washington have taken this charade as far as I’m willing to accept.

Put all this together and maybe you will bet with me: It is not certain the cessation of hostilities will hold, but the odds are attractive.

Not too soon to take a little stock, then.

Looking back on the winding road that led to the Minsk negotiation, we can see a few things clearly. The U.S. has been a force for nothing good in this crisis. It overrode the EU when the latter endorsed a decent political deal between the Yanukovich government and the Independence Square demonstrators last February. This was the famous “‘F’ the EU” moment, you will recall, and the State Department indeed F’d it, instantly endorsing the coup.

Ever since, Washington has refused to countenance any thought of cooperation with Moscow. Confrontation, even to the point of recklessness, was the preferred strategy. Casting Putin as Beelzebub was key in this. You cannot deal with devils.

Here I will say directly what I have hinted many times in this space. Putin’s record on other matters is beside the point; if you bought into these past months of juvenile ad hominem smear, you had better study up on the powers of propaganda and psychological manipulation and think of yourself as a victim.

A couple of other points on the looking-back side.

The U.S. has refused to recognize Russia’s interest in a neutral, non-aggressive Ukraine, and this is preposterous times 10 given the long American record in the Western Hemisphere. Even a radical such as Henry Kissinger, who has for months warned Washington to step back, understands this.

Conclusions, however bitter for some of us: One, the American position has been nothing more than a cynical pose. Two, Putin has behaved with exemplary restraint throughout this crisis next to the certain outcome were the circumstances reversed. Given their dealings with him of late, Merkel and others in Europe appreciate this fact, surely.

Now to look forward.

When the Soviet Union collapsed 23 years ago, the endeavor was to bring Russia into the fold as a “partner.” Remember? The Group of 7 became 8, mutual interests on this, that and the other question were identified.

I had mixed feelings from the start, honestly. And the project was never fated to succeed anyway, primarily because most Western nations, notably the Anglo-American axis, are incapable of accepting diverse perspectives in their midst. The name of the game was “Be like us to be with us,” and to its credit this was never Russia’s intent.

It is touching that Russians still refer to “our partners” — a high foreign ministry official used the phrase Monday, in fact. To Moscow it signifies some brand of cooperative coexistence, and people such as Merkel are probably capable of it.

But the Obama administration has now scrubbed any such prospect right before our eyes. The reality composed over the past six months opens onto a new era of miserable animosity in our relations with Russia.

Pointless, fruitless, expensive, diminishing us and ennobling no one. Russia is a middle-income power destined to grow only stronger and more influential. “Isolating Russia” is a little like isolating an ocean. Of one duration or another, we are in for a steady flow of stupidity from the State Department and the clerks in the media who pass it on.

The best outcome in Ukraine now will be for Poroshenko to accept some form of decentralization, federalization, autonomy — the words are contentious — as serious talks get under way. Putin has urged this since at least April, although it is unpopular to note this in America for obvious reasons. We arrive at a place of attenuated optimism, then.

Optimism in a small place, though, as Washington has worsened the larger picture.

At the NATO summit in Wales, plans were made for a new rapid-reaction force to be assembled on European soil with the explicit intent of reprising the Cold War standoff: We here in the West, those over there in the East. On Monday the EU announced yet another round of sanctions against Russia, the fourth, even as Moscow goes to work on the deal just negotiated.

These developments are both Washington’s doing. The EU instantly deferred its own sanctions: Draw your own conclusion there. The Anglo-American alliance will chip in readily to the rapid-reaction force, but we will have to see about the others. Maybe the EU ex-Britain has finally had enough of NATO and the divisiveness it stands for by definition.

Obama, Vice President Biden and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s hyper-hawk secretary-general, now fulminate that Moscow better not mount any adventures in the Baltics or Poland. It is an early admission of defeat in Ukraine, as I read it: You carried the day this time, Vlad. Not next.

Good enough if America is forced to step back, leaving a settlement to those who understand diplomacy and the 21st century. But this crisis does not suggest our leaders have any great interest in either. And it is disheartening to watch those we tolerate in power squander America’s potential for good in another kind of world.

Côte-d’Ivoire Paris – le calvaire des «nounous esclaves» d’Olivier, bébé de Soro et Kadidia, raconté, Louise Colombet

Esclavage moderne : la compagne d’un ex-ministre ivoirien jugée

Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), hier lundi 8 septembre 2014. David Desgranges, l’avocat des deux nounous (de dos), a plaidé pour que le tribunal reconnaisse le délit de traite d’êtres humains. «Il y avait trop de travail, mais le pire, c’était les insultes »

Louise Colombet – leparisien.fr

esclavage moderneDES JOURNÉES à rallonge, passées à s’occuper d’un enfant malade, à faire le ménage, la vaisselle, les courses, sans aucun jour de congé et pour une rétribution dérisoire, le tout ponctué d’insultes et d’humiliations. C’est ainsi que deux jeunes femmes, âgées aujourd’hui de 28 et 30 ans, ont décrit hier devant le tribunal de Nanterre (Hauts-de-seine) leur quotidien passé au service de Kadidia Sy, l’ex-compagne de Guillaume Soro, actuel président de l’Assemblée nationale de Côte d’Ivoire et ancien Premier ministre.

La prévenue comparaissait notamment pour travail dissimulé, rétribution insuffisante mais également pour traite d’êtres humains, la demande, pour ce dernier chef, du Comité contre l’esclavage moderne (CCEM) qui a accompagné les deux jeunes depuis leur fuite du domicile de leur employeur, respectivement en 2008 et 2010.

En 2006, Rosalie est embauchée comme nounou au Burkina Faso pour s’occuper d’Olivier, le bébé de Guillaume Soro. Elle accompagne ensuite la mère et l’enfant au cours de nombreux voyages à Paris, destinés à soigner l’hémophilie sévère — une maladie empêchant la coagulation — dont le petit Olivier est atteint. Elle passe ainsi près de six mois dans la capitale en 2008,
s’occupant de l’enfant nuit et jour, mais aussi, parfois jusqu’à très tard le soir, de l’entretien de la maison, des courses, ou même des enfants des amies de Kadidia Sy… Laquelle,
d’après ses dires, passe son temps a faire du shopping ou à sortir le soir.

Ayant récupéré son passeport dans les affaires de son employeur, Rosalie décide de s’enfuir en août 2008. C’est alors que Marie est embauchée pour lui succéder, payée elle aussi, hors quelques «primes» exceptionnelles, environ 45 € par mois, l’équivalent du smic… au Burkina Faso. Un tarif pour lequel «on a non pas une nounou, mais une vraie bonne à domicile, au sens du XIX e siècle, taillable et corvéable à merci», relève le procureur.

Business class et Disneyland

Une accusation qui fait bondir la prévenue. «Mais elles étaient nourries, logées, blanchies. Je leur achetais même leurs serviettes hygiéniques et leur déodorant !» Si elle reconnaît «n’avoir pas bien payé» ses deux nounous, et qu’elle ignorait qu’elle aurait dû s’aligner sur le droit du travail français lors de ses séjours à Paris, Kadidia Sy réfute le terme d’esclavage, montrant des photos de Marie et d’Olivier à Disneyland, ou sur les Bateaux-Mouches… «Comment peut-on dire qu’on est esclave quand on voyage en business class ?», s’insurge-t-elle.

A l’aide d’un traducteur, Marie, qui a quitté l’école en CM 1, détaille son parcours, résumant son calvaire en une phrase : «Il y avait trop de travail, mais le pire, c’était les insultes.» Après dix-sept mois dans la capitale, elle aussi se tournera vers le CCEM. «Elles se sont liguées pour d’obtenir de l’argent et des papiers pour rester en France», estime Kadidia Sy. Me David Desgranges, l’avocat du CCEM, dénonçant «une véritable mainmise sur le personnel domestique», a plaidé pour que le délit de traite d’êtres humains soit reconnu dans cette affaire, à l’inverse du parquet, qui a souhaité «relativiser» et a réclamé une peine de trois mois de prison avec sursis et 5 000 € d’amende. Jugement le 6 octobre.

Une compagne de Guillaume Soro poursuivie pour "traite d’êtres humains"

sorroEt pourtant ce n’était pas l’argent qui faisait défaut. Avec toutes les grosses sommes subtilisées des coffres des agences de la BCEAO à Bouaké, à Man, et à Korhogo par Sorrow et ses milices, Dame Sorrow pouvait bien verser des salaires décents à ses domestiques. Mais  que peut-on vraiment tirer d’une famille de p’tits tyrans? Peut-on vraiment apprendre la décence à qui ne prospère que dans l’impudicité, le désordre et le crime ? L’argent gagné dans le délit peut laver, mais il ne rendra jamais propre.

Paris – Une compagne de Guillaume Soro, président de l’Assemblée nationale de Côte d’Ivoire, est jugée lundi à Nanterre pour "traite d’êtres humains", soupçonnée d’avoir employé deux gardes d’enfants en région parisienne sous la contrainte et contre une rémunération misérable.

Les faits se sont déroulés de 2007 à 2010. Guillaume Soro, alors Premier ministre ivoirien, et une de ses compagnes ont un enfant, né en février 2006, atteint d’hémophilie. Ils organisent plusieurs séjours à Paris pour que le garçon soit soigné et demandent à cette occasion à une nourrice de les accompagner.

Deux femmes, originaires du Burkina Faso, resteront respectivement six mois (d’avril 2007 à août 2008) et treize mois (d’octobre 2008 à mars 2010) en France à l’occasion de différents séjours.

"Elles pensaient ne devoir s’occuper que du jeune malade. En fait, elles se levaient à l’aube, travaillaient jusqu’à 23 heures et étaient en charge de toutes les tâches ménagères, des courses, des repas", raconte leur avocat, Me David Desgranges.

"Malgré des journées de travail considérables, elles n’étaient rémunérées qu’à hauteur de 45 euros par mois, ne pouvaient pas sortir librement, n’avaient aucun jour de repos et ne mangeaient que du riz ou les restes", ajoute-t-il.

Les deux femmes subissent aussi "des humiliations verbales" et "des pressions constantes": leurs papiers d’identité sont confisqués, leur salaire pas toujours versé, selon l’accusation.

Une situation que conteste la défense. "Ma cliente n’a certes pas strictement respecté le droit du travail en omettant notamment de déclarer ses employées, mais je réfute toute atteinte à la dignité humaine", souligne Me Jean-Paul Benoît. "Il est faux de dire que leurs passeports ont été confisqués. Elles se sont rendues plusieurs fois au Burkina Faso à cette époque et avaient tout loisir de ne pas retourner travailler chez cet
employeur", ajoute le conseil.

Les deux victimes présumées avaient pris la fuite, l’une en août 2008 et l’autre en février 2010, et s’étaient adressées au Comité contre l’esclavage moderne qui avait signalé leur cas à la justice.

La compagne de Guillaume Soro risque 7 ans d’emprisonnement et 150.000 euros d’amende. Les deux gardes d’enfant ont aussi réclamé respectivement 2.000 et 10.000 euros au titre de leur préjudice.

"Elles ont été maintenues dans un isolement relationnel, social et culturel et placées dans une situation de dépendance matérielle totale à l’égard de leur employeur", estime Me David Desgranges.

Le procès se tient lundi à partir de 13H30 devant la XVIIe chambre du tribunal correctionnel de Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine).

Le monopole de Bolloré sur le port d’Abidjan de plus en plus contesté (RFI)

PortAbidjan000_Par7339532_0Dans un document que se sont procurés le journal Le Monde et RFI, l’Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA) remet en question l’attribution en 2013 du deuxième terminal à conteneurs du port d’Abidjan à un consortium dont fait partie le groupe français. À l’origine, ce sont des concurrents malheureux qui ont porté plainte contre le groupement de Bolloré pour violations des règles de la concurrence au sein de l’UEMOA.

C’est le groupement mené par le Philippin ICTSI qui a porté plainte : il ne comprend pas comment Bolloré et son partenaire APMT, déjà opérateurs du premier terminal à conteneurs du port d’Abidjan, ont pu obtenir la concession du deuxième, alors que l’appel d’offres visait justement à faire rentrer la concurrence dans un port considéré comme l’un des plus chers d’Afrique de l’Ouest.

Saisie en mai 2013, l’UEMOA a jugé la plainte recevable et la commission de la concurrence de l’institution ouest-africaine a mandaté des experts pour se pencher sur la question. Les conclusions de leur rapport d’analyse préliminaire présenté en juin 2014 sont sans appel : selon eux, cette concentration est « assimilable à un abus de position dominante » et les experts se demandent si ce comportement fautif ne devrait pas amener l’État de Côte d’Ivoire à remettre en cause l’attribution de la concession.

Ce document n’est qu’un avis et l’enquête continue, mais il vient confirmer les objections exprimées par le ministre du Commerce ivoirien en 2013 qui s’inquiétait aussi d’éventuels problèmes de gouvernance. Sur le terrain en tout cas, les travaux de construction du deuxième terminal n’ont toujours pas commence.

Source: http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20140907-le-monopole-bollore-le-port-abidjan-plus-plus-conteste/

Goucher College First in Nation to Launch Video Application Alternative

GVA_450x300Goucher College is the first college in the nation to create an application option requesting student-submitted videos as the decisive factor for admission. Beginning with applicants for the 2015-2016 academic year, students can choose not to submit transcripts, test scores, and other traditional application materials. Instead, applicants can send Goucher a straightforward, two-minute video about how they see themselves flourishing at the college.

Goucher has added the Goucher Video App (GVA) to its Common and Universal College application options.

While other colleges and universities accept or request videos to supplement their application processes, Goucher is the first to offer an option that will use a student’s self-produced video as the crux of the admissions decision. The college admissions process can be confusing, complicated, and costly for many families. The Goucher Video Application (GVA) represents an innovative step to demystify and de-stress the admissions process and create a more transparent application for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

“At Goucher, we believe students are more than the numbers and other data on their academic records,” said Goucher President José A. Bowen, Ph.D. “Access to higher education should be about potential and not just previous achievement. With the Goucher Video App, we want to attract capable, passionate students who want a liberal arts education that leads to solid careers and sustains a lifetime of learning.”

As the first college to include study abroad as a graduation requirement, the Goucher Video Application adds to the college’s legacy of innovation in undergraduate education. In addition to the video itself, Goucher asks students to supplement video submissions with a brief application form, a signed statement of academic integrity, and two works of scholarship (including a graded writing assignment).

Each application will be closely reviewed by an admissions counselor and a faculty member, and they will make recommendations regarding acceptance to a larger review committee. Production value will not be among the evaluation criteria for the Goucher Video App. Application reviewers will base their admissions decisions on the thoughtfulness of the student’s response.

Applicants who want to be considered for merit scholarship will have to submit a high school transcript and will have the option of submitting test scores, although Goucher has been test-optional since 2007. Need-based financial aid will be available to admitted students who apply using the Goucher Video Application.

While the Common Application and the Universal College Application are convenient for many students, for others, these traditional admissions procedures may not showcase their true talents and abilities. Drawing upon recent research that shows more traditional methods of admissions favor wealthier students, and concerns about ongoing efforts to provide educational opportunity for all students, Goucher has selected this new and innovative approach.

“In the revolution in media and higher education occurring today, colleges will inevitably need to use all tools at their disposal to encourage students to apply and assess their potential,” said Nina Kasniunas, assistant professor of political science, who served as an advisor in GVA’s development. “This innovation in admissions is a natural step for Goucher because we are looking for students who embrace the challenge of sharing their intellectual passions and interests with the power of video. We pride ourselves on the wide array of smart, interesting students who we teach in our classes and who call our campus home.”

“We have always taken a holistic approach to how we evaluate students for admission to Goucher College,” said Christopher Wild, admissions counselor. “The Goucher Video App will help us broaden our pool of applicants and ultimately guide qualified students to Goucher so they can explore their interests and talents and reach their full potential on campus and abroad.”

For those interested in learning more, Goucher has produced several informational videos that explain GVA. Prospective students and parents can find more about the admissions process, financial aid, and campus life by visiting Goucher’s website. Check out Goucher on Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and follow the college at @gouchercollege, #gouchervideoapp #morethananumber.

Dramanistan : Mensonge et Broutage érigés en Politique, M. Frindéthié

images57949EX2Que les délogés qui ont perçu de Dramane 2000 dollars lèvent la main

De tous les gouvernements qui se sont relayés en Côte d’Ivoire, Celui de Dramane figurera inéluctablement dans les annales de l’histoire pour sa propension au mensonge éhonté. Alors que toute la Côte d’Ivoire sait que les déguerpis des zones à risques n’ont, dans le meilleur cas, reçu du gouvernement de Dramane qu’un dédommagement de 150.000 francs CFA (voir à ce sujet les articles suivants : http://www.imatin.net/article/societe/deguerpissement-des-zones-a-risques-150.000-f-par-famille_1496_1339706585.html http://www.koaci.com/cote-divoire-deguerpissement-quartier-tomber-mort-dattecoube-rase-94020.html?lang=1 ) ; et alors que dans la plupart des cas cette modique somme n’a jamais été perçue par les ayant droit parce que détournée par les fauves du gouvernement des génocidaires, quel n’a été mon étonnement, en me réveillant ce matin, de voir un reportage de CNN qui soutenait que les déplacés des zones à risques à Abidjan percevaient du gouvernement de Dramane la somme de 2000 dollars (l’équivalent de 984.000 francs CFA). Pourquoi le gouvernement de Dramane a-t-il transmis ces chiffres aux médias internationaux ? Pourquoi Dramane s’évertue-t-il tant à travestir la vérité, faisant croire à l’opinion internationale que dans les zones déguerpies, où le revenu mensuel moyen des familles ne va pas au-delà de 70.000 francs CFA, Chaque famille a perçu plus de 14 mois de salaire pour se reloger ? A l’évidence, Dramane et sa clique, qui, darbouka sous l’aisselle, clament chaque jour que « lo pei anvanche », que « l’émerzance » est au coin de la rue, savent bien que rien n’est en fait plus vrai que le contraire. Les génocidaires ont échoué sur tous les plans. Aussi, cherchent-ils à dissimuler au monde leur politique sociale  coléreuse, tâtonnante, déficiente, et déshumanisante. En attendant, j’attends que les déguerpis qui ont perçu du gouvernement de Dramane la somme de 984.000 francs lèvent la main … et j’attends en vain. Heureusement que la bande tourne et que toutes les gesticulations des génocidaires sont enregistrées sur les réseaux sociaux.

Wattao à l’Académie militaire de Meknès ?

Le « Commandant » Issiaka Ouattara, alias Wattao, serait, selon les experts en relations publiques du régime génocidaire d’Abidjan, en formation d’État-major à l’Académie militaire de Meknès, au Maroc. Mais pour que cela fût vrai, ne devraient-ils pas nous convaincre d’abord que Wattao, ce marmiton à la soupe infecte, cette anémie culturelle et intellectuelle promue grâce à ses crimes commis au compte de Dramane Ouattara, a appris à écrire son nom ? Ne serait-il pas logique que notre illettré  commençât d’abord à prendre des cours du soir à « l’EPP Tomber-mort d’Abidjan » ?

Folie Circulaire, Frindéthié

awful1Dans vos capitales vos peuples vivotent et se meurent

Et vos enfants en guenilles quémandent le long des trottoirs

Vos ponts et vos routes sont des pièges à hommes

Et vos rivières des réservoirs de contaminations

Vos écoles des usines d’imbécillités et de décadence

Qui avilissent bien plus qu’elles n’élèvent :

Et que faites-vous ?

Vous arrivez plutôt ballonnés comme des baudruches

Fagotés dans vos redingotes noires

Tels des choucas autour de la même mangeoire

Vous attendez transpirant et essoufflés

Sous l’impardonnable canicule et les sempiternelles balayures

Vous bousculant autour de quelque grand blanc

Qui vous juge et vous jauge et vous tapote le crâne

Tel le bon maîmaître et ses dogues obéissants

Il vous jette de petites friandises

Que vous vous fauchez pour saisir au vol

Et pour deux sous et un sourire de lui

Vous monnayeriez même votre génitrice

Il paraît que l’on vous a appris à faire beaucoup de choses

Sous la sempiternelle canicule

A japper à frétiller de la queue et à vous rouler par terre

Après avoir appris à rouler vos r

Et quand arrive le grand blanc dans ses colonies

De chaux blanche vous barbouillez fiévreusement vos cases

Votre peuple affamé vous rassemblez le long des routes

A s’égosiller et à battre des mains

Et vos bongos vous sortez

Pour lui offrir un folklore à sa hauteur

Qu’est donc devenue la dignité africaine ?

Votre cupidité a-t-elle des limites ?

L’on me dit que vous avez même appris à téter du postérieur

Allez chanter la francité

Alors que de frayeur vous frémissez à votre national-ITÉ

Allez chanter la Marseillaise

Quand votre hymne vous la connaissez à peine

Comme j’ai honte pour vous

Honte de votre folie circulaire

Honte de votre génuflexion

L’Afrique mérite beaucoup mieux que des choucas de votre espèce

Ukraine Crisis Continues — Paul Craig Roberts

PCRDr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Having served Washington’s propaganda purposes, the downed Malaysian airliner and the alleged Russian armored column that entered Ukraine and was allegedly destroyed have dropped out of the news even though both stories remain completely and totally unresolved.

Washington’s stooge government in Ukraine has not released the records of communications between Ukrainian air traffic control and Malaysian flight 17, and Washington has not released the photos from its satellite which was directly overhead at the time of the airliner’s demise.

We can safely and conclusively conclude from this purposeful withholding of evidence that the evidence does not support Washington’s and Kiev’s propaganda.

We can also safely and conclusively conclude that the Western media’s sudden disinterest in the unresolved story and failure to demand the evidence kept secret by Washington and Kiev is in keeping with the Western media’s role as a Ministry of Propaganda.

In other words, Washington and its presstitutes are protecting the lie that Washington and its media vassals successfully spread around the world and have used as the basis for further sanctions that escalate the conflict with Russia. Washington could not possibly make it clearer that Washington intends to escalate, not defuse, the conflict that Washington alone orchestrated.

Ditto for the alleged Russian armored column. The Russian government has labeled the story a fantasy, which it clearly is, but nevertheless Washington and its media vassals have left the story in place.

As English is the world language and as the European press follows the lead of the American presstitutes, the propaganda war is stacked against Russia (and China). Russian and Chinese are not world languages. Indeed, these languages are difficult for others to learn and are not well known outside the countries themselves. The Western media follows Washington’s lead, not Moscow’s or Beijing’s.

As facts are not relevant to the outcome, Moscow and Beijing are in a losing situation in the propaganda war.

The same holds for diplomacy. Washington does not engage in diplomacy. The exceptional country uses bribes, threats, and coercion. The Russian government’s diplomatic efforts come to naught. As Russian President Putin has complained, “Washington doesn’t listen, the West doesn’t hear us.”

And yet the Russian government continues to try to deal with the Ukrainian situation with facts and diplomacy. This approach is proving to be very costly to the residents of the former Russian territories in eastern and southern Ukraine. These people are being killed by air and artillery strikes against their homes and infrastructure. Large numbers of these people have been displaced by the Ukrainian attacks and are refugees in Russia. The Western media does not report the violence that Washington’s stooge government in Kiev is inflicting on these people. The Western media speaks only with Washington’s voice: “It is all Russia’s fault.”

The crisis would have been prevented if the Russian government had accepted the provinces request to be reunited with Russia as in the case of Crimea. However, the Russian government decided to avoid any decision that Washington could misrepresent as “invasion and annexation,” thinking that Europe would see Russia’s unprovocative behavior as reassuring and resist Washington’s pressure to enter into conflict with Russia.

In my opinion the Russian government over-estimated the power of diplomacy in the West. Washington is interested in fomenting crises, not in resolving them.

In the 23 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russians have been of the opinion that Washington, not the Soviet government, was the party to be trusted in the Cold War. What the Russian government has learned recently is that Washington cannot be trusted and that the Soviet government’s suspicions of the West were very well founded.

Kiev’s military assault on eastern and southern Ukraine is not going to stop because Europeans finally see the light and object. Europeans not only stood aside for 13 years while Washington bombed civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and organized outside forces to attack Syrians, while isolating Iran for military attack, but also actively participated in the attacks. Europe has stood aside while Israel has massacred Palestinians on numerous occasions. For Russia to rely on Europe’s moral conscience is to rely on something that does not exist.

The continued slaughter and destruction of the Russian populations in eastern and southern Ukraine will eventually demoralize the Russian people and undermine their support of Putin’s government for failing to halt it. The Russian government’s acceptance of the slaughter makes Russia look weak and encourages more aggression against Russia.

If the Russian government intends to resolve its problems in Ukraine and to forestall
Washington’s ability to further erode Russia’s political and economic relationships with Europe with more sanctions, the Russian government will have to turn to more forceful measures.

In Ukraine the Russian government has two alternatives. One is to announce that the ongoing slaughter and the unresponsiveness of Kiev and its Western backers to Russia’s efforts to end the killing with a diplomatic settlement has caused Russia to reconsider the provinces’ requests to be reunited with Russia and that any further attacks on these territories will be regarded as attacks on Russia and be met with a devastating military response.

The other alternative is for Putin to meet privately with Washington’s stooge and convey to the corrupt oligarch that enough is enough and that if the attacks continue Russia will accept the requests for reunification and protect the provinces. Putin would explain to Washington’s stooge that if he wants to retain the former Russian territories as part of Ukraine, he will have to work out satisfactory arrangements with the provinces. In other words, Putin would deliver an ultimatum, one that required an immediate answer so that the stooge couldn’t run to Washington and Washington would not have time to create a new propaganda.

Karl Marx regarded morality as a rationale for class interests. As each class created a morality to justify its interests, there was no basis for good will between people. With reform impossible, violence becomes the only effective method of change. Washington has its own version of Marx’s doctrine. As the exceptional country, history has chosen the US to prevail over other countries’ interests. Prevailing rules out diplomacy which requires compromise. Therefore, Washington, like Marx, relies on violence.

The Russian government cannot rely on diplomacy and good will if the West is relying on violence.

Perhaps s solution could be found by President Putin meeting separately with Merkel and Hollande and explaining that Russia cannot indefinitely accept sanctions based on lies and propaganda without taking more determined steps than Russian sanctions against European agricultural products. Putin could make it clear that if Europe continues to accommodate Washington’s assault on Russia, the flow of energy could be restricted or be turned off.

Additionally, President Putin might explain to the European leaders that the dynamics of Washington’s campaign to demonize Russia can escape control and result in war that would devastate Europe. Putin could tell Europeans that by disassociating from Washington’s foreign policy and adopting foreign policies that serve their own interests instead of Washington’s, Europeans have nothing to lose but their chains of vassalage.

Putin could explain to Europeans that Russia is prepared to guarantee Europe’s security and, therefore, that Europe does not need Washington’s guarantee against a nonexistent Russian threat.

If this very reasonable and diplomatic approach to Europe fails, then Russia and China know that they must prepare for war.

Johnny Patcheko interpelle Affi Nguessan

Russia demands publication of recordings from downed flight MH17

Malaysian

Mark Trevelyan (Reuters)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is demanding to know why international investigators have yet to publish the black box data from a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, a deputy defense minister said in an interview published on Saturday.

Moscow blames Ukraine for the disaster, in which all 298 passengers and crew were killed. In a version of events widely believed in the West, Ukraine says the Boeing 777 was shot down by pro-Russian separatists with a surface-to-air missile.

"The Boeing catastrophe throws up more and more questions. But lately not many people are talking about this," Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told RIA news agency.

"Why have the data still not been published about the conversations between the air traffic controllers and the pilots of the Boeing? Why haven’t the data been presented from the international investigation of the black boxes? Who doesn’t want this to happen?"

The interview marked the latest example of Moscow’s attempts to go on the media offensive at a time when it faces intense international pressure over mounting evidence of its military support for the rebels, something it continues to deny.

The Netherlands, which had 195 nationals on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, is leading the international investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The July 17 incident stirred international outrage, which only increased when rebel fighters impeded investigators’ access to the bodies and wreckage.

Antonov said Russia had established that a Ukrainian Su-25 military aircraft was in the vicinity of the Malaysian airliner.

"Where is the transcript of the recordings of conversations between the pilot of this plane and his command? How did a military aircraft come to be alongside a civilian one?

"If people are saying today that a rocket was fired from the ground towards that military plane, then I’d like to look that military pilot in the eye who used a civilian plane as cover, if of course that’s what happened," Antonov said.

His comments appeared to allow for the possibility that rebels might have downed the airliner in a failed attempt to hit a Ukrainian military plane, although he said these were only "working versions" of what may have happened.

Antonov said his ministry was pressing for answers about the tragedy from the United States, Ukraine and European countries.

He reiterated Russia’s denials of military intervention in Ukraine: "When people say today that Russia has launched aggression or war against Ukraine, that is all nonsense."

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Il n’y a aucun cas d’Ebola au Dramanistan … tout comme Dramane a gagné les élections de 2010, M. Frindéthié

ebolaIl n’y a pas un seul cas d’Ebola en Côte d’Ivoire. Que les Ivoiriens arrêtent de se faire peur en véhiculant des rumeurs infondées. Voilà ce que déclarait Dramane de retour de son voyage français, où, en compagnie de 12 autres concierges noirs, il est allé célébrer aux côtés du Grand-Maître-Blanc le 70e anniversaire du Débarquement en Provence. Il n’y a pas de cas d’Ebola en Côte d’Ivoire, car ainsi en a décidé Dramane, qui tient en main le sifflet du facteur de la vérité, et qui annoncera quand, cette épidémie, qui a pourtant pris ses quartiers à toutes les frontières de la Côte d’Ivoire, rentrera au Dramanistan.

Il n’y a aucun cas d’Ebola en Côte d’Ivoire, qui viendrait subvertir la « croissance à deux chiffres », le « retour » si claironné de la BAD, qu’on a fait fuir pour compromettre Gbagbo et qu’on peine tant à faire revenir depuis. Il n’y a pas un seul cas d’Ebola, qui viendrait perturber « l’émerzance ». Bien sûr, il y a eu des moments de frayeur à Abobo, à Yopougon, à Anyama, à Toulépleu, à Séguéla ; mais il y a eu plus de peur que de mal, car aucun de ces cas n’a testé positif. Ainsi le veut Goudou Raymonde Coffie, qui se fait dicter les résultats des tests depuis les ateliers de la rue Lepic. L’OMS (Organisation mondiale de la Santé) ne publie que les résultats que lui transmettent les ministères de la santé des Etats. Et au Dramanistan, c’est zéro cas d’Ebola. On a réussi ce « miracle » avec très peu ou pas de consignes.

Il n’y a pas un seul cas d’Ebola en Côte d’Ivoire : tout va bien dès lors que les populations refusent de se serrer les mains, mais continuent de s’entasser et de partager généreusement leurs sueurs dans les wrowros, les gbakas et les quelques bus de la Sotra epargnés de l’autodafé du Commando invisible. Il n’y a aura pas un seul cas d’Ebola au Dramanistan, tant que l’on évitera l’agouti, mais que l’on continuera à patauger dans les marécages des marchés, où se côtoient « le videur » fraîchement sorti des toilettes, ses mains encore moites de les avoir promenées entre ses fesses – so what ? Lo péi anvanche –, la vendeuse, les mains fourrées dans l’attiéké, et le dépité qui crache son agacement de la cherté de la vie sur les légumes.

Il n’y a aucun cas d’Ebola, nous dit Dramane, qui, pour s’en protéger évite de tendre la main à ses ministres, et évitera certainement cette tournée dans l’Iffou … prétextant une recommandation de ses médecins – bains de foule dans l’Iffou ? Qui est fou ? Dans la dictature du Dramanistan, il n’y aura pas de cas d’Ebola tant que Dramane lui-même ne l’aura pas dit. Et gare à qui ose prétendre le contraire ! Et tant pis si une population faussement mise en confiance continue de vivre dangereusement ses habitudes comme si elle était exceptionnellement à l’abri.

Il n’y a pas d’Ebola au Dramanistan … tout comme Dramane a gagné les élections de 2010.

La dédollarisation du marché mondial, M. Frindéthié

PoutineLes sanctions économiques imposées à la Russie par les pays occidentaux, et qui avaient pour but de tordre le cou à l’économie russe afin de forcer Vladimir Poutine à « lâcher » la rébellion pro-russe dont il serait le parrain, semblent avoir produit un effet boomerang des plus pénibles pour l’économie de l’Europe et de l’Amérique.

En représailles aux sanctions occidentales, le Premier ministre russe, Dmitriev Medvedev, avait d’abord émis la possibilité pour la Russie d’interdire son espace aérien aux vols des pays occidentaux qui s’étaient alignés sur l’Amérique. Si cette éventualité fit frémir les grandes compagnies aériennes occidentales, elle ne fut jamais appliquée. En revanche, un décret du président russe interdit l’importation de produits agricoles et de matières premières européens sur les marchés russes. Cette mesure punitive s’élargit plus tard à l’Amérique, à l’Australie et au Canada, qui se virent refuser l’entrée en Russie de leur viande, de leurs produits laitiers, de leurs fruits et de leurs légumes. Et puis la semaine dernière, ce fut la grande multinationale américaine de fast-food, McDonald, qui dut fermer boutique à Moscou pour violation de mesures d’hygiène.

Si cette décision de Moscou fit sourire au Pays de l’Oncle Sam, où l’on y détecta le harcèlement puéril d’une entreprise américaine par Moscou, il va sans dire que Washington trouvera moins drôle le dernier geste de Poutine qui vise la dédollarisation du marché mondial. En effet,   27 août dernier, Gazprom, la plus grande compagnie gazifière du monde, dont le siège est à Moscou, a annoncé qu’elle acceptait de se faire payer en Yuan par la Chine pour une livraison de 80.000 tonnes de pétrole fournies à partir de ses réserves de l’Arctique. Cette transaction, qui pour la première fois, du moins officiellement, se fait en une devise autre que le dollar, est d’autant moins souhaitée à Washington qu’elle brise l’hégémonie du dollar sur le marché mondial.

Si Moscou maintient sa position, qui est de conduire des transactions pétrolières en des monnaies alternatives (yuan, rouble), alors une règle sacrée se rature; celle qui maintient l’hégémonie de Amérique à travers sa monnaie, en obligeant tout pays voulant se procurer du pétrole sur le marché mondial à se constituer d’abord une réserve de dollars. En dédollarisant le marché mondial, la Russie affaiblit l’Amérique plus que celle-ci ne l’aurait cru possible.

 

Que ceux qui ont été réconciliés par Konan Banny lèvent la main, M. Frindéthié

bannyIncroyable ! C’est à croire que sous le charme des dozos de Dramane Ouattara l’ex-gouverneur de la BCEAO, Charles Konan Banny, a été scotché à cette chose, à ce CDVR, à ce cadavre créé de toutes pièces par Dramane pour se disculper devant l’opinion publique et exorciser les nombreux homicides qui jalonnent son parcours. Konan Banny n’a-t-il vraiment pas d’autre ambition que de baguenauder de régions en régions au nom de ce truc mort qui n’a jamais réconcilié personne et ne réconciliera jamais personne, tant l’esprit qui l’a fondé et le finance est empêtré dans la bouse du tribalisme et de la division ? Plutôt que de se contenter de cette nomination empoisonnée, n’est-il pas temps que Konan Banny aspire à une ambition moins polluée ? Car j’attends depuis sa génuflexion théâtrale au Palais de la culture que ceux qui ont été réconciliés par Konan Banny lèvent la main … et j’attends toujours.

Ange Kessi se serait-il enfin converti à la justice, M. Frindéthié

kessyLe 23 août dernier, le Tribunal militaire d’Abidjan condamnait à perpétuité le soldat FRCI Ladji Touré Pour l’assassinat à Sikensi du Commissaire de police Kouadio Amani Alain. C’était aussi l’occasion pour le sulfureux Ange Kessi, ce « Commissaire du Gouvernement » qui n’a jamais su conduire honnêtement aucune enquête jusqu’à son terme, de se lancer dans une cavalcade béate sous les pupilles dilatées d’une admiration toute pieuse des ouailles du RHDP; ceci pour d’abord racheter des accusations d’arbitraire qui lui viennent des observateurs de la scène politique ivoirienne le régime génocidaire qu’il sert très fidèlement, puis, pour se dédouaner lui-même en couvrant ses oripeaux de corrompu du kita de magistrat juste et impartial – car, pour qui connait Ange Kessi comme le connaissent la plupart des FDS, Kessi a une aversion prononcée pour l’impartialité, la légalité et la justice et une propension particulière à l’abus et la partialité. Ce qui conduirait tout logiquement à se demander d’où vient à ce « magistrat » servile et corrompu sa transmutation subite.

Devrait-on donc croire que la « conversion » inattendue de Kessi à la justice conduirait à un dénouement des nombreuses enquêtes restées sans suite ou des nombreux crimes des soldats FRCI demeurés sans interpellation ? Que nenni ! Ange Kessi est dans la préparation des esprits à la condamnation expéditive du colonel Gouanou et des officiers Jean-Noel Abéhi, ex-chef de l’escadron blindé du camp d’Agban, et Anselme Séka Séka, ex-aide de camp de Mme Simone Gbagbo. D’ailleurs, Kessi n’avait-il pas déjà prononcé la sentence de ces officiers lorsqu’il déclarait le 21 février dernier que « Les procédures sont en instruction et avancent normalement. Cest dans ce cadre que nous allons bientôt faire un appel à témoin. Déjà le ministre Joël N’Guessan a été entendu, parce quil a des gardes de corps qui ont été tués. Cest un procès très sérieux. Il implique plusieurs personnes avec des infractions très graves qui appellent la prison à vie. Les prévenus risquent la prison à vie. » ?

A bien y voir, Ange Kessi n’a pas du tout changé. Il est bien la honte que nous décrit le jeune Johnny Patcheko qui le connait très bien pour avoir servi sous ses ordres. Ladji Touré n’est que l’appéritif que nous sert Kessi avant la condamnation à perpétuité de Gouanou, Abéhi et Séka Séka, une condamnation concoctée d’avance dans les drogueries de la rue Lepic.

Insécurité / Microbes : L’imam Diaby Almamy « De grosses têtes de la rébellion sont derrière ces enfants »

microbesImam de la Mosquée Ifpg au Plateau et président de l’Ong Nouvelle Vision contre la pauvreté, Diaby Almamy, mène plusieurs actions dans le cadre de la réinsertion des ex-combattants. Nous l’avons rencontré le samedi 2 août 2014 au Plateau. A cette occasion, le guide réligieux qui est également un collaborateur de l’Onuci, s’est prononcé sur le phénomène des ‘’microbes’’, ces enfants qui agressent à main armée dans des communes d’Abidjan.

Il est de plus en plus question à Abidjan du phénomène des »Microbes ». Qui sont-ils exactement ?

Diaby Almamy : Il faut le dire. C’est une affaire qui concerne trois types d’enfants. Il y a celui des ex-combattants, celui des enfants qui ont servi d’indicateurs pendant la crise et ceux qui ont intégré ces groupes juste par suivisme. Mais, le fond du problème est purement politique. Le politique a utilisé ces enfants pendant les heures chaudes où il fallait trouver le moyen de faire partir le président Laurent Gbagbo. Et, une partie de ces enfants brûlaient les pneus, participaient aux opérations ville morte. Ils paralysaient tout le système dans les communes d’Adjamé, d’Abobo et d’Attécoubé. Aujourd’hui, ils ont vu que la situation s’est normalisée. Et, ceux qui les mettaient dans la rue sont aujourd’hui à l’aise pendant qu’eux souffrent. C’est l’une des parties du problème. Il y a aussi le cas des ex-combattants. Des enfants se sont battus avec eux pendant la crise. Ils avaient entre 18 et 25 ans. Et maintenant qu’on doit s’occuper d’eux, on leur dit qu’ils ne savent ni lire, ni écrire. Ils ont donc décidé de constituer un bloc à Attécoubé.

Quand ces enfants attaquent des personnes, que font-ils des biens volés ?

D.A : Ils ont des ex-combattants derrière eux, à qui, ils reversent tout cela, une sorte de commandement.

Qui sont ces personnes, ces ex-combattants ?

D.A : A Attécoubé, ce sont les éléments de la Marine. Il y avait deux groupes. Un qui acceptait de travailler pour eux quand un autre groupe refusait. Ce qui faisait que lorsque les deux groupes s’affrontaient, au lieu de les séparer, ils choisissaient de tirer sur ceux qui ne travaillent pas pour eux. Attécoubé était devenue infréquentable. Je suis allé voir la commissaire (de police) pour lui demander les raisons de cette situation. Elle m’a fait savoir que quand on arrête ces enfants, des hommes en armes, en treillis, viennent les libérer sous prétexte que ces enfants ont combattu avec eux. Je suis allé à la Marine pour discuter avec le commandant. Il m’a dit que ce ne sont pas eux les responsables. Mais, après nos investigations, nous avons compris que ce sont ses éléments qui le faisaient. Pour aller plus loin, je vous informe que le chef des microbes de Boribana dormait à la Marine.

Ce chef-microbe est-il un soldat ?

D.A : Non, c’est un civil. Et, il dormait à la Marine au vu et au su de tous. Quand les gens de la Cie (Compagnie ivoirienne d’électricité, Ndlr) sont venus à Boribana pour couper le courant parallèle, ces enfants ont coupé le bras d’un élément Frci du ‘’commandant Barbu’’. Cela n’a pas été sanctionné. On constate que ces enfants font ce qu’ils veulent et personne n’en parle. Nous avons organisé une grande cérémonie pour proposer des solutions à ce problème. Ces enfants nous disaient tout. Après les échanges avec les enfants, nous avons compris que le problème à Attécoubé vient de la Marine. Celui d’Abobo vient des anciens ‘’syndicats’’ qui ont leur enfants parmi ces microbes.

Concernant ces éléments des ‘’syndicats’’, à quel niveau sont-ils impliqués dans cette affaire ?

D.A : Il y a 4 enfants que nous sommes allés trouver à la Maca (Maison d’arrêt et de correction d’Abidjan). On leur a demandé pourquoi ils se sont retrouvés en prison. C’étaient des enfants de 15 à 17 ans maximum. Ils nous ont expliqué qu’ils étaient dans les gares. Ils prenaient ce qu’ils devaient prendre pour le remettre aux chefs des syndicats. A un moment, ils se sont rendus compte que les chefs ne s’occupaient pas bien d’eux. Ilsmicrobes 2 ont donc décidé d’arrêter. Quand ils ont arrêté, on les a envoyés de Cocody à Abobo. Après, ils se sont retrouvés à la Maca. Ces enfants n’y sont pour rien. C’est pour vous dire qu’il y a de grosses têtes qui ont combattu au niveau de la rébellion qui sont derrière ces enfants.

Des officiers supérieurs ?

D.A : Oui. Des gens bien connus aujourd’hui, qui ont participé à la rébellion. Ce sont aujourd’hui des haut gradés. Cela nous choque vraiment de voir cela. Parce que cela n’aide pas le président (de la république) à sortir le pays du trou. Il fait tout ce qu’il peut. Mais, ces gens créent toujours un blocage. Ils allument le feu et viennent après jouer les pompiers. Il y a des enfants de ‘’syndicats’’ bien connus, qui sont des microbes. Donc, ils ne peuvent jamais contribuer à arrêter ce phénomène. Puisque, quand ces enfants prennent des portables, des bijoux de valeur, ils viennent les remettre à ces soi-disant chefs. Et quand après le partage ils ne sont pas contents, ils retournent encore sur le terrain. Mais, il y a un fait qu’il faut souligner. La plupart de ces enfants sont des ressortissants des pays voisins. Pour beaucoup, ils ne sont pas Ivoiriens. Il y a des Maliens, des Guinéens, des Burkinabés. Le chef d’Attécoubé par exemple est Burkinabé. Son second est Malien. Nous avions décidé de rentrer en contact avec les Ambassades de ces pays pour qu’ils puissent aussi faire la sensibilisation à leur niveau. Tous ceux-là sont soutenus par des chefs de guerre. Il ne faut surtout pas oublier ce côté.

Qu’est ce qui motive aujourd’hui ces officiers supérieurs qui vivent quand même dans de bonnes conditions à encadrer ces enfants ?

D.A : Les syndicats par exemple sont soutenus par certains chefs de guerre parce que dans chaque gare, ils ont leur ration. De ce fait, ils ne veulent pas mettre fin à ce qu’on appelle le phénomène des Gnambros (membre de syndicats de transporteurs : Ndlr). Et, c’est le phénomène des Gnambros qui alimente celui des »Microbes ». Puisque, la plupart de ces enfants sont les fils des syndicats. Il faut le dire. Aujourd’hui, je me retrouve souvent menacé par des syndicats, des Frci. J’ai été mandaté par l’Onuci (Opération des Nations Unies en Côte d’Ivoire : Ndlr) pour suivre le processus des ex-combattants. J’ai aidé plus de 300 à Abobo à avoir un emploi. Je sais donc de quoi je parle.

Ne craignez-vous pas pour votre vie à l’allure où vont les choses ?

D.A :Pas du tout. Je suis guide religieux. Imam de la mosquée Ifpg au Plateau, qu’on appelle la mosquée Aemci. Je me dis que c’est une mission de Dieu. Ils peuvent me tuer s’ils le veulent. Mais, qu’ils sachent que tout ce qu’ils sèment, ils le récolteront un jour.

Pour revenir à la question de ces bandes, comment fonctionne une équipe de »microbes » ?

D.A : Il y a ce qu’ils appellent ‘’Opération ville propre’’. Ils peuvent se mettre à près de cent. Ils occupent une voie. Et ce jour-là, tous ceux qu’ils rencontrent sur cette voie, sont dépouillés de tout. Il y a deux semaines à Attécoubé, il y a un microbe qui a foncé sur moi. Arrivé à mon niveau. Il a crié ‘’Eh vieux père, c’est toi’’ et il est parti. Il avait sa machette et son pistolet en main.

En plus des armes blanches, ils ont donc des armes à feu…

D.A :Oui, ils ont des armes à feu. Vous savez, ces enfants n’ont plus peur de rien. J’étais à Agboville, il y a quelque temps. A 23 h, »le commandant Barbu » qui est à la Sodeci à Attécoubé, m’a appelé. Il m’a dit que ces enfants ont même cassé sa voiture à Boribana. J’ai dit au commandant que »ceux qui te créent des problèmes sont au sein de ton groupe ». Ce qui se passe actuellement risque de ternir fortement l’image du président Ouattara. C’est pour cela que nous avons décidé de dire la vérité aux Ivoiriens.

Quelle est cette vérité ?

D.A :La vérité est que pour finir avec les »Microbes », il faut régler le problème des ex-combattants. Il y en a qui ont combattu et qui n’ont pas été pris en compte pendant que des autorités allaient chercher leurs frères au village pour les (…) Lire La suite sur Linfodrome

From Tahrir Square to Ferguson, MO, M. Frindéthié

FergusonIn the last few years, American youths have watched their policy makers glorify violent dissent abroad, heroize defiant Molotov cocktails throwers in places like Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Ukraine. American youths have seen their policy makers waste not a second to sanctify violent civil disobedience movements around the world with the holy water of “democracy” and baptized those violent protests with such imaginative appellations as "Arab Spring" and "Eurasian Spring". American policy makers have blessed violent contestations overseas with incredible shortsightedness, that is, without the slightest apprehension that in a country not totally ridden of deep-seated social inequalities, American youths could be inspired by this “new and lemon-scented” method for demanding social change at home. Naively thinking of itself as “exceptional”, America disremembered that calcomania is the proper of humans and not just of some peoples, and that what is good for the goose may be so for the gander. Today, on the occasion of the nth shooting of an unarmed black youth by a police that is growing epidermally trigger-happy, Ferguson, MO is looking anxiously like Tahrir Square, leaving many bewildered Americans to wonder how this could happen here, in all places. As if here were never here in the first place.

Comprendre le supplice du PDCI, M. Frindéthié (publié le 30 avril 2013)

schizoidC’est vers les premiers schizoanalystes que nous dûmes nous tourner, dans notre désir de comprendre le supplice du PDCI, ce grand enfant de soixante ans, qui se fait entuber, se fait violer, se fait  fouetter par ce tout jeune führer du RDR, et qui toujours, tel un mouton de panurge, suit tout bonnement le RDR, et continuera à suivre niaisement jusqu’en 2015. Et ce qu’il nous fut donné de voir, ce fut le programme bien élaboré de l’esclave et de sa dominatrice, lorsqu’immobilisé sur l’autel de son supplice, le PDCI en redemandait encore et encore :

« Maîtresse, 1) tu peux me ligoter sur la table, solidement serré, dix à quinze minutes, le temps de préparer les instruments ;

2) Cent coups de fouet au moins, quelques minutes d’arrêt ;

3) tu commences la couture, tu couds le trou du gland, la peau autour de celui-ci au gland l’empêchant de décalotter, tu couds la bourse des couilles à la peau des cuisses. Tu couds les seins, mais un bouton à quatre trous solidement sur chaque téton. Tu peux les réunir avec un élastique à boutonnière. Tu passes à la deuxième phase :

4) tu as le choix soit de me retourner sur la table, sur le ventre ligoté, mais les jambes réunies, soit de m’attacher au poteau seul, les poignets réunis, les jambes aussi, tout le corps solidement attaché ;

5) tu me fouettes le dos les fesses les cuisses, cent coups de fouets au moins ;

6) tu me couds les fesses ensemble, toute la raie du cul. Solidement avec du fil double en arrêtant chaque point. Si je suis sur la table, tu m’attaches alors au poteau ;

7) tu me cravaches les fesses cinquante coups ;

8) si tu veux corser la torture et exécuter la menace de la dernière fois, tu enfonces dans les fesses les épingles à fond ;

9) tu peux alors m’attacher sur la chaise, tu me cravaches les seins trente coups et tu enfonces les épingles plus petites, si tu veux tu peux les faire rougir au réchaud avant, toutes ou quelques-unes. Le ligotage sur la chaise devrait être solide, et les poignets dans le dos pour faire ressortir la poitrine. Si je n’ai pas parlé des brûlures, c’est que je dois passer d’ici quelque temps une visite et que c’est long à guérir – et 2015 n’est pas bien loin »

Peur, sadisme inversé, ou tout simplement "lo péi avanche" ?

Croissance à 2 chiffres : broutage au sommet de l’Etat, M. Frindéthié

croissancePendant sa campagne présidentielle de 2010, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, le Warifatchê, accompagné des darboukas de ses griots, brandissant son « carnet d’adresses bien fourni », jaspinait haut et fort, dans l’allégresse de ses ouailles, qu’argent, il savait où trouver, et que des milliards il ferait pleuvoir sur la Côte d’Ivoire. Aujourd’hui, 3 ans après l’investiture musclée de Dramane par les forces armées occidentales, même les inconditionnels de Dramane se demandent s’ils n’ont pas été victimes d’un broutage d’Etat. Rien de ce que Dramane a promis (65.000 classes en 5 ans, 5 universités en 5 ans, 50.0000 projets financés en 5 ans, accès à l’eau potable, accès à l’électricité, une maison pour chaque famille à moins de 5.000.000 de francs CFA, résorption du chômage, emplois pour les jeunes, etc.) ne s’est réalisé.

Bien au contraire ; après avoir endetté, rendetté et surendetté la Côte d’Ivoire auprès de ses maîtres de Bretton Woods, après avoir par trois fois –2012, 2013, 2014 – hypothéqué les ressources de la Côte d’Ivoire à travers des « emprunts obligataires », après avoir privatisé et vendu aux amis de son épouse des sociétés d’Etat, Dramane Ouattara, le concierge du Fonds monétaire et de la Banque mondiale à Abidjan, peine toujours à trouver les fonds nécessaires pour commencer la réalisation de ses promesses hyperboliques.

Holà ! Il ne serait pas juste d’affirmer que Dramane n’a fait que promettre sans vraiment rien donner aux Ivoiriens. En réalité,imagesALIO72XP le Warifatchê a beaucoup donné aux Ivoiriens. Il leur a donné des licenciements massifs (1200 agents à la Sotra, 300 agents à la RTI, etc.). Il leur a donné l’augmentation du prix du carburant et du gaz butane. Il leur a donné les délestages intempestifs et les pénuries récurrentes d’eau. Il leur a donné une diète d’amaigrissement expertement aménagée dans un panier de la ménagère inaccessible pour le commun des Ivoiriens. Il leur a donné l’indiscipline civile et la précarité se bousculant dans cette énorme favela qu’est devenue la Côte d’Ivoire. Il leur a donné les microbes (ses enfants soldats du Commando invisible), les occupants du Mont Péko, et des syndicalistes du transport à la gâchette facile. Mais surtout, il leur a donné un fourmillement d’affairistes attentistes résolus à se goinfrer sans prendre le temps de respirer … jusqu’à ce que leur moment soit « venu », pour utiliser cette sentence de koffi au carré.

Dramane Ouattara, l’homme-au-carnet-d’adresses-fourni-qui-sait-comment-trouver-de-l’argent a beaucoup donné aux Ivoiriens. Et voilà que fatigué d’attendre que les Ivoiriens lui expriment une reconnaissance qui tarde à venir, Dramane Ouattara, le Warifatchê, décide de se récompenser en se servant directement dans la poche des Ivoiriens, en instaurant une ixième taxe, celle-là sur le logement, une taxe à laquelle seront soumis propriétaires et locataires. Ailleurs, une telle entreprise serait tout simplement nommée par ce qu’elle est ; à savoir un maraudage institué. Mais ici, il s’agit du Dramanistan, un Etat voyou où tout marche sur la tête.

Dans les clameurs des hâbleurs dramanistes qui vendent aux populations des chimères de croissance à deux chiffres alors que la Côte d’Ivoire s’indiscipline, s’ourémise et se ghettoïse sous le règne des dozos, des gnambros, et des « microbes », les Ivoiriens en sont à se demander ce qu’ils ont bien pu faire pour mériter ce broutage au sommet de l’Etat.

Port-Bouët sous le règne des dinosauriens, Martial Frindéthié

 

Hortense Aka Anghui, Maire de Port-Bouet depuis 34 ans

Hortense Aka Anghui, Maire de Port-Bouet depuis 34 ans

Au moment où Hortense Aka Angui, la maire actuelle de Port-Bouët, par exemple, prenait en main la destinée de cette commune, c’est-à-dire, en 1980, son opposant aux dernières élections, le Dr Emmou Sylvestre, était à peine né. Après s’être fait réélire une pléthore de fois par une machine électorale au fonctionnement problématique, Aka Angui revient pour une ixième victoire assurée. Et je ne crois pas que ses victoires lui viennent des urnes ; à moins que les habitants de la commune de Port-Bouët ne soient de grands masochistes qui adorent s’auto-flageller.

En trente-quatre (34) ans « d’administration Angui », qu’a gagné la commune de Port-Bouët ? Quiconque cherche la réponse à cette question n’a qu’à jeter un coup d’œil sur la « Mairie de Port-Bouët », le centre névralgique de Madame, où se prennent toutes les « grandes décisions ». La mairie est un îlot de délabrement posé au milieu d’un océan de mille décompositions.

Au nord des bureaux de Madame la maire, ce sont les puanteurs d’un abattoir débordé d’immondices, de déjections, et d’anarchies de tous genres, que la brise de l’Océan, déjà chargée des effluves nauséeux du marché marécageux, peine à refouler vers les violentes exhalaisons marneuses de la lagune Ebrié. Au sud-ouest, ce qui était autrefois la belle plage de Petit-Bassam, est nue. Plus aucun cocotier. Et le petit lac de Petit-Bassam, naguère si grouillant de baigneurs, où j’avais bu la tasse, où j’avais fait l’école buissonnière, où Maman était venue plus d’une fois me chercher la chicotte à la main, n’est plus qu’une flaque d’eau verdâtre. La cellule de réflexion de Madame la maire n’a jamais su comment préserver ce joyau de la nature ! D’ailleurs, le tunnel qui autrefois alimentait le petit lac en eau de la lagune s’est bouché depuis fort longtemps; et, de l’autre côté de la route, la lagune elle-même, a été transformée en un gros dépotoir, un berceau d’infections, un centre de contaminations. On y déverse tout; on y jette tout. Les centaines de latrines construites le long de la lagune s’y vident directement, et les excréments vont alimenter les poissons qu’on pêche ensuite pour nourrir les familles et approvisionner les maquis locaux. Et le cimetière qui gagne du terrain, qui avance dangereusement vers la lagune; et nos morts qui s’infiltrent dans le sous-sol et qui viennent nous tuer pendant que nous les pleurons. A l’est des bureaux de Madame la maire, c’est la cacophonie des wrowros, c’est le sauve-qui-peut de Gonzagueville, c’est le désespoir de Jean-Foly, c’est la répétition de la misère et de la décadence générales d’une commune qui est pourtant la plus riche du territoire ivoirien avec sa zone industrielle et sa raffinerie de Vridi et son aéroport international. Et au sud, ce sud qui disparait, c’est le village Alladian que la mer grignote, grignote, grignote chaque jour un peu plus sans que la moindre solution ne puisse être envisagée.

Pour aimer la commune de Port-Bouët telle qu’elle est aujourd’hui, il faut ne pas l’avoir connue telle qu’elle était auparavant. La commune continue de dépérir. Mais Madame la maire n’en a cure, car elle, elle mange et dort loin de tout cela. Elle a tellement de mépris pour la commune qu’elle gouverne, qu’elle n’y a jamais élu domicile. Qu’a gagné Port-Bouët en 33 ans d’Aka Angui? Sinon que le reflux, sinon que le dépérissement, sinon que l’anémie ?

Et n’allez pas me dire que les habitants de Port-Bouët sont de grands masos qui ne demandent qu’à être enchaînés à leur propre vomi. Si Madame la maire est réélue tous les 5 ans, c’est moins pour sa compétence que pour la « bonne huile » qui graisse la machine électorale.

(vidéo) La traitrise finit toujours par trahir le traitre

the torture man you can grab anytime

BlackKaffir-man

a Hindu-man-from-Calcutta

a Harlem-man-who-doesn’t-vote

the famine-man,

the insult-man,

the torture man you can grab anytime,

beat up,

kill — no joke,   kill — without having to account to anyone,

without having to make excuses to anyone

Césaire

On ne change fondamentalement rien si on ne gouverne, Pourquoi et comment le FPI se doit de gouverner en 2015, M. Frindéthié (publié initialement le 23 août 2013)

pascal-affi-n-guessan-laurent-gbagbo2015 sera l’année qui libérera la Côte d’Ivoire ou la plongera dans une irréversible décomposition. Laisser la Côte d’Ivoire à Dramane Ouattara pour 5 années supplémentaires, équivaudrait à se laver les mains et abandonner le pays à une gouvernance qui à mi-chemin condense une insécurité en accroissement exponentiel, une barbarie indomptée, une détérioration  inédite du respect du droit de l’homme, un pillage sauvage des ressources naturelles, un saccage insolent des deniers publics, un enrichissement illicite grossier, un chômage et une cherté de la vie en augmentation absolue, une expropriation autorisée des terres des autochtones par des déferlantes étrangères,  une indiscipline primitive,  le crépuscule du penser et l’éloge de la décrépitude intellectuelle, une dévastation ahurissante des infrastructures sociales, la mort programmée de la démocratie, et l’érection graduelle mais sure  d’une islamisation effrontée de la vie politique.

De la bourbe de son bilan présidentiel  calamiteux, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, annonce, sans vergogne aucune, son intention de briguer un second mandat présidentiel en 2015. Et jusqu’à tout récemment, Dramane Ouattara était persuadé qu’en 2015 il accéderait à la magistrature suprême de la Cote d’Ivoire sans coup férir, comptant sur une opposition pourchassée et décapitée, sur une population harcelée et terrée, sur une « Assemblée nationale » lobotomisée, et sur un PDCI déserteur, à la direction narcissique, déliquescente et abandonnique. Laisser la Côte d’Ivoire entre les mains de Dramane Ouattara, de son RDR et du PDCI de Bédié, c’est l’abandonner à une agonie dont aucun bouche-à-bouche ne la ramènera. C’est pourquoi, le FPI qui aujourd’hui incarne la conscience collective des Ivoiriens amoureux de leur pays doit gouverner en 2015.

Or comment le FPI peut-il se présenter aux échéances de 2015 alors que le Président Gbagbo demeure emmuré dans les geôles de la Haye ? Se préparer pour la bataille électorale de 2015 à ce moment ne reviendrait-il pas à diluer la lutte pour la libération du Président Gbagbo, à légitimer son arrestation, et à disculper l’autocratie barbare de Dramane Ouattara en Côte d’Ivoire ?

Je dis, moi, qu’il faut faire de la politique comme l’on marche et mâche de la gomme en même temps. Et c’est pourquoi, au risque de causer une apoplexie à certains patriotes de la mère patrie, je dis qu’il faut la faire, cette politique, jusqu’au pénultième de la contradiction. Après tout, « la politique du futur », comme nous l’enseignait Nietzsche, n’est-elle pas l’art de la compossibilité ? Celui de dire « oui » à la vie en lui opposant ce perpétuel « non » ? De marier deux contraires possibles mais compatibles sur le terrain de la résolution des revendications sociales ? Le FPI n’a-t-il pas déjà compris et joué à ce jeu de la compossibilité en répondant « oui » la semaine dernière à l’invitation des chancelleries de ces pays-là même qui ont soutenu et installé le despote d’Abidjan ?

Afin de sauver la Côte d’Ivoire de l’anémie sociale et morale qui la ronge sous le régime des génocidaires, le FPI doit gouverner en 2015. Afin d’avoir la chance de gouverner en 2015, le FPI doit se mettre en position d’infléchir à un coefficient très élevé la politique ivoirienne. Le FPI, comme l’a fait le MPCI en 2002, doit, dans l’attente de 2015, et surtout en préparation de 2015, exiger le poste de Premier Ministre dans un gouvernement de « réconciliation nationale ».  Les signes de l’affaiblissement du régime des génocidaires sont évidents. Dramane Ouattara est sous la pression de ses maîtres, qui supportent difficilement ses écarts dictatoriaux et la conséquente réduction de leurs dividendes. Si Dramane n’a jamais été maître du jeu, aujourd’hui, tout porte à croire qu’il l’est encore moins. C’est pourquoi le FPI doit saisir l’occasion de l’affaiblissement d’un « chef d’Etat » qui n’existe que pour faire figure de proue, pour exiger la primature, assainir le gouvernement des cancres qui l’assiègent, introduire ses hommes et se donner les moyens financiers et la visibilité nécessaires pour 2015. Pour 2015 et pour arrêter la chute libre de la Côte d’Ivoire, toute en luttant pour la libération du Président Gbagbo, le FPI doit exiger que les pouvoirs du « chef de l’Etat » soient entièrement versés au Premier Ministre dans un gouvernement de « d’union nationale », un Premier Ministre qui soit du FPI. 2015 est au coin de la prochaine rue ; le temps est essentiel, et la Côte d’Ivoire continue de saigner ; et le FPI doit gouverner pour arrêter l’hémorragie.

Hillary Clinton Criticizes Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Stuff’ Foreign Policy, Margaret Hartmann

11-hillary-obama_w215_h215_2xEarlier on her book tour/not-so-secret campaign practice run, Hillary Clinton gingerly criticized the current administration, saying, "We have not been telling our story very well." (Echoing Obama, who cited that as a major failure of his first term.) In an interview with The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg released on Sunday, Clinton gave a considerably sharper critique of Obama’s leadership, using the word "failure" twice to describe the president’s decision to stay out of the conflict in Syria, and bashing the White House’s self-proclaimed foreign policy doctrine "don’t do stupid stuff" (or rather "shit," though Clinton stuck with the cleaned-up version). "Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle," she said. "It may be a necessary brake on the actions you might take in order to promote a vision."

This is Clinton’s most significant break with Obama since stepping down as secretary of state, but she clearly only wanted to put a slight amount of distance between herself and the president. Though she noted several times that she urged Obama to arm and train the Free Syrian Army early on, she said, "I don’t know the answer to that" when asked if U.S. intervention could have prevented the rise of ISIS. "I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad — there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle — the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled," she said.

When asked why Obama recently suggested "don’t do stupid stuff" sums up his foreign policy, Clinton complimented the president and did some backtracking on his behalf:

I think he was trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy. I’ve sat in too many rooms with the president. He’s thoughtful, he’s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time. I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we’re in. So I think that that’s a political message. It’s not his worldview, if that makes sense to you.

Of course, no Clinton interview would be complete without a vague admission that she’s running in 2016. She agreed with Goldberg that the U.S. should keep reminding the world that it has a good track record on advancing freedom, and remarked "I feel that this might be an old-fashioned idea, but I’m about to find out, in more ways than one."

Then, when asked about her own "organizing principle," she unveiled a potential campaign slogan:

Peace, progress, and prosperity. This worked for a very long time. Take prosperity. That’s a huge domestic challenge for us. If we don’t restore the American dream for Americans, then you can forget about any kind of continuing leadership in the world. Americans deserve to feel secure in their own lives, in their own middle-class aspirations, before you go to them and say, "We’re going to have to enforce navigable sea lanes in the South China Sea." You’ve got to take care of your home first. That’s another part of the political messaging that you have to engage in right now. People are not only turned off about being engaged in the world, they’re pretty discouraged about what’s happening here at home.

That’s definitely an old-fashioned idea. MSNBC notes that "Peace, prosperity, and progress" was the slogan for Dwight Eisenhower’s 1956 campaign, and "prosperity and progress" was Al Gore’s campaign slogan in 2000.

What is the Obama Doctrine? M. Frindéthié (first published on March 30, 2011)

obama-bowsMost American presidents have had some strategic vision driving foreign policy. Clinton had his doctrine: President Clinton believed that in an interconnected world, nothing was absolutely isolated, and therefore, events apparently geographically far from America could indeed have deep implications on the lives of Americans. Terrorism and wars breeding instability on all fronts, America’s role was, Clintonians would argue, to police the world in order to prevent—notice that “prevention” is the operative word—the festering of foreign conflicts from reaching the coasts of America. President Bush’s doctrine was preemption: hit America’s enemies even before they had the opportunity to act; and when it came to America’s security, cumbersome negotiating, such as habitual at the UN or even in Congress, could be circumvented. Bush would strike first and ask other leaders to either fall in line or to dissent and assume the consequences of their choices, such as not having any claim in the loot sharing. Rightly or not, Bush’s strikes on Afghanistan and Iraq were predicated on his firm belief that these countries constituted threats to the US. Even those who question his true motives in Iraq would remember that Bush said once of Saddam: “After all, this man wanted to kill my Dad;” which verifies the preemption doctrine: Get them before they get your kin. So, there seems to be some strategic vision driving foreign policy with the immediate predecessors of Obama, Clinton and Bush.

On the other hand, I have yet to figure out what President Obama’s doctrine is. Is there one? Has anyone figured it out yet? In light of the recent crises in Africa and the Middle East, Obama’s principles guiding foreign policy seem nebulous to me, like one of these metaphysical conjectures that are meant to efface their own traces as soon as they are posited. Anything and its contrary are possible at the same. One can lead by being led at the same time. One can be sure and uncertain at the same time. One can speak now or later at the same time, for time can be and not be of the essence at the same time. This, I confess, is a complicated political polka the steps of which I have yet to figure out.

Cote d’Ivoire: Christian Populations under Threat of Radical Islamism, M. Frindéthié

 

Coulibaly Ousmane, aka Bin Laden

Coulibaly Ousmane, aka Bin Laden

A bus full of Christian boy and girl scouts en route to a prayer retreat was attacked by armed militias in Toumodi, central Cote d’Ivoire. The assailants killed the driver and wounded one of the young worshippers.

The populations of Cote d’Ivoire, especially those living in the heartland, have been taken hostage by the plethora of militiamen that operate under the control of the warlords that have helped put Alassane Dramane Ouattara in power in 2011 after a protracted civil war. Dramane Ouattara’s explicit ethno-religious politics meant to favor the Muslim Northerners has embolden a radical Islamist fervor against Christians; and several “officers” of Ouattara’s uncontrolled army do openly flaunt their nicknames borrowed from the bloodiest of radical Islamists, such as Bin Laden.

This latest attack on Christians could have simply been interpreted as a casual occurrence in a country reeking of growing insecurity, had some people not been targeted precisely for their Christian faith. On several occasions, on this site, we have called attention to a situation that, if left unchecked, will indubitably degenerate into the crises faced by Central Africa and Nigeria.

There is a growing germ of radical Islamism in Cote d’Ivoire that needs to be rooted out. Dramane Ouattara is incapable of diffusing the Islamist time bomb as the fear it generates in the opposition on election days constitutes the organizing principle of his presidency.

Encore des promesses! M. Frindéthié

Et c’est reparti! Dramane Ouattara est encore en pleine crise de mythomanie. Le voilà, qui à l’occasion de son discours commémoratif de la 54e année de dépendance de la Côte d’Ivoire, égrène en plein enivrement, une fois de plus, un chapelet de promesses, alors même qu’il n’a pas encore satisfait à un seul des engagements qu’il a pris pendant sa campagne électorale. De deux choses l’une : Ou bien Dramane prend les Ivoiriens pour des mabouls, ou bien sa mémoire est atteinte d’une senescence aigüe. Pour ne pas faire à notre hâbleur mystificateur l’insulte de penser qu’il a tant de mépris pour les Ivoiriens, optons donc pour l’alternative qu’il est en déficit de mémoire, et ayons la bonté de lui rappeler, en images, ses délires de campagne insatisfaits pour lesquels les Ivoiriens n’ont récolté en définitive que pénurie, délestages, chômage, paupérisation, cherté, vulgarité, saleté, indiscipline, désordre, immolation, persécution religieuse et ethnique, islamisation radicale, déscolarisation, incarcération arbitraire, criminalité, insécurité, racket, corruption, incivisme, dépossession, et incompétence.

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Why are most African leaders always looking to the West? M. Frindéthié

slave mentalityWhy are African leaders always looking to the West to solve Africa’s internal problems when overwhelming evidence shows that Africa’s problems are first and foremost the consequences of the West’s will-to-domination?  This is simply because many African countries are still ruled by elites that have received most or part of their education from the debilitating colonial school system, either in the colonies, in the metropolis or through their progenitors. As such, they have been formed for the production and maintenance of European domination. Though some of them have managed to free themselves from the mental entrapment of colonialism, many still remain trapped in the stultifying psychological dependence on the West. Their Occidentalism is sometimes stomach-turning. They have internalized the negative discourses on blackness that have been the essential constituents of colonial secular as well as religious curricula, and which they now mirror in their daily dealings with Western economic and political operatives. Their allegiance is not to Africa. All they want is to please the West. They are seeking assurance from the West that they belong, that they are passable, acceptable. They would do anything to please the West. Their allegiance to the metropolis is pathological, because they have been ingrained with a slave mentality that causes them to identify their salvation in the West or anything that amounts to the West. Their neurotic condition carries deeply depressing effects for the development of the African continent. While they should be working at ways to pull Africa out of its misery, misery to which they have greatly contributed by their indolence and sick heroization of the West, instead, the black elites have their gaze turned toward the Occident, to which they holler: “Does anyone out there (in the West)  love me?”

Most US journalists are coward when it comes to Israel, Greenwald

Glenn-Greenwald

 

August 5, 2014 2:22 pmUS
investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald has blasted the media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip by the American media.

In an interview with The Huffington Post on Monday, Greenwald said there have been some good journalists, but totally he gives an F to the US media coverage.

“Most American journalists though are coward when it comes to Israel. They don’t want to mention it,” he said.

“There’s no question that the way that the American media covers this conflict is based on the principle that Israeli lives are just inherently more valuable than Palestinian lives,” the journalist added.

“It takes probably 50 Palestinians being killed to get anywhere near the attention of, say, an elderly Israeli woman being frightened in her home and having some kind of a medical problem because of the trauma.”

Almost as many Palestinians have been killed as Americans on 9/11, and the media has remained “essentially calm about it,” according to Greenwald.

“I think there’s a racist element to it. I think there’s an ethnocentric element to [the media coverage],” he said. “There’s definitely an anti-Muslim strain that runs throughout how this coverage is conducted.”

The number of deaths and injuries in the Gaza Strip keeps rising as the Israeli war on the blockaded territory enters its 29th day.

The death toll from Israel’s attacks since July 8 now stands at more than 1,800. Nearly 430 of the victims are children.

The attacks have also injured over 9,500 Palestinians. The Palestinian Health Ministry says the injured include more than 2,800 children, over 1,800 women, and 374 elderly people.

By Press TV

Israel security does not justify ‘slaughter of civilians': France

 France's Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius

France’s Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius

Paris (AFP) – Israel’s right to security does not justify its actions in Gaza, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday, as he called for a political solution to be "imposed" by the international community.

"How many more deaths will it take to stop what must be called the carnage in Gaza?" Fabius said in a statement.

"The tradition of friendship between Israel and France is an old one and Israel’s right to security is total, but this right does not justify the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians."

The statement comes amid global outrage over an Israeli strike next to a UN school where ten people were killed, among them civilians who had been seeking refuge from the violence.

Fabius said Islamist group Hamas, the de facto rulers of Gaza, "clearly carries an overwhelming responsibility" for the conflict but that Israel was not justified in carrying out what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called "a criminal act" with the attack near the school.

"That is why we support and demand the establishment of a real ceasefire as proposed by Egypt and why we are ready, as French and Europeans, to contribute to it in a concrete way," he said.

"It is also why a political solution is essential… and should in my opinion be imposed by the international community," Fabius said.

(Video): Chant from the "chosen people": There is no school tomorrow; there are no children left in Gaza

‘No children left in Gaza!’ Right-wing Israeli mob mocks deaths in anti-Gaza chant

 

Dershowitz on War and Values, M. Frindéthié

alan-dershowitzOn Tuesday, July 29, 2014, during a CNN debate, Alan Dershowitz submitted that Israel’s offensive operations in Gaza should be supported, because through its war against the Palestinian people, Israel was not only defending itself, but it was also, and most importantly, defending “Western values.” I could not help wondering what Western values, the values of which Western social engineer, Dershowitz was referring to. The values advocated by King Leopold II of Belgium in the Congo? The values promoted by Hernan Cortez in the Americas? The values put forth by Hitler in Germany? Or the values of Sarkozy in Cote d’Ivoire? The last time I checked, these social engineers were all “Westerners” convinced that the values they upheld were of the highest kind.

Throughout history, Western civilization has shown time and time again that it does not have the last word on superlative values. Isn’t time that Dershowitz and those who think like him started ridding themselves of their anxieties about “higher” and lower “peoples”? Isn’t time that they started thinking in terms of the suffering of the human race and stopped ranking distress and torment on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, and nationality?

The West Scurrying Away from the Crime Scene, M. Frindéthié

Libya

Libya is burning; Iraq is burning; Egypt is burning; Syria is burning. Imperialist West is scurrying away from the crime scene. The United States, Great Britain, and France have packed their belongings, closed their embassies, and fled from the furnace they have helped ignite. The Occidental proclivity to rush into a foreign country, take it to the brink of collapse and backwardness, and then, when things become unbearable, run away and blame the autochthonous populations for not being up to the principles of “democracy” will always amaze me.

All the social engineers in the West who have theorized the erection of superlative societies with the fall of Saddam, Gaddafi, Mubarak, and Bashar are spinning a new story, erasing and rewriting pages of the “History Book” which they have become expert at falsifying. Will imperialist West once, just once, concede that being endowed with a high degree of gluttony and destructive drive does not necessarily give one the primacy of human intelligence? Will imperialist West admit its responsibility in this long, distressing Arab tragedy at play before our eyes, which, hitherto, in its precipitous self-congratulatory gesture, it had baptized “the Arab Spring”?

Quel sort pour Wattao? M. Frindéthié

WattaoIssiaka Ouattara, alias Wattao, précédemment commandant de la zone Abidjan-sud vient d’être débarqué de son poste et viré du CCDO dont il était l’un des seigneurs. L’expulsion de Wattao ressemble à quelque chose près au bannissement de son autre compagnon d’armes, Ibrahim Bakayoko, alias IB, chef du « commando invisible »; et n’eut été l’intervention du général Soumaila Bakayoko, Wattao, dont la garde rapprochée avait sorti ses armes lourdes pour protester le renvoi de son commandant, aurait connu le sort réservé à IB par Dramane Ouattara. Il aurait été tout évidemment abattu par celui pour qui il avait tué de Bouaké à Abidjan.

Wattao a été écarté comme une infecte spore. Quel sera le nouveau point de chute de Wattao ? Certains observateurs de la scène politique ivoirienne avaient conjecturé quant à l’existence d’un dossier d’inculpation cacheté du « commandant bling bling » et du « p’tit gros » par la CPI, que la Rattrapocratie hésiterait à rendre publique. Wattao lui-même, voyant la chose venir, avait annoncé qu’il ne se ferait pas si facilement le bouc-émissaire d’une dictature souillée du sang de milliers d’Ivoiriens. Au lendemain du passage du « Grand Blanc » Hollande en Côte d’Ivoire, qui devant le sourire imbécile et satisfait des rattrapocrates a prôné la fin de l’impunité, et à quelques mois des élections présidentielles, le préfet d’Abidjan se préparerait-il au « blanchiment » de sa barbare dictature par l’immolation de ses lieutenants les plus volubiles et les plus extravagants ?  Le temps nous situera.

The Brics development bank can release Africa from World Bank tyranny, William Gumede, The Guardian.com

'The Brics bank could also be a vital source of finance for infrastructure that Africa so desperately needs.' Photograph: Lan Hongguang/Xinhua Press/Corbis

‘The Brics bank could also be a vital source of finance for infrastructure that Africa so desperately needs.’ Photograph: Lan Hongguang/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Africa desperately needs reliable and cheaper long-term development finance. The Brics leaders may well have found the answer

The leaders of the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have signed a treaty in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza to launch a Brics development bank.

The bank will rival the US- and European-led World Bank and its private lending affiliate, the International Finance Corporation, which have dominated development finance since the second world war. The Brics bank is positioned as a financial institution that will provide developing countries with alternative funding minus the punishing strings attached to World Bank lending, which strip recipient countries of the power to make their own policies. It also promises to make lending processes for developing countries faster, simpler and cheaper.

The Brics members will set up a $100bn contingency reserve pool (called the contingent reserve arrangement, or CRA), to help members who face sudden foreign capital flights. China will contribute $41bn, Russia, Brazil and India $18bn each, and South Africa $5bn.

Developing countries have long failed to get industrial nations to either give them a bigger say in decision-making at the World Bank and IMF, or to get these institutions to ease up on punishing and inappropriate structural adjustment programmes (that wealthy countries themselves would never implement in their own economies) in return for funding.

The new bank and the contingency fund are therefore the first real and practical attempts by developing countries to create a monetary, development-finance and trade alternative to the IMF, World Bank and the dominance of the US dollar.

The bank’s creation will have to be ratified by the parliaments of the individual Brics countries. The hope is that it will start lending two years after ratification. But disputes over such things as voting rights and where the bank should be situated have so far delayed this process. China lobbied to host it, but India feared the domination of Chinese financial institutions. South Africa wanted Johannesburg as a “neutral” venue and also to serve as an African infrastructure bank.

Africa feels the bank should be established here, particularly because the greater need for the bank is on the continent of Africa,” Jacob Zuma, the South African president, told the World Economic Forum on Africa last year in Cape Town. South Africa’s argument was too narrow, however; and it appears, according to documents prepared for the summit, that the bank will be based in Shanghai.

Africa desperately needs reliable and cheaper long-term development finance, without restrictive World Bank and IMF conditions. The Brics bank could also be a vital source of finance for infrastructure that Africa so desperately needs. But it could also provide finance to expand Africa’s manufacturing sectors – so crucial if the continent wants to create jobs, and reduce inequality and poverty.

The mere presence of a Brics bank that does not adhere to the structural adjustment philosophy of the World Bank and IMF could strengthen the hands of African governments to produce more independent – and relevant – national development policies, rather than the “one size fits all” approach enforced by traditional lenders.

The Brics bank could also help Africans to secure better investment deals in their negotiations with traditional multilateral banks and the private sector.

However, there is no guarantee that a Brics bank would not attach conditions as onerous as those of the World Bank or other development banks – or that it would prioritise the development and infrastructure policies important to African economies, rather than just the Brics economies. Most current development banks in individual states, such as the Brazilian development bank, lend at market rates to African countries.

Also, there is absolutely no guarantee that the Brics bank will be more development-oriented than other developmental banks.

Africans will have to strike smart partnerships with the Brics bank, through African development banks, state-owned enterprises and the private sector. And, crucially, the bank will have to be based on good corporate governance. It must pursue lending that is ecologically sustainable, and must promote inclusive economic growth and development.

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