France’s current spy chief ‘signed order’ to free top Rwanda genocide suspects, says secret cable

The Telegraph
Henry Samuel Mon, February 15, 2021, 11:08 AM

The skulls of people killed as they sought refuge inside the Ntarama church, part of a memorial to the victims of the 1994 genocide - DAI KUROKAWA/EPA-EFE/REX

France’s current intelligence chief signed an order to release top suspects in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, a previously classified diplomatic cable suggests, in apparently damning evidence of the country’s murky role in the worst massacre since the Holocaust.

Rwanda has long accused France of backing or at the very least turning a blind eye to ethnic Hutu forces behind most of the violence in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered, many with machetes, over 100 days.

Kigali has also alleged France facilitated the escape of some of the perpetrators – an allegation Paris has repeatedly rejected.

However, the diplomatic cable unearthed by a lawyer researching France’s conduct in the genocide suggests that Paris knew suspects had sought refuge in a « humanitarian safe zone » controlled by French soldiers but deliberately let them go.

The soldiers had arrived in June 1994 as part of the UN-mandated Operation Turquoise to stop the massacres.

In the cable dated 15 July, 1994, France’s envoy to Rwanda Yannick Gerard writes to his superiors asking for “clear instructions” on how to proceed with genocide suspects, among them Théodore Sindikubwabo, interim President of Rwanda during the April to July killings.

Ten days earlier, he had sent another wire saying he had “direct and matching” testimony that President Sindikubwabo had personally and repeatedly called for the “total elimination of Tutsis” and that one minister had called for the massacre of “women and children”.

A man with machete wounds from the 1994 fighting – Jean-Marc Bouju/AP

« We have no other choice… but to arrest them or place them immediately under house arrest to wait for international judicial authorities to decide their case, » Mr Gerard advises in excerpts of the cable published on Sunday by investigative website Mediapart.

In response to Mr Gérard’s message and for his eyes only, the French foreign ministry cable stipulates: « You can… use all indirect channels, especially your African contacts, without exposing yourself directly, to transmit to these authorities our wish that they leave the Humanitarian Safe Zone. »

« You will note in particular that the international community, and in particular the United Nations, will determine very soon how to proceed with these so-called authorities, » it goes on, referring to the former Hutu regime who had sought refuge in southwest Rwanda near the border with what was then Zaire.

The revelation will cause intense embarrassment to the French as it is signed by Bernard Emie, a foreign ministry adviser at the time who today head of France’s DGSE foreign intelligence service.

Mr Emie and Alain Juppé, foreign minister of the time, have declined to comment.

May 23, 1994, file photo, a Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel walks by the plane wreckage in which Rwanda’s President Juvenal Habyarimana died April 6, 1994, in Kigali, Rwanda. – Jean-Marc Bouju/AP

The telegram lay for 25 years in the archives of an adviser to Francois Mitterrand, the French president at the time, until unearthed by Francois Graner, a lawyer who works with the victims’ rights group « Survie » (Survival).

« It’s the missing written piece of evidence, an essential piece of the puzzle, » Mr Graner told AFP.

He finally won a five-year battle last June to gain access to the Mitterrand archives when France’s Council of State ruled that his request was “legitimate” in order to “shed light on the debate over an issue of public interest”.

France has always denied claims that it sided with the Hutu regime and failed to stop the bloodshed that followed the 1994 assassination of then-president Juvenal Habyarimana.

But in 2019, President Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of an expert panel of historians and researchers to look into the claims, granting them wide access to previously classified documents.

The move was hailed by victims and survivors’ groups. It is due to report its findings this year.

Retired general Jean Varret told Radio France that France was at fault for failing to act despite clear signs the Hutu regime was preparing for genocide.

Mr Varret recounted how Col Pierre-Célestin Rwagafilita, head of the Rwandan gendarmerie, had told him: “I’m asking for weapons, because I’m going to participate with the army in the liquidation of the problem. The problem is very simple: the Tutsis are not very numerous, we’re going to liquidate them.”

When he relayed the chilling request, he said “nobody listened”.

Show me the Banana Republic, M. Frindéthié

Government leaders speak out against Washington D.C. violence

I dare you to show me the latitude, the longitude, and the complexion of the Banana Republic. Yes, I come from the tropics, where bananas grow ripe on their trees, and I like bananas, but Banana Republic is neither the destiny of my place, nor the fate of my people. Banana Republic has no place; it has no race. It is rather a state of mind. It is the state of mind of those entrusted with the helm of a nation, who, rather than leading, have grown so comfortably arrogant and disdainful of the people who have “elected” them as to muzzle them, stifle them, run a thousand picks into their throats, and erect against them a partisan violence to roam uncontrollably for years like a wildfire … until the frustration of the down-trodden, smoldering from underneath, explodes like a vesuvian magma and lands in the elite’s most sacred house. And while politicians, who are known to trade in long lies and short convenient answers to complex issues, are quick to blame the people’s exasperation on a disease come from the tropics—Banana Republic! Banana Republic! —may those of us whose vocation is to teach our young minds to think and walk gangastrotagati not so easily succumb to their folie circulaire, but instead diagnose the true source of this social malaise. Yes, America, too, like any other nation, is susceptible to becoming a Banana Republic when it lets political unfairness and partisan impunity run the lives of its people for years. Banana Republic is not the appanage of a distinct place or the fatality of a particular people.   

Africa Got Played by Obama, and Africans Are Eager to Turn the Obama Page, M. Frindéthié (November 10, 2016)

obama-ouattara

Obama shaking hands with Ivorian dictator Ouattara

Obama’s politics—though criticized by neocons as being far below the standards of the West’s general politics and as disappointing as it can be to the most bellicose wing of the confrontational society that the West is—actually falls within the West’s politics of domination by all means, even leads the West’s politics of hegemony, which is itself supported by the belief that the West incarnates truth itself. Under Obama’s bellicose politics and drone mania, the Euro-American world has outclassed any other society known to man in its taste for iron and blood. Here, the West’s inhumanity is performed at an industrial level. America’s warmongers should not worry about Obama failing them, for he is really and truly a son of America, chosen by America to carry on America’s tradition of hubris and condescension. And Obama applies himself very well to his task. America should not be afraid of Obama’s skin complexion. His mind and his soul are entirely devoted to implementing the most violent brand of Americanism. To borrow these words from Civil Rights icon Harry Belafonte, “[Obama] has only listened to the voices that shout loudest, and it’s all those reckless rightwing forces. It’s almost criminal.”

“Almost criminal” is an understatement. We might even argue that, anxious to comfort America, keen on easing America’s fear that he might be a wrench in the works, Obama has gone far and beyond the call for proving himself, exhibiting toward African leaders the same contempt and patronizing attitude that he is shown at home by white racists. It is not America, even less the West, that Obama has disappointed. It is Africa that Obama has disillusioned. And, on June 28, 2013, as Nelson Mandela was taking his last breaths of air in a Pretoria hospital where Obama was scheduled to call on him, about 200 South African union workers and students wanted to drive home their dissatisfaction with a man upon whom Africa had placed so much unmet expectation. As deplored Khomotso Makola, a 19-year-old law student, “We had expectations of America’s first black president. Knowing Africa’s history, we expected more. He has come as a disappointment, I think Mandela too would be disappointed and feel let down.”

Rudy Giuliani laments,

I do not believe … that [Obama] loves America … He doesn’t love you, and he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up, through love of this country … This is an American President I’ve never seen before … I do not detect in this man the same rhetoric, the same language, the same love of America that I detect in other American Presidents, including democrats… . I have doubts about his emotion, his feelings, his attitude, and the way in which he developed.

And we are tempted to ask: in whose name do you really think Obama goes around destroying the world? In whose name has Obama condoned the destruction of Egypt, Libya, and the Côte d’Ivoire if not in the name of American exceptionalism? Have no fear, Rudy! Disown him not, for, as said David Axelrod, “Barack Obama knows who he is.” He is a proud son of America. Obama is a proud product of American exceptionalism. Obama does love America. It is rather Africa that Obama does not love. However, is one to love exclusively one part of oneself and disdain the other? Can one who is both African and American love America if, and only if, one is able to disdain Africa? As for us, we have always been wary of the Obama fever that had seized the world in 2008.

From the very first, many intellectuals of African descent had assumed that Obama would be good for Africa because of his ancestry. We had refrained from falling prey to this politics of color, though we had hoped, just for the sake of Africa, that the Obamanians would be right. Without being anti–

Obamanian, we found the circumstances of Obama’s rise to power to be too cosmetic and his campaign speeches to be too dramatically crafted to have any bearing on the real. So, we remained pessimistic. And when President Clinton remarked that “the whole thing looked like a fairy tale,” we tended to agree with him while still wishing to be proven wrong. Nevertheless, as time passed, we started wondering, among other things, whether President Obama had a perceptible African policy. We desperately looked for something concrete to point to, beyond Obama’s speeches or the exegetical exercises of Obamanians that would give us the full measure of the American President’s genuine interest in the development of the African continent. And many of the Africans who prayed for his election, who cried tears of joy at his inauguration, are also waiting to see genuine gestures of encouragement. But time is passing, Obama is now a few months to the end of his second term, and nothing positive is happening for Africa.

Of course, President Obama had given a memorable speech in Accra in July 2009, had hosted a lunch for two dozen African leaders and greeted young African “leaders” in Washington. Of course, he had honored a Zimbabwean women’s group with the Robert H. Kennedy Prize for Political Courage. Of course, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice had trotted around Africa and, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had almost toured the continent. But do these routines amount to a clear African policy? In fact, when submitted to scrutiny, Obama’s actions run counter to Obama’s declared policy for Africa, and they counter his faith in diplomacy such as that rehearsed by Secretary of State Clinton in front of the Senate ForeignRelations Committee on January 13, 2009:

The president- elect has made it clear that in the Obama administration there will be no doubt about the leading role of diplomacy. One need only look to North Korea, Iran, the Middle East and the Balkans to appreciate the absolute necessity of tough- minded, intelligent diplomacy—and the failures that result when that kind of diplomatic effort is absent …President- elect Obama has emphasized that the

State Department must be fully empowered and funded to confront multidimensional challenges—from working with allies to thwart terrorism to spreading health and prosperity in places of human suffering … We will lead with diplomacy because it’s the smart approach. But we also know that military force will sometimes be necessary, and we will rely on it to protect our people and our interests when and where needed, as a last resort.

Yet, war, which Obama has favored in several African countries as solution, is the antithesis of diplomacy. War does not spread health and prosperity in places of human suffering. And in Africa, Obama has not led by diplomacy. In Africa, Obama has been a warlike president whose bellicose politics has spread misery and suffering to the most vulnerable. It would be gravely dishonest to pretend that after the passage of Obama’s war machines in Libya, Egypt, and Côte d’Ivoire, these countries are better off than they used to be. No honest mind can say that Obama has brought democracy to Libya, Egypt, and Côte d’Ivoire or that the daily violence and human rights abuses in these countries since Obama’s intervention indicate democracy. That is why Africans cannot wait to turn the Obama page.

Open Letter to President Barack H. Obama (first published on December 14, 2010)

Mr. President,

On November 28, 2010, the people of Cote d’Ivoire casted their ballots in the second round of a presidential election to democratically elect their leader and put an end to eight years of tears and sufferings that are the outcome of a 2002 failed coup. This failed coup, transmuted into a rebellion, has since split Cote d’Ivoire into a legalist South and rebellious North. The verdict of last November’s election validated and proclaimed by the Constitutional Council of Cote d’Ivoire is now being challenged by Mr. Ouattara and his rebel group who boast of having your official unction. The present situation in Cote d’Ivoire is one more consequence of an ineffective, partial, business-driven, and contradictory United Nations Organization that, especially in Africa, has always promised one thing, achieved the opposite, thrown its hands in the air, and left after having wreaked havoc. In Cote d’Ivoire, after its blatant failure to disarm a rebel group, the UNOCI is now maneuvering to impose that rebel group to the people of Cote d’Ivoire as legitimate substitution to the legal authority.

Mr. President, I am afraid that your support for Mr. Alassane Ouattara, who claims victory from a hotel room in Abidjan, surrounded by the main actors of the Northern rebellion that by most observers’ accounts have perpetrated the most atrocious human abuses in Cote d’Ivoire, not only adds to the incongruity of the circumstances that have progressively lent legitimacy to the lawless insurgents that have attacked the legal institutions Cote d’Ivoire in 2002, but also discourages democracy in Africa by shunning President Laurent Gbagbo, one of the rare leaders on the continent willing to govern on constitutional bases, that is, on the foundation of democracy. Mr. President, I am certainly far too ill-positioned to dare to instruct you in the principles of democracy. I believe, however, that the anchor for any democratic society should remain that society’s constitution. One can debate on the quality of such and such constitutions—and, on this matter, no constitution can pass the test of flawlessness—but it is unquestionably with a minimum of respect for the laws erected by its nation that a people starts its successful march toward a democratic system.

Mr. President, when on December 4, 2010, after reviewing the detailed reports of massive electoral frauds, the Constitutional Council, which is the highest authority on electoral matters, invalidated the contentious votes, and reached a final decision that declared incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo the winner of the presidential elections in Cote d’Ivoire, the Council was upholding its constitutional duty. That duty is to resolve electoral inconsistencies, validate the final results and proclaim the winner. Mr. President, one can argue that a law is unjust, but one cannot take upon oneself to violate it on the basis of that argument and still pretend to be in synch with the state that erected that law. By rejecting the decision of the Constitutional Council, by circumventing all due process, by transporting the President of the Election Committee to his election headquarter to anoint him winner of the elections in the absence of the other members of the committee, and by organizing for himself a parallel presidential investiture ceremony in a hotel room in order to throw uncertainty in the free process, Mr. Ouattara, as has been his standard practice, has shown profound disdain for the laws of a country that he aspires to lead as much as he is undermining democracy in Cote d’Ivoire. With all due respect Mr. President, Mr. Ouattara’s reckless disregard for due process and legality, as displayed in his multiple rogue postures that undercut Africa’s efforts toward democracy, does not merit that one lend it legitimacy. For memory, when the Supreme Court in the U.S. gave its verdict in favor of President Bush in settling an electoral crisis, Mr. Gore submitted to this highest authority. He did not withdraw at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C., to defy the American Supreme Court’s verdict with a self-proclamation and a parallel oath-taking. One cannot continue to appreciate African realities with a set of standards that are antithetic to democracy, that encourage lawlessness, and, at the same time, urge that Africans live by the principles of democracy. Is it not paradoxical that most of the heads of state of the African Union who, in a circumfession to the European Union, are clamoring for Mr. Ouattara and isolating President Gbagbo have come to and maintained themselves in power through unorthodox methods? Are these autocrats the purveyors of the ethical measure we should want for the “Africa of the new Millennium”?

Mr. President, for being born in Cote d’Ivoire, for having lived there as long as I have lived in the United States, for having examined and written extensively on Cote d’Ivoire in particular and Africa in its relationships with the rest of the world in general, I believe that I can dare to call myself a scholar of African questions. As such, Mr. President, and with all due respect, allow me to say that on the Ivorian question, Most Ivorians have the perception that you have sided with the victimizer against the victim, with the unlawful against the lawful, with the undemocratic against the democratic. Observers of African politics will recognize that Mr. Gbagbo is a champion of democracy. His struggle for a multiparty system traces back thirty years. He fought President Felix Houphouet Boigny (the father of Ivorian independence) at a time when the expression “multiparty system” was still an incongruity in Ivorian politics. With his spouse and supporters he endured years of beating, prison, privation, torture, even under the leadership of Prime Minister Ouattara who, today, seeks to pass for a martyr of democracy. Mr. Gbagbo led his struggle with the force of arguments and protest marches, without once ordering a coup against his country. When he got elected in 2000, President Gbagbo invited all political leaders in exile to return to Cote d’Ivoire; he ushered in a government of national reconciliation that saw the participation of members of all political parties; he organized a forum of reconciliation to heal the country’s wounds–for indeed the country had gone trough profound divisions because of Ouattara’s, Bedie’s, and General Guei’s bloody struggles for succession. To reward President Gbagbo for his democratic wisdom, Mr. Ouattara sent him a rebellion that, since 2002, has interrupted President Gbagbo’s program of poverty reduction. Mr. President, time and space will not allow me to give full attention to Mr. Ouattara’s cyclical adherence to violence and undemocratic methods and to Mr. Gbagbo’s indefatigable struggle for democracy. I have amply discussed these matters elsewhere. Allow me, however, to register my deep puzzlement about your position in the Ivorian crisis. I do not understand your stance, though I fully understand President Sarkozy’s and France’s in general.

Being the official guarantor of the maintenance and prolongation of Françafrique, France’s exploitative relationship with Africa, as well as being a personal friend of the Ouattaras, President Sarkozy could hardly have acted otherwise. President Sarkozy, who, as the Mayor of Neuilly, officiated Mr. and Mrs. Ouattara’s wedding, and who was their guest of honor at that same wedding, is a good friend of the Ouattaras’. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara’s international businesses have some big clients of whom Martin Bouygues, the French king of concrete, 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—and Dominique Strauss-Khan, former minister of finance of President Mitterrand and IMF president since 2007. Most of these businessmen have made immense fortunes in Cote d’Ivoire by acquiring, sometimes for a symbolic franc, former Ivorian state companies (water, electricity, railroads, etc.) which were privatized by Mr. Ouattara when the latter was Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire.

Indeed, Mr. Ouattara is not a newcomer in the Ivorian political arena. He had a chance to govern when, under pressure from the IMF, an indebted and crippled President Houphouet Boigny appointed him Prime Minister. Under Mr. Ouattara’s stewardship, most of the panel lights of the Ivorian economy turned hazardously red. Mr. Ouattara cut subsidies to farmers, as recommended by the WTO, while the European Union and the United States were, at the same time, heavily backing their own farmers financially; 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 percent or were forced to accept an early retirement package. He reduced access to early education by freezing the recruitment of new teachers and by slashing teachers’ salaries in half. 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. These measures, as it was to be expected, frustrated the masses even further, and workers and students’ demonstrations intensified; which, under his orders, were repressed in blood. Many students were killed and student, union, and opposition leaders, among whom, President Laurent Gbagbo, were jailed and tortured amidst international outcries and unsuccessful calls for an independent investigation.

Mr. President, I believe that Democracy entails good governance, which for Africa implies that the leaders of Africa should undertake a thorough inventory of the continent’s resources and rethink the exploitation of these resources within a design that takes as fundamental the welfare of the people on whose land these resources are located. It implies that Africa’s intellectuals take the core states at their words and bring some missing wisdom into the core states’ and their surrogate financial institutions’ conjectures about good governance by reminding them, constantly, that good governance has much to do with legitimate individual states identifying their people’s needs and fulfilling these needs without any duress exercised on them by the core states, without any financial blackmailing, without the martial installation of marionette regimes, but above all, without the cooptation of abandonment-neurotic national elites lured by the promise of Firstworldist enjoyment. This has been President Gbagbo’s struggle; a struggle for his people, which in my sense, is far from constituting a reason to shun him.

As an African leader concerned with France’s economic monopoly in his country and committed to his country’s betterment through economic independence that comes with the diversification of partnerships, President. Gbagbo is clearly a killjoy for Françafrique, this most unhealthy master/slave relationship that France insists on having with its former colonies. Under the pretense of reciprocity, Françafrique is actually a criminal machine designed to ensure France’s position as a major world player by guaranteeing it privileged access to Africa’s agricultural and geological resources, by financing France’s expensive political life, and by positioning France as America’s preferred sub-contractor. Françafrique’s actions in Congo and Rwanda have shown us that Francafrique is not just a factory of economic genocide in Africa. It is also a factory of human genocide. To ask that France-African relationships rest on reciprocity is only fair. It should not constitute cause for manipulation and crucifixion. We should be guarded not to erect shrines to African fighters for social equality only after the fact, only after we have pushed them off the cliff of reciprocity.

With my highest regards,

Dr. Martial Frindéthié

National liberation is always a violent phenomenon, Fanon

THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH

By FRANTZ FANON, trans. Constance Farrington (New York: Grove Press, 1963)

CONCERNING VIOLENCE

National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people, commonwealth: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonization is always a violent phenomenon. At whatever level we study it–relationships between individuals, new names for sports clubs, the human admixture at cocktail parties, in the police, on the directing boards of national or private banks–decolonization is quite simply the replacing of a certain “species” of men by another “species” of men. Without any period of transition, there is a total, complete, and absolute substitution. It is true that we could equally well stress the rise of a new nation, the setting up of a new state, its diplomatic relations, and its economic and political trends. But we have precisely chosen to speak of that kind of tabula rasa which characterizes at the outset all decolonization. Its unusual importance is that it constitutes, from the very first day, the minimum demands of the colonized. To tell the truth, the proof of success lies in a whole social structure being changed from the bottom up. The extraordinary importance of this change is that it is willed, called for, demanded. The need for this change exists in its crude state, impetuous and compelling, in the consciousness and in the

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lives of the men and women who are colonized. But the possibility of this change is equally experienced in the form of a terrifying future in the consciousness of another “species” of men and women: the colonizers.

Decolonization, which sets out to change the order of the world, is, obviously, a program of complete disorder. But it cannot come as a result of magical practices, nor of a natural shock, nor of a friendly understanding. Decolonization, as we know, is a historical process: that is to say that it cannot be understood, it cannot become intelligible nor clear to itself except in the exact measure that we can discern the movements which give it historical form and content. Decolonization is the meeting of two forces, opposed to each other by their very nature, which in fact owe their originality to that sort of substantification which results from and is nourished by the situation in the colonies. Their first encounter was marked by violence and their existence together–that is to say the exploitation of the native by the settler–was carried on by dint of a great array of bayonets and cannons. The settler and the native are old acquaintances. In fact, the settler is right when he speaks of knowing “them” well. For it is the settler who has brought the native into existence and who perpetuates his existence. The settler owes the fact of his very existence, that is to say, his property, to the colonial system.

Decolonization never takes place unnoticed, for it influences individuals and modifies them fundamentally. It transforms spectators crushed with their inessentiality into privileged actors, with the grandiose glare of history’s floodlights upon them. It brings a natural rhythm into existence, introduced by new men, and with it a new language and a new humanity. Decolonization is the veritable creation of new men. But this creation owes nothing of its legitimacy to any supernatural power; the

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“thing” which has been colonized becomes man during the same process by which it frees itself.

In decolonization, there is therefore the need of a complete calling in question of the colonial situation. If we wish to describe it precisely, we might find it in the wellknown words: “The last shall be first and the first last.” Decolonization is the putting into practice of this sentence. That is why, if we try to describe it, all decolonization is successful.

The naked truth of decolonization evokes for us the searing bullets and bloodstained knives which emanate from it. For if the last shall be first, this will only come to pass after a murderous and decisive struggle between the two protagonists. That affirmed intention to place the last at the head of things, and to make them climb at a pace (too quickly, some say) the well-known steps which characterize an organized society, can only triumph if we use all means to turn the scale, including, of course, that of violence.

You do not turn any society, however primitive it may be, upside down with such a program if you have not decided from the very beginning, that is to say from the actual formulation of that program, to overcome all the obstacles that you will come across in so doing. The native who decides to put the program into practice, and to become its moving force, is ready for violence at all times. From birth it is clear to him that this narrow world, strewn with prohibitions, can only be called in question by absolute violence.

The colonial world is a world divided into compartments. It is probably unnecessary to recall the existence of native quarters and European quarters, of schools for natives and schools for Europeans; in the same way we need not recall apartheid in South Africa. Yet, if we examine closely this system of compartments, we will at

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least be able to reveal the lines of force it implies. This approach to the colonial world, its ordering and its geographical layout will allow us to mark out the lines on which a decolonized society will be reorganized.

The colonial world is a world cut in two. The dividing line, the frontiers are shown by barracks and police stations. In the colonies it is the policeman and the soldier who are the official, instituted go-betweens, the spokesmen of the settler and his rule of oppression. In capitalist societies the educational system, whether lay or clerical, the structure of moral reflexes handed down from father to son, the exemplary honesty of workers who are given a medal after fifty years of good and loyal service, and the affection which springs from harmonious relations and good behavior–all these aesthetic expressions of respect for the established order serve to create around the exploited person an atmosphere of submission and of inhibition which lightens the task of policing considerably. In the capitalist countries a multitude of moral teachers, counselors and “bewilderers” separate the exploited from those in power. In the colonial countries, on the contrary, the policeman and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge. It is obvious here that the agents of government speak the language of pure force. The intermediary does not lighten the oppression, nor seek to hide the domination; he shows them up and puts them into practice with the clear conscience of an upholder of the peace; yet he is the bringer of violence into the home and into the mind of the native.

The zone where the natives live is not complementary to the zone inhabited by the settlers. The two zones are opposed, but not in the service of a higher unity. Obedient to the rules of pure Aristotelian logic, they both

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follow the principle of reciprocal exclusivity. No conciliation is possible, for of the two terms, one is superfluous. The settlers’ town is a strongly built town, all made of stone and steel. It is a brightly lit town; the streets are covered with asphalt, and the garbage cans swallow all the leavings, unseen, unknown and hardly thought about. The settler’s feet are never visible, except perhaps in the sea; but there you’re never close enough to see them. His feet are protected by strong shoes although the streets of his town are clean and even, with no holes or stones. The settler’s town is a well-fed town, an easygoing town; its belly is always full of good things. The settlers’ town is a town of white people, of foreigners.

The town belonging to the colonized people, or at least the native town, the Negro village, the medina, the reservation, is a place of ill fame, peopled by men of evil repute. They are born there, it matters little where or how; they die there, it matters not where, nor how. It is a world without spaciousness; men live there on top of each other, and their huts are built one on top of the other. The native town is a hungry town, starved of bread, of meat, of shoes, of coal, of light. The native town is a crouching village, a town on its knees, a town wallowing in the mire. It is a town of niggers and dirty Arabs. The look that the native turns on the settler’s town is a look of lust, a look of envy; it expresses his dreams of possession–all manner of possession: to sit at the settler’s table, to sleep in the settler’s bed, with his wife if possible. The colonized man is an envious man. And this the settler knows very well; when their glances meet he ascertains bitterly, always on the defensive, “They want to take our place.” It is true, for there is no native who does not dream at least once a day of setting himself up in the settler’s place.

This world divided into compartments, this world cut

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in two is inhabited by two different species. The originality of the colonial context is that economic reality, inequality, and the immense difference of ways of life never come to mask the human realities. When you examine at close quarters the colonial context, it is evident that what parcels out the world is to begin with the fact of belonging to or not belonging to a given race, a given species. In the colonies the economic substructure is also a superstructure. The cause is the consequence; you are rich because you are white, yon are white because you are rich. This is why Marxist analysis should always be slightly stretched every time we have to do with the colonial problem.

Everything up to and including the very nature of precapitalist society, so well explained by Marx, must here be thought out again. The serf is in essence different from the knight, but a reference to divine right is necessary to legitimize this statutory difference. In the colonies, the foreigner coming from another country imposed his rule by means of guns and machines. In defiance of his successful transplantation, in spite of his appropriation, the settler still remains a foreigner. It is neither the act of owning factories, nor estates, nor a bank balance which distinguishes the governing classes. The governing race is first and foremost those who come from elsewhere, those who are unlike the original inhabitants, “the others.”

The violence which has ruled over the ordering of the colonial world, which has ceaselessly drummed the rhythm for the destruction of native social forms and broken up without reserve the systems of reference of the economy, the customs of dress and external life, that same violence will be claimed and taken over by the native at the moment when, deciding to embody history in his own person, he surges into the forbidden quarters. To wreck the colonial world is henceforward a mental picture of action

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which is very clear, very easy to understand and which may be assumed by each one of the individuals which constitute the colonized people. To break up the colonial world does not mean that after the frontiers have been abolished lines of communication will be set up between the two zones. The destruction of the colonial world is no more and no less that the abolition of one zone, its burial in the depths of the earth or its expulsion from the country.

The natives’ challenge to the colonial world is not a rational confrontation of points of view. It is not a treatise on the universal, but the untidy affirmation of an original idea propounded as an absolute. The colonial world is a Manichean world. It is not enough for the settler to delimit physically, that is to say with the help of the army and the police force, the place of the native. As if to show the totalitarian character of colonial exploitation the settler paints the native as a sort of quintessence of evil. * Native society is not simply described as a society lacking in values. It is not enough for the colonist to affirm that those values have disappeared from, or still better never existed in, the colonial world. The native is declared insensible to ethics; he represents not only the absence of values, but also the negation of values. He is, let us dare to admit, the enemy of values, and in this sense he is the absolute evil. He is the corrosive element, destroying all that comes near him; he is the deforming element, disfiguring all that has to do with beauty or morality; he is the depository of maleficent powers, the unconscious and irretrievable instrument of blind forces. Monsieur Meyer could thus state seriously in the French National Assembly that the Republic must not be prostituted by allowing

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* We have demonstrated the mechanism of this Manichean world in Black Skin, White Masks ( New York: Grove Press, 1967).

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the Algerian people to become part of it. All values, in fact, are irrevocably poisoned and diseased as soon as they are allowed in contact with the colonized race. The customs of the colonized people, their traditions, their myths — above all, their myths–are the very sign of that poverty of spirit and of their constitutional depravity. That is why we must put the DDT which destroys parasites, the bearers of disease, on the same level as the Christian religion which wages war on embryonic heresies and instincts, and on evil as yet unborn. The recession of yellow fever and the advance of evangelization form part of the same balance sheet. But the triumphant communiqués from the missions are in fact a source of information concerning the implantation of foreign influences in the core of the colonized people. I speak of the Christian religion, and no one need be astonished. The Church in the colonies is the white people’s Church, the foreigner’s Church. She does not call the native to God’s ways but to the ways of the white man, of the master, of the oppressor. And as we know, in this matter many are called but few chosen.

At times this Manicheism goes to its logical conclusion and dehumanizes the native, or to speak plainly, it turns him into an animal. In fact, the terms the settler uses when he mentions the native are zoological terms. He speaks of the yellow man’s reptilian motions, of the stink of the native quarter, of breeding swarms, of foulness, of spawn, of gesticulations. When the settler seeks to describe the native fully in exact terms he constantly refers to the bestiary. The European rarely hits on a picturesque style; but the native, who knows what is in the mind of the settler, guesses at once what he is thinking of. Those hordes of vital statistics, those hysterical masses, those faces bereft of all humanity, those distended bodies which are like nothing on earth, that mob without beginning or

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end, those children who seem to belong to nobody, that laziness stretched out in the sun, that vegetative rhythm of life–all this forms part of the colonial vocabulary. General de Gaulle speaks of “the yellow multitudes” and François Mauriac of the black, brown, and yellow masses which soon will be unleashed. The native knows all this, and laughs to himself every time he spots an allusion to the animal world in the other’s words. For he knows that he is not an animal; and it is precisely at the moment he realizes his humanity that he begins to sharpen the weapons with which he will secure its victory.

As soon as the native begins to pull on his moorings, and to cause anxiety to the settler, he is handed over to well-meaning souls who in cultural congresses point out to him the specificity and wealth of Western values. But every time Western values are mentioned they produce in the native a sort of stiffening or muscular lockjaw. During the period of decolonization, the natives’s reason is appealed to. He is offered definite values, he is told frequently that decolonization need not mean regression, and that he must put his trust in qualities which are welltried, solid, and highly esteemed. But it so happens that when the native hears a speech about Western culture he pulls out his knife–or at least he makes sure it is within reach. The violence with which the supremacy of white values is affirmed and the aggressiveness which has permeated the victory of these values over the ways of life and of thought of the native mean that, in revenge, the native laughs in mockery when Western values are mentioned in front of him. In the colonial context the settler only ends his work of breaking in the native when the latter admits loudly and intelligibly the supremacy of the white man’s values. In the period of decolonization, the colonized masses mock at these very values, insult them, and vomit them up.

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This phenomenon is ordinarily masked because, during the period of decolonization, certain colonized intellectuals have begun a dialogue with the bourgeoisie of the colonialist country. During this phase, the indigenous population is discerned only as an indistinct mass. The few native personalities whom the colonialist bourgeois have come to know here and there have not sufficient influence on that immediate discernment to give rise to nuances. On the other hand, during the period of liberation, the colonialist bourgeoisie looks feverishly for contacts with the elite and it is with these elite that the familiar dialogue concerning values is carried on. The colonialist bourgeoisie, when it realizes that it is impossible for it to maintain its domination over the colonial countries, decides to carry out a rearguard action with regard to culture, values, techniques, and so on. Now what we must never forget is that the immense majority of colonized peoples is oblivious to these problems. For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity. But this dignity has nothing to do with the dignity of the human individual: for that human individual has never heard tell of it. All that the native has seen in his country is that they can freely arrest him, beat him, starve him: and no professor of ethics, no priest has ever come to be beaten in his place, nor to share their bread with him. As far as the native is concerned, morality is very concrete; it is to silence the settler’s defiance, to break his flaunting violence–in a word, to put him out of the picture. The wellknown principle that all men are equal will be illustrated in the colonies from the moment that the native claims that he is the equal of the settler. One step more, and he is ready to fight to be more than the settler. In fact, he has already decided to eject him and to take his place; as

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we see it, it is a whole material and moral universe which is breaking up. The intellectual who for his part has followed the colonialist with regard to the universal abstract will fight in order that the settler and the native may live together in peace in a new world. But the thing he does not see, precisely because he is permeated by colonialism and all its ways of thinking, is that the settler, from the moment that the colonial context disappears, has no longer any interest in remaining or in co-existing. It is not by chance that, even before any negotiation * between the Algerian and French governments has taken place, the European minority which calls itself “liberal” has already made its position clear: it demands nothing more nor less than twofold citizenship. By setting themselves apart in an abstract manner, the liberals try to force the settler into taking a very concrete jump into the unknown. Let us admit it, the settler knows perfectly well that no phraseology can be a substitute for reality.

Thus the native discovers that his life, his breath, his beating heart are the same as those of the settler. He finds out that the settler’s skin is not of any more value than a native’s skin; and it must be said that this discovery shakes the world in a very necessary manner. All the new, revolutionary assurance of the native stems from it. For if, in fact, my life is worth as much as the settler’s, his glance no longer shrivels me up nor freezes me, and his voice no longer turns me into stone. I am no longer on tenterhooks in his presence; in fact, I don’t give a damn for him. Not only does his presence no longer trouble me, but I am already preparing such efficient ambushes for him that soon there will be no way out but that of flight.

We have said that the colonial context is characterized by the dichotomy which it imposes upon the whole peo-

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* Fanon is writing in 1961.–Trans.

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ple. Decolonization unifies that people by the radical decision to remove from it its heterogeneity, and by unifying it on a national, sometimes a racial, basis. We know the fierce words of the Senegalese patriots, referring to the maneuvers of their president, Senghor: “We have demanded that the higher posts should be given to Africans; and now Senghor is Africanizing the Europeans.” That is to say that the native can see clearly and immediately if decolonization has come to pass or not, for his minimum demands are simply that the last shall be first.

But the native intellectual brings variants to this petition, and, in fact, he seems to have good reasons: higher civil servants, technicians, specialists–all seem to be needed. Now, the ordinary native interprets these unfair promotions as so many acts of sabotage, and he is often heard to declare: “It wasn’t worth while, then, our becoming independent…”

In the colonial countries where a real struggle for freedom has taken place, where the blood of the people has flowed and where the length of the period of armed warfare has favored the backward surge of intellectuals toward bases grounded in the people, we can observe a genuine eradication of the superstructure built by these intellectuals from the bourgeois colonialist environment. The colonialist bourgeoisie, in its narcissistic dialogue, expounded by the members of its universities, had in fact deeply implanted in the minds of the colonized intellectual that the essential qualities remain eternal in spite of all the blunders men may make: the essential qualities of the West, of course. The native intellectual accepted the cogency of these ideas, and deep down in his brain you could always find a vigilant sentinel ready to defend the Greco-Latin pedestal. Now it so happens that during the struggle for liberation, at the moment that the native intellectual comes into touch again with his people, this

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artificial sentinel is turned into dust. All the Mediterranean values–the triumph of the human individual, of clarity, and of beauty–become lifeless, colorless knickknacks. All those speeches seem like collections of dead words; those values which seemed to uplift the soul are revealed as worthless, simply because they have nothing to do with the concrete conflict in which the people is engaged.

Individualism is the first to disappear. The native intellectual had learnt from his masters that the individual ought to express himself fully. The colonialist bourgeoisie had hammered into the native’s mind the idea of a society of individuals where each person shuts himself up in his own subjectivity, and whose only wealth is individual thought. Now the native who has the opportunity to return to the people during the struggle for freedom will discover the falseness of this theory. The very forms of organization of the struggle will suggest to him a different vocabulary. Brother, sister, friend–these are words outlawed by the colonialist bourgeoisie, because for them my brother is my purse, my friend is part of my scheme for getting on. The native intellectual takes part, in a sort of auto-da-fé, in the destruction of all his idols: egoism, recrimination that springs from pride, and the childish stupidity of those who always want to have the last word. Such a colonized intellectual, dusted over by colonial culture, will in the same way discover the substance of village assemblies, the cohesion of people’s committees, and the extraordinary fruitfulness of local meetings and groupments. Henceforward, the interests of one will be the interests of all, for in concrete fact everyone will be discovered by the troops, everyone will be massacred–or everyone will be saved. The motto “look out for yourself,” the atheist’s method of salvation, is in this context forbidden.

Self-criticism has been much talked about of late, but

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few people realize that it is an African institution. Whether in the djemaas * of northern Africa or in the meetings of western Africa, tradition demands that the quarrels which occur in a village should be settled in public. It is communal self-criticism, of course, and with a note of humor, because everybody is relaxed, and because in the last resort we all want the same things. But the more the intellectual imbibes the atmosphere of the people, the more completely he abandons the habits of calculation, of unwonted silence, of mental reservations, and shakes off the spirit of concealment. And it is true that already at that level we can say that the community triumphs, and that it spreads its own light and its own reason.

But it so happens sometimes that decolonization occurs in areas which have not been sufficiently shaken by the struggle for liberation, and there may be found those same know-all, smart, wily intellectuals. We find intact in them the manners and forms of thought picked up during their association with the colonialist bourgeoisie. Spoilt children of yesterday’s colonialism and of today’s national governments, they organize the loot of whatever national resources exist. Without pity, they use today’s national distress as a means of getting on through scheming and legal robbery, by import-export combines, limited liability companies, gambling on the stock exchange, or unfair promotion. They are insistent in their demands for the nationalization of commerce, that is to say the reservation of markets and advantageous bargains for nationals only. As far as doctrine is concerned, they proclaim the pressing necessity of nationalizing the robbery of the nation. In this arid phase of national life, the so-called period of austerity, the success of their depredations is

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* Village assemblies.–Trans.

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swift to call forth the violence and anger of the people. For this same people, poverty-stricken yet independent, comes very quickly to possess a social conscience in the African and international context of today; and this the petty individualists will quickly learn.

In order to assimilate and to experience the oppressor’s culture, the native has had to leave certain of his intellectual possessions in pawn. These pledges include his adoption of the forms of thought of the colonialist bourgeoisie. This is very noticeable in the inaptitude of the native intellectual to carry on a two-sided discussion; for he cannot eliminate himself when confronted with an object or an idea. On the other hand, when once he begins to militate among the people he is struck with wonder and amazement; he is literally disarmed by their good faith and honesty. The danger that will haunt him continually is that of becoming the uncritical mouthpiece of the masses; he becomes a kind of yes-man who nods assent at every word coming from the people, which he interprets as considered judgments. Now, the fellah, the unemployed man, the starving native do not lay a claim to the truth; they do not say that they represent the truth, for they are the truth.

Objectively, the intellectual behaves in this phase like a common opportunist. In fact he has not stopped maneuvering. There is never any question of his being either rejected or welcomed by the people. What they ask is simply that all resources should be pooled. The inclusion of the native intellectual in the upward surge of the masses will in this case be differentiated by a curious cult of detail. That is not to say that the people are hostile to analysis; on the contrary, they like having things explained to them, they are glad to understand a line of argument and they like to see where they are going. But at the beginning of his association with the people the native

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intellectual over-stresses details and thereby comes to forget that the defeat of colonialism is the real object of the struggle. Carried away by the multitudinous aspects of the fight, he tends to concentrate on local tasks, performed with enthusiasm but almost always too solemnly. He fails to see the whole of the movement all the time. He introduces the idea of special disciplines, of specialized functions, of departments within the terrible stone crusher, the fierce mixing machine which a popular revolution is. He is occupied in action on a particular front, and it so happens that he loses sight of the unity of the movement. Thus, if a local defeat is inflicted, he may well be drawn into doubt, and from thence to despair. The people, on the other hand, take their stand from the start on the broad and inclusive positions of bread and the land: how can we obtain the land, and bread to eat? And this obstinate point of view of the masses, which may seem shrunken and limited, is in the end the most worthwhile and the most efficient mode of procedure.

The problem of truth ought also to be considered. In every age, among the people, truth is the property of the national cause. No absolute verity, no discourse on the purity of the soul, can shake this position. The native replies to the living lie of the colonial situation by an equal falsehood. His dealings with his fellow-nationals are open; they are strained and incomprehensible with regard to the settlers. Truth is that which hurries on the break-up of the colonialist regime; it is that which promotes the emergence of the nation; it is all that protects the natives, and ruins the foreigners. In this colonialist context there is no truthful behavior: and the good is quite simply that which is evil for “them.”

Thus we see that the primary Manicheism which governed colonial society is preserved intact during the period of decolonization; that is to say that the settler never

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ceases to be the enemy, the opponent, the foe that must be overthrown. The oppressor, in his own sphere, starts the process, a process of domination, of exploitation and of pillage, and in the other sphere the coiled, plundered creature which is the native provides fodder for the process as best he can, the process which moves uninterruptedly from the banks of the colonial territory to the palaces and the docks of the mother country. In this becalmed zone the sea has a smooth surface, the palm tree stirs gently in the breeze, the waves lap against the pebbles, and raw materials are ceaselessly transported, justifying the presence of the settler: and all the while the native, bent double, more dead than alive, exists interminably in an unchanging dream. The settler makes history; his life is an epoch, an Odyssey. He is the absolute beginning: “This land was created by us”; he is the unceasing cause: “If we leave, all is lost, and the country will go back to the Middle Ages.” Over against him torpid creatures, wasted by fevers, obsessed by ancestral customs, form an almost inorganic background for the innovating dynamism of colonial mercantilism.

The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.

The immobility to which the native is condemned can only be called in question if the native decides to put an end to the history of colonization–the history of pillage -and to bring into existence the history of the nation–the history of decolonization.

A world divided into compartments, a motionless, Manicheistic world, a world of statues: the statue of the

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general who carried out the conquest, the statue of the engineer who built the bridge; a world which is sure of itself, which crushes with its stones the backs flayed by whips: this is the colonial world. The native is a being hemmed in; apartheid is simply one form of the division into compartments of the colonial world. The first thing which the native learns is to stay in his place, and not to go beyond certain limits. This is why the dreams of the native are always of muscular prowess; his dreams are of action and of aggression. I dream I am jumping, swimming, running, climbing; I dream that I burst out laughing, that I span a river in one stride, or that I am followed by a flood of motorcars which never catch up with me. During the period of colonization, the native never stops achieving his freedom from nine in the evening until six in the morning.

The colonized man will first manifest this aggressiveness which has been deposited in his bones against his own people. This is the period when the niggers beat each other up, and the police and magistrates do not know which way to turn when faced with the astonishing waves of crime in North Africa. We shall see later how this phenomenon should be judged. * When the native is confronted with the colonial order of things, he finds he is in a state of permanent tension. The settler’s world is a hostile world, which spurns the native, but at the same time it is a world of which he is envious. We have seen that the native never ceases to dream of putting himself in the place of the settler–not of becoming the settler but of substituting himself for the settler. This hostile world, ponderous and aggressive because it fends off the colonized masses with all the harshness it is capable of, represents not merely a hell from which the swiftest flight

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* See the section: “Colonial War and Mental Disorders.”

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possible is desirable, but also a paradise close at hand which is guarded by terrible watchdogs.

The native is always on the alert, for since he can only make out with difficulty the many symbols of the colonial world, he is never sure whether or not he has crossed the frontier. Confronted with a world ruled by the settler, the native is always presumed guilty. But the native’s guilt is never a guilt which he accepts; it is rather a kind of curse, a sort of sword of Damocles, for, in his innermost spirit, the native admits no accusation. He is overpowered but not tamed; he is treated as an inferior but he is not convinced of his inferiority. He is patiently waiting until the settler is off his guard to fly at him. The native’s muscles are always tensed. You can’t say that he is terrorized, or even apprehensive. He is in fact ready at a moment’s notice to exchange the role of the quarry for that of the hunter. The native is an oppressed person whose permanent dream is to become the persecutor. The symbols of social order–the police, the bugle calls in the barracks, military parades and the waving flags–are at one and the same time inhibitory and stimulating: for they do not convey the message “Don’t dare to budge”; rather, they cry out “Get ready to attack.” And, in fact, if the native had any tendency to fall asleep and to forget, the settler’s hauteur and the settler’s anxiety to test the strength of the colonial system would remind him at every turn that the great showdown cannot be put off indefinitely. That impulse to take the settler’s place implies a tonicity of muscles the whole time; and in fact we know that in certain emotional conditions the presence of an obstacle accentuates the tendency toward motion.

The settler-native relationship is a mass relationship. The settler pits brute force against the weight of numbers. He is an exhibitionist. His preoccupation with security makes him remind the native out loud that there he alone

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is master. The settler keeps alive in the native an anger which he deprives of outlet; the native is trapped in the tight links of the chains of colonialism. But we have seen that inwardly the settler can only achieve a pseudo petrification. The native’s muscular tension finds outlet regularly in bloodthirsty explosions–in tribal warfare, in feuds between septs, and in quarrels between individuals.

Where individuals are concerned, a positive negation of common sense is evident. While the settler or the policeman has the right the livelong day to strike the native, to insult him and to make him crawl to them, you will see the native reaching for his knife at the slightest hostile or aggressive glance cast on him by another native; for the last resort of the native is to defend his personality vis-à-vis his brother. Tribal feuds only serve to perpetuate old grudges buried deep in the memory. By throwing himself with all his force into the vendetta, the native tries to persuade himself that colonialism does not exist, that everything is going on as before, that history continues. Here on the level of communal organizations we clearly discern the well-known behavior patterns of avoidance. It is as if plunging into a fraternal bloodbath allowed them to ignore the obstacle, and to put off till later the choice, nevertheless inevitable, which opens up the question of armed resistance to colonialism. Thus collective autodestruction in a very concrete form is one of the ways in which the native’s muscular tension is set free. All these patterns of conduct are those of the death reflex when faced with danger, a suicidal behavior which proves to the settler (whose existence and domination is by them all the more justified) that these men are not reasonable human beings. In the same way the native manages to by-pass the settler. A belief in fatality removes all blame from the oppressor; the cause of misfortunes and of poverty is attributed to God: He is Fate. In this way

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the individual accepts the disintegration ordained by God, bows down before the settler and his lot, and by a kind of interior restabilization acquires a stony calm.

Meanwhile, however, life goes on, and the native will strengthen the inhibitions which contain his aggressiveness by drawing on the terrifying myths which are so frequently found in underdeveloped communities. There are maleficent spirits which intervene every time a step is taken in the wrong direction, leopard-men, serpent-men, six-legged dogs, zombies–a whole series of tiny animals or giants which create around the native a world of prohibitions, of barriers and of inhibitions far more terrifying than the world of the settler. This magical superstructure which permeates native society fulfills certain well-defined functions in the dynamism of the libido. One of the characteristics of underdeveloped societies is in fact that the libido is first and foremost the concern of a group, or of the family. The feature of communities whereby a man who dreams that he has sexual relations with a woman other than his own must confess it in public and pay a fine in kind or in working days to the injured husband or family is fully described by ethnologists. We may note in passing that this proves that the so-called prehistoric societies attach great importance to the unconscious.

The atmosphere of myth and magic frightens me and so takes on an undoubted reality. By terrifying me, it integrates me in the traditions and the history of my district or of my tribe, and at the same time it reassures me, it gives me a status, as it were an identification paper. In underdeveloped countries the occult sphere is a sphere belonging to the community which is entirely under magical jurisdiction. By entangling myself in this inextricable network where actions are repeated with crystalline inevitability, I find the everlasting world which belongs to

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me, and the perenniality which is thereby affirmed of the world belonging to us. Believe me, the zombies are more terrifying than the settlers; and in consequence the problem is no longer that of keeping oneself right with the colonial world and its barbed-wire entanglements, but of considering three times before urinating, spitting, or going out into the night.

The supernatural, magical powers reveal themselves as essentially personal; the settler’s powers are infinitely shrunken, stamped with their alien origin. We no longer really need to fight against them since what counts is the frightening enemy created by myths. We perceive that all is settled by a permanent confrontation on the phantasmic plane.

It has always happened in the struggle for freedom that such a people, formerly lost in an imaginary maze, a prey to unspeakable terrors yet happy to lose themselves in a dreamlike torment, such a people becomes unhinged, reorganizes itself, and in blood and tears gives birth to very real and immediate action. Feeding the moudjahidines, * posting sentinels, coming to the help of families which lack the bare necessities, or taking the place of a husband who has been killed or imprisoned: such are the concrete tasks to which the people is called during the struggle for freedom.

In the colonial world, the emotional sensitivity of the native is kept on the surface of his skin like an open sore which flinches from the caustic agent; and the psyche shrinks back, obliterates itself and finds outlet in muscular demonstrations which have caused certain very wise men to say that the native is a hysterical type. This sensitive emotionalism, watched by invisible keepers who are how-

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* Highly-trained soldiers who are completely dedicated to the Moslem cause.–Trans.

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ever in unbroken contact with the core of the personality, will find its fulfillment through eroticism in the driving forces behind the crisis’ dissolution.

On another level we see the native’s emotional sensibility exhausting itself in dances which are more or less ecstatic. This is why any study of the colonial world should take into consideration the phenomena of the dance and of possession. The native’s relaxation takes precisely the form of a muscular orgy in which the most acute aggressivity and the most impelling violence are canalized, transformed, and conjured away. The circle of the dance is a permissive circle: it protects and permits. At certain times on certain days, men and women come together at a given place, and there, under the solemn eye of the tribe, fling themselves into a seemingly unorganized pantomime, which is in reality extremely systematic, in which by various means–shakes of the head, bending of the spinal column, throwing of the whole body backward -may be deciphered as in an open book the huge effort of a community to exorcise itself, to liberate itself, to explain itself. There are no limits–inside the circle. The hillock up which you have toiled as if to be nearer to the moon; the river bank down which you slip as if to show the connection between the dance and ablutions, cleansing and purification–these are sacred places. There are no limits–for in reality your purpose in coming together is to allow the accumulated libido, the hampered aggressivity, to dissolve as in a volcanic eruption. Symbolical killings, fantastic rides, imaginary mass murders–all must be brought out. The evil humors are undammed, and flow away with a din as of molten lava.

One step further and you are completely possessed. In fact, these are actually organized séances of possession and exorcism; they include vampirism, possession by djinns, by zombies, and by Legba, the famous god of the voodoo.

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This disintegrating of the personality, this splitting and dissolution, all this fulfills a primordial function in the organism of the colonial world. When they set out, the men and women were impatient, stamping their feet in a state of nervous excitement; when they return, peace has been restored to the village; it is once more calm and unmoved.

During the struggle for freedom, a marked alienation from these practices is observed. The native’s back is to the wall, the knife is at his throat (or, more precisely, the electrode at his genitals): he will have no more call for his fancies. After centuries of unreality, after having wallowed in the most outlandish phantoms, at long last the native, gun in hand, stands face to face with the only forces which contend for his life–the forces of colonialism. And the youth of a colonized country, growing up in an atmosphere of shot and fire, may well make a mock of, and does not hesitate to pour scorn upon the zombies of his ancestors, the horses with two heads, the dead who rise again, and the djinns who rush into your body while you yawn. The native discovers reality and transforms it into the pattern of his customs, into the practice of violence and into his plan for freedom.

We have seen that this same violence, though kept very much on the surface all through the colonial period, yet turns in the void. We have also seen that it is canalized by the emotional outlets of dance and possession by spirits; we have seen how it is exhausted in fratricidal combats. Now the problem is to lay hold of this violence which is changing direction. When formerly it was appeased by myths and exercised its talents in finding fresh ways of committing mass suicide, now new conditions will make possible a completely new line of action.

Nowadays a theoretical problem of prime importance is being set, on the historical plane as well as on the level of

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political tactics, by the liberation of the colonies: when can one affirm that the situation is ripe for a movement of national liberation? In what form should it first be manifested? Because the various means whereby decolonization has been carried out have appeared in many different aspects, reason hesitates and refuses to say which is a true decolonization, and which a false. We shall see that for a man who is in the thick of the fight it is an urgent matter to decide on the means and the tactics to employ: that is to say, how to conduct and organize the movement. If this coherence is not present there is only a blind will toward freedom, with the terribly reactionary risks which it entails.

What are the forces which in the colonial period open up new outlets and engender new aims for the violence of colonized peoples? In the first place there are the political parties and the intellectual or commercial elites. Now, the characteristic feature of certain political structures is that they proclaim abstract principles but refrain from issuing definite commands. The entire action of these nationalist political parties during the colonial period is action of the electoral type: a string of philosophicopolitical dissertations on the themes of the rights of peoples to self-determination, the rights of man to freedom from hunger and human dignity, and the unceasing affirmation of the principle: “One man, one vote.” The national political parties never lay stress upon the necessity of a trial of armed strength, for the good reason that their objective is not the radical overthrowing of the system. Pacifists and legalists, they are in fact partisans of order, the new order–but to the colonialist bourgeoisie they put bluntly enough the demand which to them is the main one: “Give us more power.” On the specific question of violence, the elite are ambiguous. They are violent in their words and reformist in their attitudes.

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When the nationalist political leaders say something, they make quite clear that they do not really think it.

This characteristic on the part of the nationalist political parties should be interpreted in the light both of the make-up of their leaders and the nature of their followings. The rank-and-file of a nationalist party is urban. The workers, primary schoolteachers, artisans, and small shopkeepers who have begun to profit–at a discount, to be sure–from the colonial setup, have special interests at heart. What this sort of following demands is the betterment of their particular lot: increased salaries, for example. The dialogue between these political parties and colonialism is never broken off. Improvements are discussed, such as full electoral representation, the liberty of the press, and liberty of association. Reforms are debated. Thus it need not astonish anyone to notice that a large number of natives are militant members of the branches of political parties which stem from the mother country. These natives fight under an abstract watchword: “Government by the workers,” and they forget that in their country it should be nationalist watchwords which are first in the field. The native intellectual has clothed his aggressiveness in his barely veiled desire to assimilate himself to the colonial world. He has used his aggressiveness to serve his own individual interests.

Thus there is very easily brought into being a kind of class of affranchised slaves, or slaves who are individually free. What the intellectual demands is the right to multiply the emancipated, and the opportunity to organize a genuine class of emancipated citizens. On the other hand, the mass of the people have no intention of standing by and watching individuals increase their chances of success. What they demand is not the settler’s position of status, but the settler’s place. The immense majority of natives want the settler’s farm. For them, there is no question of

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entering into competition with the settler. They want to take his place.

The peasantry is systematically disregarded for the most part by the propaganda put out by the nationalist parties. And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system, is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization are simply a question of relative strength. The exploited man sees that his liberation implies the use of all means, and that of force first and foremost. When in 1956, after the capitulation of Monsieur Guy Mollet to the settlers in Algeria, the Front de Libération Nationale, in a famous leaflet, stated that colonialism only loosens its hold when the knife is at its throat, no Algerian really found these terms too violent. The leaflet only expressed what every Algerian felt at heart: colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence in its natural state, and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence.

At the decisive moment, the colonialist bourgeoisie, which up till then has remained inactive, comes into the field. It introduces that new idea which is in proper parlance a creation of the colonial situation: non-violence. In its simplest form this non-violence signifies to the intellectual and economic elite of the colonized country that the bourgeoisie has the same interests as they and that it is therefore urgent and indispensable to come to terms for the public good. Non-violence is an attempt to settle the colonial problem around a green baize table, before any regrettable act has been performed or irreparable gesture made, before any blood has been shed. But if the masses, without, waiting for the chairs to be arranged around me

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baize table, listen to their own voice and begin committing outrages and setting fire to buildings, the elite and the nationalist bourgeois parties will be seen rushing to the colonialists to exclaim, “This is very serious! We do not know how it will end; we must find a solution–some sort of compromise.”

This idea of compromise is very important in the phenomenon of decolonization, for it is very far from being a simple one. Compromise involves the colonial system and the young nationalist bourgeoisie at one and the same time. The partisans of the colonial system discover that the masses may destroy everything. Blown-up bridges, ravaged farms, repressions, and fighting harshly disrupt the economy. Compromise is equally attractive to the nationalist bourgeoisie, who since they are not clearly aware of the possible consequences of the rising storm, are genuinely afraid of being swept away by this huge hurricane and never stop saying to the settlers: “We are still capable of stopping the slaughter; the masses still have confidence in us; act quickly if you do not want to put everything in jeopardy.” One step more, and the leader of the nationalist party keeps his distance with regard to that violence. He loudly proclaims that he has nothing to do with these Mau-Mau, these terrorists, these throat-slitters. At best, he shuts himself off in a no man’s land between the terrorists and the settlers and willingly offers his services as go-between; that is to say, that as the settlers cannot discuss terms with these Mau-Mau, he himself will be quite willing to begin negotiations. Thus it is that the rear guard of the national struggle, that very party of people who have never ceased to be on the other side in the fight, find themselves somersaulted into the van of negotiations and compromise–precisely because that party has taken very good care never to break contact with colonialism.

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Before negotiations have been set afoot, the majority of nationalist parties confine themselves for the most part to explaining and excusing this “savagery.” They do not assert that the people have to use physical force, and it sometimes even happens that they go so far as to condemn, in private, the spectacular deeds which are declared to be hateful by the press and public opinion in the mother country. The legitimite excuse for this ultra-conservative policy is the desire to see things in an objective light; but this traditional attitude of the native intellectual and of the leaders of the nationalist parties is not, in reality, in the least objective. For in fact they are not at all convinced that this impatient violence of the masses is the most efficient means of defending their own interests. Moreover, there are some individuals who are convinced of the ineffectiveness of violent methods; for them, there is no doubt about it, every attempt to break colonial oppression by force is a hopeless effort, an attempt at suicide, because in the innermost recesses of their brains the settler’s tanks and airplanes occupy a huge place. When they are told “Action must be taken,” they see bombs raining down on them, armored cars coming at them on every path, machine-gunning and police action… and they sit quiet. They are beaten from the start. There is no need to demonstrate their incapacity to triumph by violent methods; they take it for granted in their everyday life and in their political maneuvers. They have remained in the same childish position as Engels took up in his famous polemic with that monument of puerility, Monsieur Duhring:

In the same way that Robinson [Crusoe] was able to obtain a sword, we can just as well suppose that [Man] Friday might appear one fine morning with a loaded revolver in his hand, and from then on the whole relationship of violence is reversed: Man Friday gives the orders and Crusoe is obliged

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to work…. Thus, the revolver triumphs over the sword, and even the most childish believer in axioms will doubtless form the conclusion that violence is not a simple act of will, but needs for its realization certain very concrete preliminary conditions, and in particular the implements of violence; and the more highly developed of these implements will carry the day against primitive ones. Moreover, the very fact of the ability to produce such weapons signifies that the producer of highly developed weapons, in everyday speech the arms manufacturer, triumphs over the producer of primitive weapons. To put it briefly, the triumph of violence depends upon the production of armaments, and this in its turn depends on production in general, and thus…on economic strength, on the economy of the State, and in the last resort on the material means which that violence commands. *

In fact, the leaders of reform have nothing else to say than: “With what are you going to fight the settlers? With your knives? Your shotguns?”

It is true that weapons are important when violence comes into play, since all finally depends on the distribution of these implements. But it so happens that the liberation of colonial countries throws new light on the subject. For example, we have seen that during the Spanish campaign, which was a very genuine colonial war, Napoleon, in spite of an army which reached in the offensives of the spring of 1810 the huge figure of 400,000 men, was forced to retreat. Yet the French army made the whole of Europe tremble by its weapons of war, by the bravery of its soldiers, and by the military genius of its leaders. Face to face with the enormous potentials of the Napoleonic troops, the Spaniards, inspired by an unshakeable national ardor, rediscovered the famous methods of guerilla warfare which, twenty-five years before, the American militia had tried out on the English forces. But the

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* Friedrich Engels: Anti-Dühring, Part II, Chapter III, “Theory of Violence”, p. 199.

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native’s guerilla warfare would be of no value as opposed to other means of violence if it did not form a new element in the worldwide process of competition between trusts and monopolies.

In the early days of colonization, a single column could occupy immense stretches of country: the Congo, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and so on. Today, however, the colonized countries’ national struggle crops up in a completely new international situation. Capitalism, in its early days, saw in the colonies a source of raw materials which, once turned into manufactured goods, could be distributed on the European market. After a phase of accumulation of capital, capitalism has today come to modify its conception of the profit-earning capacity of a commercial enterprise. The colonies have become a market. The colonial population is a customer who is ready to buy goods; consequently, if the garrison has to be perpetually reinforced, if buying and selling slackens off, that is to say if manufactured and finished goods can no longer be exported, there is clear proof that the solution of military force must be set aside. A blind domination founded on slavery is not economically speaking worthwhile for the bourgeoisie of the mother country. The monopolistic group within this bourgeoisie does not support a government whose policy is solely that of the sword. What the factoryowners and finance magnates of the mother country expect from their government is not that it should decimate the colonial peoples, but that it should safeguard with the help of economic conventions their own “legitimate interests.”

Thus there exists a sort of detached complicity between capitalism and the violent forces which blaze up in colonial territory. What is more, the native is not alone against the oppressor, for indeed there is also the political and diplomatic support of progressive countries and peo-

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ples. But above all there is competition, that pitiless war which financial groups wage upon each other. A Berlin Conference was able to tear Africa into shreds and divide her up between three or four imperial flags. At the moment, the important thing is not whether such-and-such a region in Africa is under French or Belgian sovereignty, but rather that the economic zones are respected. Today, wars of repression are no longer waged against rebel sultans; everything is more elegant, less bloodthirsty; the liquidation of the Castro regime will be quite peaceful. They do all they can to strangle Guinea and they eliminate Mossadegh. Thus the nationalist leader who is frightened of violence is wrong if he imagines that colonialism is going to “massacre all of us.” The military will of course go on playing with tin soldiers which date from the time of the conquest, but higher finance will soon bring the truth home to them.

This is why reasonable nationalist political parties are asked to set out their claims as clearly as possible, and to seek with their colonialist opposite numbers, calmly and without passion, for a solution which will take the interests of both parties into consideration. We see that if this nationalist reformist tendency which often takes the form of a kind of caricature of trade unionism decides to take action, it will only do so in a highly peaceful fashion, through stoppages of work in the few industries which have been set up in the towns, mass demonstrations to cheer the leaders, and the boycotting of buses or of imported commodities. All these forms of action serve at one and the same time to bring pressure to bear on the forces of colonialism, and to allow the people to work off their energy. This practice of therapy by hibernation, this sleep-cure used on the people, may sometimes be successful; thus out of the conference around the green baize table comes the political selectiveness which enables Mon-

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Mon, the president of the Republic of Gabon, to state in all seriousness on his arrival in Paris for an official visit: “Gabon is independent, but between Gabon and France nothing has changed; everything goes on as before.” In fact, the only change is that Monsieur M’ba is president of the Gabonese Republic and that he is received by the president of the French Republic.

The colonialist bourgeoisie is helped in its work of calming down the natives by the inevitable religion. All those saints who have turned the other cheek, who have forgiven trespasses against them, and who have been spat on and insulted without shrinking are studied and held up as examples. On the other hand, the elite of the colonial countries, those slaves set free, when at the head of the movement inevitably end up by producing an ersatz conflict. They use their brothers’ slavery to shame the slavedrivers or to provide an ideological policy of quaint humanitarianism for their oppressors’ financial competitors. The truth is that they never make any real appeal to the aforesaid slaves; they never mobilize them in concrete terms. On the contrary, at the decisive moment (that is to say, from their point of view the moment of indecision) they brandish the danger of a “mass mobilization” as the crucial weapon which would bring about as if by magic the “end of the colonial regime.” Obviously there are to be found at the core of the political parties and among their leaders certain revolutionaries who deliberately turn their backs upon the farce of national independence. But very quickly their questionings, their energy, and their anger obstruct the party machine; and these elements are gradually isolated, and then quite simply brushed aside. At this moment, as if there existed a dialectic concomitance, the colonialist police will fall upon them. With no security in the towns, avoided by the militants of their former party and rejected by its

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leaders, these undesirable firebrands will be stranded in county districts. Then it is that they will realize bewilderedly that the peasant masses catch on to what they have to say immediately, and without delay ask them the question to which they have not yet prepared the answer: “When do we start?”

This meeting of revolutionaries coming from the towns and country dwellers will be dealt with later on. For the moment we must go back to the political parties, in order to show the nature of their action, which is all the same progressive. In their speeches the political leaders give a name to the nation. In this way the native’s demands are given shape.

There is however no definite subject matter and no political or social program. There is a vague outline or skeleton, which is nevertheless national in form, what we describe as “minimum requirements.” The politicians who make speeches and who write in the nationalist newspapers make the people dream dreams. They avoid the actual overthrowing of the state, but in fact they introduce into their readers’ or hearers’ consciousness the terrible ferment of subversion. The national or tribal language is often used. Here, once again, dreams are encouraged, and the imagination is let loose outside the bounds of the colonial order; and sometimes these politicians speak of “We Negroes, we Arabs,” and these terms which are so profoundly ambivalant take on during the colonial epoch a sacramental signification. The nationalist politicians are playing with fire: for, as an African leader recently warned a group of young intellectuals, “Think well before you speak to the masses, for they flare up quickly.” This is one of the terrible tricks that destiny plays in the colonies.

When a political leader calls a mass meeting, we may say that there is blood in the air. Yet the same leader very often is above all anxious to “make a show” of force, so

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that in fact he need not use it. But the agitation which ensues, the coming and going, the listening to speeches, seeing the people assembled in one place, with the police all around, the military demonstrations, arrests, and the deportation of the leaders–all this hubbub makes the people think that the moment has come for them to take action. In these times of instability the political parties multiply their appeals to the left for calm, while on their right they scan the horizon, trying to make out the liberal intentions of colonialism.

In the same way the people make use of certain episodes in the life of the community in order to hold themselves ready and to keep alive their revolutionary zeal. For example, the gangster who holds up the police set on to track him down for days on end, or who dies in single combat after having killed four or five policemen, or who commits suicide in order not to give away his accomplices –these types light the way for the people, form the blueprints for action and become heroes. Obviously, it’s a waste of breath to say that such-and-such a hero is a thief, a scoundrel, or a reprobate. If the act for which he is prosecuted by the colonial authorities is an act exclusively directed against a colonialist person or colonialist property, the demarcation line is definite and manifest. The process of identification is automatic.

We must also notice in this ripening process the role played by the history of the resistance at the time of the conquest. The great figures of the colonized people are always those who led the national resistance to invasion. Behanzin, Soundiata, Samory, Abdel Kader–all spring again to life with peculiar intensity in the period which comes directly before action. This is the proof that the people are getting ready to begin to go forward again, to put an end to the static period begun by colonization, and to make history.

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The uprising of the new nation and the breaking down of colonial structures are the result of one of two causes: either of a violent struggle of the people in their own right, or of action on the part of surrounding colonized peoples which acts as a brake on the colonial regime in question.

A colonized people is not alone. In spite of all that colonialism can do, its frontiers remain open to new ideas and echoes from the world outside. It discovers that violence is in the atmosphere, that it here and there bursts out, and here and there sweeps away the colonial regime –that same violence which fulfills for the native a role that is not simply informatory, but also operative. The great victory of the Vietnamese people at Dien Bien Phu is no longer, strictly speaking, a Vietnamese victory. Since July, 1954, the question which the colonized peoples have asked themselves has been, “What must be done to bring about another Dien Bien Phu? How can we manage it?” Not a single colonized individual could ever again doubt the possibility of a Dien Bien Phu; the only problem was how best to use the forces at their disposal, how to organize them, and when to bring them into action. This encompassing violence does not work upon the colonized people only; it modifies the attitude of the colonialists who become aware of manifold Dien Bien Phus. This is why a veritable panic takes hold of the colonialist governments in turn. Their purpose is to capture the vanguard, to turn the movement of liberation toward the right, and to disarm the people: quick, quick, let’s decolonize. Decolonize the Congo before it turns into another Algeria. Vote the constitutional framework for all Africa, create the French Communauté, renovate that same Communauté, but for God’s sake let’s decolonize quick…. And they decolonize at such a rate that they impose independence on Houphouët-Boigny. To the strategy of Dien Bien Phu, defined by the colonized peoples, the colonialist re-

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plies by the strategy of encirclement–based on the respect of the sovereignty of states.

But let us return to that atmosphere of violence, that violence which is just under the skin. We have seen that in its process toward maturity many leads are attached to it, to control it and show it the way out. Yet in spite of the metamorphoses which the colonial regime imposes upon it in the way of tribal or regional quarrels, that violence makes its way forward, and the native identifies his enemy and recognizes all his misfortunes, throwing all the exacerbated might of his hate and anger into this new channel. But how do we pass from the atmosphere of violence to violence in action? What makes the lid blow off? There is first of all the fact that this development does not leave the settler’s blissful existence intact. The settler who “understands” the natives is made aware by several straws in the wind showing that something is afoot. “Good” natives become scarce; silence falls when the oppressor approaches; sometimes looks are black, and attitudes and remarks openly aggressive. The nationalist parties are astir, they hold a great many meetings, the police are increased and reinforcements of soldiers are brought in. The settlers, above all the farmers isolated on their land, are the first to become alarmed. They call for energetic measures.

The authorities do in fact take some spectacular measures. They arrest one or two leaders, they organize military parades and maneuvers, and air force displays. But the demonstrations and warlike exercises, the smell of gunpowder which now fills the atmosphere, these things do not make the people draw back. Those bayonets and cannonades only serve to reinforce their aggressiveness. The atmosphere becomes dramatic, and everyone wishes to show that he is ready for anything. And it is in these circumstances that the guns go off by themselves, for nerves are jangled, fear reigns and everyone is trigger-happy. A

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single commonplace incident is enough to start the machine-gunning: Sétif in Algeria, the Central Quarries in Morocco, Moramanga in Madagascar.

The repressions, far from calling a halt to the forward rush of national consciousness, urge it on. Mass slaughter in the colonies at a certain stage of the embryonic development of consciousness increases that consciousness, for the hecatombs are an indication that between oppressors and oppressed everything can be solved by force. It must be remarked here that the political parties have not called for armed insurrection, and have made no preparations for such an insurrection. All these repressive measures, all those actions which are a result of fear are not within the leaders’ intentions: they are overtaken by events. At this moment, then, colonialism may decide to arrest the nationalist leaders. But today the governments of colonized countries know very well that it is extremely dangerous to deprive the masses of their leaders; for then the people, unbridled, fling themselves into jacqueries, mutinies, and “brutish murders.” The masses give free rein to their “bloodthirsty instincts” and force colonialism to free their leaders, to whom falls the difficult task of bringing them back to order. The colonized people, who have spontaneously brought their violence to the colossal task of destroying the colonial system, will very soon find themselves with the barren, inert slogan “Release X or Y.” * Then colonialism will release these men, and hold discussions with them. The time for dancing in the streets has come.

In certain circumstances, the party political machine may remain intact. But as a result of the colonialist repression and of the spontaneous reaction of the people the parties find themselves out-distanced by their militants.

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* It may happen that the arrested leader is in fact the authentic mouthpiece of the colonized masses. In this case colonialism will make use of his period of detention to try to launch new leaders.

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The violence of the masses is vigorously pitted against the military forces of the occupying power, and the situation deteriorates and comes to a head. Those leaders who are free remain, therefore, on the touchline. They have suddenly become useless, with their bureaucracy and their reasonable demands; yet we see them, far removed from events, attempting the crowning imposture–that of “speaking in the name of the silenced nation.” As a general rule, colonialism welcomes this godsend with open arms, tranforms these “blind mouths” into spokesmen, and in two minutes endows them with independence, on condition that they restore order.

So we see that all parties are aware of the power of such violence and that the question is not always to reply to it by a greater violence, but rather to see how to relax the tension.

What is the real nature of this violence? We have seen that it is the intuition of the colonized masses that their liberation must, and can only, be achieved by force. By what spiritual aberration do these men, without technique, starving and enfeebled, confronted with the military and economic might of the occupation, come to believe that violence alone will free them? How can they hope to triumph?

It is because violence (and this is the disgraceful thing) may constitute, in so far as it forms part of its system, the slogan of a political party. The leaders may call on the people to enter upon an armed struggle. This problematical question has to be thought over. When militarist Germany decides to settle its frontier disputes by force, we are not in the least surprised; but when the people of Angola, for example, decide to take up arms, when the Algerian people reject all means which are not violent, these are proofs that something has happened or is happening at this very moment. The colonized races, those

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slaves of modern times, are impatient. They know that this apparent folly alone can put them out of reach of colonial oppression. A new type of relations is established in the world. The underdeveloped peoples try to break their chains, and the extraordinary thing is that they succeed. It could be argued that in these days of sputniks it is ridiculous to die of hunger; but for the colonized masses the argument is more down-to-earth. The truth is that there is no colonial power today which is capable of adopting the only form of contest which has a chance of succeeding, namely, the prolonged establishment of large forces of occupation.

As far as their internal situation is concerned, the colonialist countries find themselves faced with contradictions in the form of working-class demands which necessitate the use of their police forces. As well, in the present international situation, these countries need their troops to protect their regimes. Finally there is the wellknown myth of liberating movements directed from Moscow. In the regime’s panic-stricken reasoning, this signifies “If that goes on, there is a risk that the communists will turn the troubles to account and infiltrate into these parts.”

In the native’s eagerness, the fact that he openly brandishes the threat of violence proves that he is conscious of the unusual character of the contemporary situation and that he means to profit by it. But, still on the level of immediate experience, the native, who has seen the modern world penetrate into the furthermost corners of the bush, is most acutely aware of all the things he does not possess. The masses by a sort of (if we may say so) childlike process of reasoning convince themselves that they have been robbed of all these things. That is why in certain underdeveloped countries the masses forge ahead very quickly, and realize two or three years after independ-

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ence that they have been frustrated, that “it wasn’t worth while” fighting, and that nothing could really change. In 1789, after the bourgeois revolution, the smallest French peasants benefited substantially from the upheaval. But it is a commonplace to observe and to say that in the majority of cases, for 95 per cent of the population of underdeveloped countries, independence brings no immediate change. The enlightened observer takes note of the existence of a kind of masked discontent, like the smoking ashes of a burnt-down house after the fire has been put out, which still threaten to burst into flames again.

So they say that the natives want to go too quickly. Now, let us never forget that only a very short time ago they complained of their slowness, their laziness, and their fatalism. Already we see that violence used in specific ways at the moment of the struggle for freedom does not magically disappear after the ceremony of trooping the national colors. It has all the less reason for disappearing since the reconstruction of the nation continues within the framework of cutthroat competition between capitalism and socialism.

This competition gives an almost universal dimension to even the most localized demands. Every meeting held, every act of represson committed, reverberates in the international arena. The murders of Sharpeville shook public opinion for months. In the newspapers, over the wavelengths, and in private conversations Sharpeville has become a symbol. It was through Sharpeville that men and women first became acquainted with the problem of apartheid in South Africa. Moreover, we cannot believe that demagogy alone is the explanation for the sudden interest the big powers show in the petty affairs of underdeveloped regions. Each jacquerie, each act of sedition in the Third World makes up part of a picture framed by the Cold War. Two men are beaten up in Salisbury, and at

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once the whole of a bloc goes into action, talks about those two men, and uses the beating-up incident to bring up the particular problem of Rhodesia, linking it, moreover, with the whole African question and with the whole question of colonized people. The other bloc however is equally concerned in measuring by the magnitude of the campaign the local weaknesses of its system. Thus the colonized peoples realize that neither clan remains outside local incidents. They no longer limit themselves to regional horizons, for they have caught on to the fact that they live in an atmosphere of international stress.

When every three months or so we hear that the Sixth or Seventh Fleet is moving toward such-and-such a coast; when Khrushchev threatens to come to Castro’s aid with rockets; when Kennedy decides upon some desperate solution for the Laos question, the colonized person or the newly independent native has the impression that whether he wills it or not he is being carried away in a kind of frantic cavalcade. In fact, he is marching in it already. Let us take, for example, the case of the governments of recently liberated countries. The men at the head of affairs spend two-thirds of their time in watching the approaches and trying to anticipate the dangers which threaten them, and the remaining one-third of their time in working for their country. At the same time, they search for allies. Obedient to the same dialectic, the national parties of opposition leave the paths of parliamentary behavior. They also look for allies to support them in their ruthless ventures into sedition. The atmosphere of violence, after having colored all the colonial phase, continues to dominate national life, for as we have already said, the Third World is not cut off from the rest. Quite the contrary, it is at the middle of the whirlpool. This is why the statesmen of underdeveloped countries keep up

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indefinitely the tone of aggressiveness and exasperation in their public speeches which in the normal way ought to have disappeared. Herein, also, may be found the reasons for that lack of politeness so often spoken of in connection with newly established rulers. But what is less visible is the extreme courtesy of these same rulers in their contacts with their brothers or their comrades. Discourtesy is first and foremost a manner to be used in dealings with the others, with the former colonists who come to observe and to investigate. The “ex-native” too often gets the impression that these reports are already written. The photos which illustrate the article are simply a proof that one knows what one is talking about, and that one has visited the country. The report intends to verify the evidence: everything’s going badly out there since we left. Frequently reporters complain of being badly received, of being forced to work under bad conditions and of being fenced round by indifference or hostility: all this is quite normal. The nationalist leaders know that international opinion is formed solely by the Western press. Now, when a journalist from the West asks us questions, it is seldom in order to help us. In the Algerian war, for example, even the most liberal of the French reporters never ceased to use ambiguous terms in describing our struggle. When we reproached them for this, they replied in all good faith that they were being objective. For the native, objectivity is always directed against him. We may in the same way come to understand the new tone which swamped international diplomacy at the United Nations General Assembly in September, 1960. The representatives of the colonial countries were aggressive and violent, and carried things to extremes, but the colonial peoples did not find that they exaggerated. The radicalism of the African spokesmen brought the abcess to a head and showed up the inad-

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missible nature of the veto and of the dialogue between the great powers, and above all the tiny role reserved for the Third World.

Diplomacy, as inaugurated by the newly independent peoples, is no longer an affair of nuances, of implications, and of hypnotic passes. For the nation’s spokesmen are responsible at one and the same time for safeguarding the unity of the nation, the progress of the masses toward a state of well-being and the right of all peoples to bread and liberty. Thus it is a diplomacy which never stops moving, a diplomacy which leaps ahead, in strange contrast to the motionless, petrified world of colonization. And when Mr. Khrushchev brandishes his shoe at the United Nations, or thumps the table with it, there’s not a single exnative, nor any representative of an underdeveloped country, who laughs. For what Mr. Khrushchev shows the colonized countries which are looking on is that he, the moujik, who moreover is the possessor of spacerockets, treats these miserable capitalists in the way that they deserve. In the same way, Castro sitting in military uniform in the United Nations Organization does not scandalize the underdeveloped countries. What Castro demonstrates is the consciousness he has of the continuing existence of the rule of violence. The astonishing thing is that he did not come into the UNO with a machine-gun; but if he had, would anyone have minded? All the jacqueries and desperate deeds, all those bands armed with cutlesses or axes find their nationality in the implacable struggle which opposes socialism and capitalism.

In 1945, the 45,000 dead at Sétif could pass unnoticed; in 1947, the 90,000 dead in Madagascar could be the subject of a simple paragraph in the papers; in 1952, the 200,000 victims of the repression in Kenya could meet with relative indifference. This was because the international contradictions were not sufficiently distinct. Already the

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Korean and Indo-Chinese wars had begun a new phase. But it is above all Budapest and Suez which constitute the decisive moments of this confrontation.

Strengthened by the unconditional support of the socialist countries, the colonized peoples fling themselves with whatever arms they have against the impregnable citadel of colonialism. If this citadel is invulnerable to knives and naked fists, it is no longer so when we decide to take into account the context of the Cold War.

In this fresh juncture, the Americans take their role of patron of international captialism very seriously. Early on, they advise the European countries to decolonize in a friendly fashion. Later on, they do not hesitate to proclaim first the respect for and then the support of the principle of “Africa for the Africans.” The United States is not afraid today of stating officially that they are the defenders of the right of all peoples to self-determination. Mr. Mennen Williams’ last journey is only the illustration of the consciousness which the Americans have that the Third World ought not to be sacrificed. From then on we understand why the violence of the native is only hopeless if we compare it in the abstract to the military machine of the oppressor. On the other hand, if we situate that violence in the dynamics of the international situation, we see at once that it constitutes a terrible menace for the oppressor. Persistent jacqueries and Mau-Mau disturbance unbalance the colony’s economic life but do not endanger the mother country. What is more important in the eyes of imperialism is the opportunity for socialist propaganda to infiltrate among the masses and to contaminate them. This is already a serious danger in the cold war; but what would happen to that colony in case of real war, riddled as it is by murderous guerillas?

Thus capitalism realizes that its military strategy has everything to lose by the outbreak of nationalist wars.

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Again, within the framework of peaceful co-existence, all colonies are destined to disappear, and in the long run neutralism is destined to be respected by capitalism. What must at all costs be avoided is strategic insecurity: the breakthrough of enemy doctrine into the masses and the deeprooted hatred of millions of men. The colonized peoples are very well aware of these imperatives which rule international political life; for this reason even those who thunder denunciations of violence take their decisions and act in terms of this universal violence. Today, peaceful coexistence between the two blocs provokes and feeds violence in the colonial countries. Tomorrow, perhaps we shall see the shifting of that violence after the complete liberation of the colonial territories. Perhaps we will see the question of minorities cropping up. Already certain minority groups do not hesitate to preach violent methods for resolving their problems and it is not by chance (so the story runs) that in consequence Negro extremists in the United States organize a militia and arm themselves. It is not by chance, either, that in the so-called free world there exist committees for the defense of Jewish minorities in the USSR, nor an accident if General de Gaulle in one of his orations sheds tears over the millions of Moslems oppressed by Communist dictatorship. Both capitalism and imperialism are convinced that the struggle against racialism and the movements toward national freedom are purely and simply directed by remote control, fomented from outside. So they decide to use that very efficacious tactic, the Radio Free Europe station, voice of the committee for the aid of overruled minorities…. They practice anti-colonialism, as did the French colonels in Algeria when they carried on subversive warfare with the SAS * or the psychological services. They “use the people

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* Section Administrative Speciale: An officers’ corps whose task was to strengthen contact with the Algerians in non-military matters.

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against the people.” We have seen with what results.

This atmosphere of violence and menaces, these rockets brandished by both sides, do not frighten nor deflect the colonized peoples. We have seen that all their recent history has prepared them to understand and grasp the situation. Between the violence of the colonies and that peaceful violence that the world is steeped in, there is a kind of complicit agreement, a sort of homogeneity. The colonized peoples are well adapted to this atmosphere; for once, they are up to date. Sometimes people wonder that the native, rather than give his wife a dress, buys instead a transistor radio. There is no reason to be astonished. The natives are convinced that their fate is in the balance, here and now. They live in the atmosphere of doomsday, and they consider that nothing ought to be let pass unnoticed. That is why they understand very well Phouma and Phoumi, Lumumba and Tshombe, Ahidjo and Moumie, Kenyatta, and the men who are pushed forward regularly to replace him. They understand all these figures very well, for they can unmask the forces working behind them. The native and the underdeveloped man are today political animals in the most universal sense of the word.

It is true to say that independence has brought moral compensation to colonized peoples, and has established their dignity. But they have not yet had time to elaborate a society, or to build up and affirm values. The warming, light-giving center where man and citizen develop and enrich their experience in wider and still wider fields does not yet exist. Set in a kind of irresolution, such men persuade themselves fairly easily that everything is going to be decided elsewhere, for everybody, at the same time. As for the political leaders, when faced with this situation, they first hesitate and then choose neutralism.

There is plenty to be said on the subject of neutralism. Some equate it with a sort of tainted mercantilism which

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consists of taking what it can get from both sides. In fact, neutralism, a state of affairs created by the cold war, if it allows underdeveloped countries to receive economic help from both sides, does not allow either party to aid underdeveloped areas to the extent that is necessary. Those literally astronomical sums of money which are invested in military research, those engineers who are transformed into technicians of nuclear war, could in the space of fifteen years raise the standard of living of underdeveloped countries by 60 per cent. So we see that the true interests of underdeveloped countries do not lie in the protraction nor in the accentuation of this cold war. But it so happens that no one asks their advice. Therefore, when they can, they cut loose from it. But can they really remain outside it? At this very moment, France is trying out her atomic bombs in Africa. Apart from the passing of motions, the holding of meetings and the shattering of diplomatic relations, we cannot say that the peoples of Africa have had much influence, in this particular sector, on France’s attitude.

Neutralism produces in the citizen of the Third World a state of mind which is expressed in everyday life by a fearlessness and an ancestral pride strangely resembling defiance. The flagrant refusal to compromise and the tough will that sets itself against getting tied up are reminiscent of the behavior of proud, poverty-stricken adolescents, who are always ready to risk their necks in order to have the last word. All this leaves Western observers dumbfounded, for to tell the truth there is a glaring divergence between what these men claim to be and what they have behind them. These countries without tramways, without troops, and without money have no justification for the bravado that they display in broad daylight. Undoubtedly, they are impostors. The Third World often gives the impression that it rejoices in sensation and that it must have

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its weekly dose of crises. These men at the head of empty countries, who talk too loud, are most irritating. You’d like to shut them up. But, on the contrary, they are in great demand. They are given bouquets; they are invited to dinner. In fact, we quarrel over who shall have them. And this is neutralism. They are 98 per cent illiterate, but they are the subject of a huge body of literature. They travel a great deal: the governing classes and students of underdeveloped countries are gold mines for airline companies. African and Asian officials may in the same month follow a course on socialist planning in Moscow and one on the advantages of the liberal economy in London or at Columbia University. African trade-union leaders leap ahead at a great rate in their own field. Hardly have they been appointed to posts in managerial organizations than they decide to form themselves into autonomous bodies. They haven’t the requisite fifty years experience of practical trade-unionism in the framework of an industrial country, but they already know that non-political trade-unionism doesn’t make sense. They haven’t come to grips with the bourgeois machine, nor developed their consciousness in the class struggle; but perhaps this isn’t necessary. Perhaps. We shall see that this will to sum everything up, which caricatures itself often in facile internationalism, is one of the most fundamental characteristics of underdeveloped countries.

Let us return to considering the single combat between native and settler. We have seen that it takes the form of an armed and open struggle. There is no lack of historical examples: Indo-China, Indonesia, and of course North Africa. But what we must not lose sight of is that this struggle could have broken out anywhere, in Guinea as well as Somaliland, and moreover today it could break out in every place where colonialism means to stay on, in Angola, for example. The existence of an armed struggle

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shows that the people are decided to trust to violent methods only. He of whom they* The sentence is easily completed. During the phase of insurrection, each settler reasons on a basis of simple arithmetic. This logic does not surprise the other settlers, but it is important to point out that it does not surprise the natives either. To begin with, the affirmation of the principle “It’s them or us” does not constitute a paradox, since colonialism, as we have seen, is in fact the organization of a Manichean world, a world divided up into compartments. And when in laying down precise methods the settler asks each member of the oppressing minority to shoot down 30 or 100 or 200 natives, he sees that nobody shows any indignation and that the whole problem is to decide whether it can be done all at once or by-stages. † have never stopped saying that the only language he understands is that of force, decides to give utterance by force. In fact, as always, the settler has shown him the way he should take if he is to become free. The argument the native chooses has been furnished by the settler, and by an ironic turning of the tables it is the native who now affirms that the colonialist understands nothing but force. The colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force and at no time tries to hide this aspect of things. Every statue, whether of Faidherbe or of Lyautey, of Bugeaud or of Sergeant Blandan–all these conquistadors perched on colonial soil do not cease from proclaiming one and the same thing: “We are here by the force of bayonets….”

This chain of reasoning which presumes very arithmeti-

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* This refers to Mirabeau’s famous saying: “I am here by the will of the People; I shall leave only by the force of bayonets.”–Trans. †

It is evident that this vacuum cleaning destroys the very thing that they want to preserve. Sartre points this out when he says: “In short by the very fact of repeating them [concerning racist ideas] it is revealed that the simultaneous union of all against the natives is unrealizable. Such union only recurs from time to time and moreover it can only come into being as an active groupment in order to massacre the natives–an absurd though perpetual temptation to the settlers, which even if it was feasible would only succeed in abolishing colonization at one blow.” (Critique de la Raison Dialectique, p. 346.)

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cally the disappearance of the colonized people does not leave the native overcome with moral indignation. He has always known that his duel with the settler would take place in the arena. The native loses no time in lamentations, and he hardly ever seeks for justice in the colonial framework. The fact is that if the settler’s logic leaves the native unshaken, it is because the latter has practically stated the problem of his liberation in identical terms: “We must form ourselves into groups of two hundred or five hundred, and each group must deal with a settler.” It is in this manner of thinking that each of the protagonists begins the struggle.

For the native, this violence represents the absolute line of action. The militant is also a man who works. The questions that the organization asks the militant bear the mark of this way of looking at things: “Where have you worked? With whom? What have you accomplished? “The group requires that each individual perform an irrevocable action. In Algeria, for example, where almost all the men who called on the people to join in the national struggle were condemned to death or searched for by the French police, confidence was proportional to the hopelessness of each case. You could be sure of a new recruit when he could no longer go back into the colonial system. This mechanism, it seems, had existed in Kenya among the Mau-Mau, who required that each member of the group should strike a blow at the victim. Each one was thus personally responsible for the death of that victim. To work means to work for the death of the settler. This assumed

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responsibility for violence allows both strayed and outlawed members of the group to come back again and to find their place once more, to become integrated. Violence is thus seen as comparable to a royal pardon. The colonized man finds his freedom in and through violence. This rule of conduct enlightens the agent because it indicates to him the means and the end. The poetry of Césaire takes on in this precise aspect of violence a prophetic significance. We may recall one of the most decisive pages of his tragedy where the Rebel (indeed!) explains his conduct:

THE REBEL (harshly):

My name–an offense; my Christian name–humiliation; my status–a rebel; my age–the stone age.

THE MOTHER:

My race–the human race. My religion–brotherhood.

THE REBEL:

My race: that of the fallen. My religion…but it’s not you that will show it to me with your disarmament….

’tis I myself, with my rebellion and my poor fists clenched and my woolly head….

(Very calm): I remember one November day; it was hardly six months ago…. The master came into the cabin in a cloud of smoke like an April moon. He was flexing his short muscular arms–he was a very good master–and he was rubbing his little dimpled face with his fat fingers. His blue eyes were smiling and he couldn’t get the honeyed words out of his month quick enough. “The kid will be a decent fellow,” he said looking at me, and he said other pleasant things too, the master–that you had to start very early, that twenty years was not too much to make a good Christian and a good slave, a steady, devoted boy, a good commander’s chaingang captain, sharp-eyed and strong-armed. And all that man saw of my son’s cradle was that it was the cradle of a chaingang captain.

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We crept in knife in hand…

THE MOTHER:

Alas, you’ll die for it.

THE REBEL:

Killed…. I killed him with my own hands….

Yes, ’twas a fruitful death, a copious death….

It was night. We crept among the sugar canes.

The knives sang to the stars, but we did not heed the stars.

The sugar canes scarred our faces with streams of green blades.

THE MOTHER:

And I had dreamed of a son to close his mother’s eyes.

THE REBEL:

But I chose to open my son’s eyes upon another sun.

THE MOTHER:

O my son, son of evil and unlucky death–

THE REBEL:

Mother of living and splendid death,

THE MOTHER:

Because he has hated too much,

THE REBEL:

Because he has too much loved.

THE MOTHER:

Spare me, I am choking in your bonds. I bleed from your wounds.

THE REBEL:

And the world does not spare me…. There is not anywhere in the world a poor creature who’s been lynched or tortured in whom I am not murdered and humiliated…

THE MOTHER:

God of Heaven, deliver him!

THE REBEL:

My heart, thou wilt not deliver me from all that I remember…

It was an evening in November…

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And suddenly shouts lit up the silence;

We had attacked, we the slaves; we, the dung underfoot, we the animals with patient hooves,

We were running like madmen; shots rang out…4We were striking. Blood and sweat cooled and refreshed us. We were striking where the shouts came from, and the shouts became more strident and a great clamor rose from the east: it was the outhouses burning and the flames flickered sweetly on our cheeks.

Then was the assault made on the master’s house. They were firing from the windows. We broke in the doors.

The master’s room was wide open. The master’s room was brilliantly lighted, and the master was there, very calm… and our people stopped dead…it was the master…I went in. “It’s you,” he said, very calm.

It was I, even I, and I told him so, the good slave, the faithful slave, the slave of slaves, and suddenly his eyes were like two cockroaches, frightened in the rainy season…I struck, and the blood spurted; that is the only baptism that I remember today. *

It is understandable that in this atmosphere, daily life becomes quite simply impossible. You can no longer be a fellah, a pimp, or an alcoholic as before. The violence of the colonial regime and the counter-violence of the native balance each other and respond to each other in an extraordinary reciprocal homogeneity. This reign of violence will be the more terrible in proportion to the size of the implantation from the mother country. The development of violence among the colonized people will be proportionate to the violence exercised by the threatened colonial regime. In the first phase of this insurrectional period, the home governments are the slaves of the settlers, and these settlers seek to intimidate the natives and their home gov-

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* Aimé Césaire, Les Armes Miraculeuscs (Et les chiens se taisaient), pp. 133-37.

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emments at one and the same time. They use the same methods against both of them. The assassination of the Mayor of Evian, in its method and motivation, is identifiable with the assassination of Ali Boumendjel. For the settlers, the alternative is not between Algérie algérienne and Algérie française but between an independent Algeria and a colonial Algeria, and anything else is mere talk or attempts at treason. The settler’s logic is implacable and one is only staggered by the counter-logic visible in the behavior of the native insofar as one has not clearly understood beforehand the mechanisms of the settler’s ideas. From the moment that the native has chosen the methods of counter-violence, police reprisals automatically call forth reprisals on the side of the nationalists. However, the results are not equivalent, for machine-gunning from airplanes and bombardments from the fleet go far beyond in horror and magnitude any answer the natives can make. This recurring terror de-mystifies once and for all the most estranged members of the colonized race. They find out on the spot that all the piles of speeches on the equality of human beings do not hide the commonplace fact that the seven Frenchmen killed or wounded at the Col de Sakamody kindles the indignation of all civilized consciences, whereas the sack of the douars * of Guergour and of the dechras of Djerah and the massacre of whole populations–which had merely called forth the Sakamody ambush as a reprisal–all this is of not the slightest importance. Terror, counter-terror, violence, counter-violence: that is what observers bitterly record when they describe the circle of hate, which is so tenacious and so evident in Algeria.

In all armed straggles, there exists what we might call the point of no return. Almost always it is marked off by

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* Temporary village for the use of shepherds.–Trans.

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a huge and all-inclusive repression which engulfs all sectors of the colonized people. This point was reached in Algeria in 1955 with the 12,000 victims of Phillippeville, and in 1956 with Lacoste’s instituting of urban and rural militias. †

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† We must go back to this period in order to judge the importance of this decision on the part of the French government in Algeria. Thus we may read in “Résistance Algérienne,” No. 4, dated 28th March 1957, the following: “In reply to the wish expressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the French Government has now decided to create urban militias in Algeria. ‘Enough blood has been spilled’ was whatthe United Nations said; Lacoste replies ‘Let us form militias.’ ‘Cease fire,’ advised UNO; Lacoste vociferates, ‘We must arm the civilians.’ Whereas the two parties face-to-face with each other were on the recommendation of the United Nations invited to contact each other with a view to coming to an agreement and finding a peaceful and democratic solution, Lacoste decrees that henceforward every European will be armed and should open fire on any person who seems to him suspect. It was then agreed (in the Assembly) that savage and iniquitous repression verging on genocide ought at all costs to be opposed by the authorities: but Lacoste replies ‘Let us systematize the repression and organize the Algerian manhunt.’ And, symbolically, he entrusts the military with civil powers, and gives military powers to civilians. The ring is closed. In the middle, the Algerian, disarmed, famished, tracked down, jostled, struck, lynched, will soon be slaughtered as a suspect. Today, in Algeria, there is not a single Frenchman who is not authorized and even invited to use his weapons. There is not a single Frenchman, in Algeria, one month after the appeal for calm made by UNO, who is not permitted, and obliged to search out, investigate and pursue suspects.

“One month after the vote on the final motion of the General Assembly of the United Nations, there is not one European in Algeria who is not party to the most frightful work of extermination of modern times. A democratic solution? Right, Lacoste concedes; let’s begin by exterminating the Algerians, and to do that, let’s arm the civilians and give them carte blanche. The Paris press, on the whole, has welcomed the creation of these armed groups with reserve. Fascist militias, they’ve been called. Yes; but on the individual level, on the plane of human rights, what is fascism if not colonialism when rooted in a traditionally colonialist country? The opinion has been advanced that they are systematically legalized and commended; but does not the body of Algeria bear for the last one hundred and thirty years wounds which gape still wider, more numerous and more deepseated than ever? ‘Take care,’ advises Monsieur Kenne-Vignes, member of parliament for the MRP, ‘do we not by the creation of these militias risk seeing the gap widen between the two communities in Algeria?’ Yes; but is not colonial status simply the organized reduction to slavery of a whole people? The Algerian revolution is precisely the affirmed contestation of that slavery and that abyss. The Algerian revolution speaks to the occupying nation and says: ‘Take your fangs out of the bleeding flesh of Algeria! Let the people of Algeria speak!’

“The creation of militias, they say, will lighten the tasks of the Army. It will free certain units whose mission will be to protect the Moroccan and Tunisian borders. In Algeria, the Army is six hundred thousand strong. Almost all the Navy and the Air Force are based there. There is an enormous, speedy police force with a horribly good record since it has absorbed the ex-torturers from Morocco and Tunisia. The territorial units are one hundred thousand strong. The task of the Army, all the same, must be lightened. So let us create urban militias. The fact remains that the hysterical and criminal frenzy of Lacoste imposes them even on clearsighted French people. The troth is that the creation of militias carries its contradiction even in its justification. The task of the French Army is neverending. Consequently, when it is given as an objective the gagging of the Algerian people, the door is closed on the future forever. Above all, it is forbidden to analyze, to understand, or to measure the depth and the density of the Algerian revolution: departmental leaders, housing-estate leaders, street leaders, house leaders, leaders who control each landing…Today, to the surface checker-board is added an underground network.

“In 48 hours two thousand volunteers were enrolled. The Europeans of Algeria responded immediately to Lacoste’s call to kill. From now on, each European must check up on all surviving Algerians in his sector; and in addition he will be responsible for information, for a ‘quick response’ to acts of terrorism, for the detection of suspects, for the liquidation of runaways and for the reinforcement of police services. Certainly, the tasks of the Army must be lightened. Today, to the surface mopping-up is added a deeper harrowing. Today, to the killing which is all in the day’s work is added planified murder. ‘Stop the bloodshed,’ was the advice given by UNO. ‘The best way of doing this,’ replied Lacoste, ‘is to make sure there remains no blood to shed.’ The Algerian people, after having been delivered up to Massu’s hordes, is put under the protection of the urban militias. By his decision to create these militias, Lacoste shows quite plainly that he will brook no interference with HIS war. It is a proof that there are no limits once the rot has set in. True, he is at the moment a prisoner of the situation; but what a consolation to drag everyone down in one’s fall!

“After each of these decisions, the Algerian people tense their muscles still more and fight still harder. After each of these organized, deliberately sought after assassinations, the Algerian people builds up its awareness of self, and consolidates its resistance. Yes; the tasks of the French Army are infinite: for oh, how infinite is the unity of the people of Algeria!”

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Then it became clear to everybody, including even the settlers, that “things couldn’t go on as before.” Yet the colonized people do not chalk up the reckoning. They record the huge gaps made in their ranks as a sort of necessary evil. Since they have decided to reply by violence, they therefore are ready to take all its consequences. They only insist in return that no reckoning should be kept, either, for the others. To the saying “All natives are the same” the colonized person replies, “All settlers are the same.” *

When the native is tortured, when his wife is killed or raped, he complains to no one. The oppressor’s government can set up commissions of inquiry and of information daily if it wants to; in the eyes of the native, these commissions do not exist. The fact is that soon we shall have had seven years of crimes in Algeria and there has not yet been a single Frenchman indicted before a French court of justice for the murder of an Algerian. In Indo-

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* This is why there are no prisoners when the fighting first starts. It is only through educating the local leaders politically that those at the head of the movement can make the masses accept 1) that people coming from the mother country do not always act of their own free will and are sometimes even disgusted by the war; 2) that it is of immediate advantage to the movement that its supporters should show by their actions that they respect certain international conventions; 3) that an army which takes prisoners is an army, and ceases to be considered as a group of wayside bandits; 4) that whatever the circumstances, the possession of prisoners constitutes a means of exerting pressure which must not be overlooked in order to protect our men who are in enemy hands.

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China, in Madagascar, or in the colonies the native has always known that he need expect nothing from the other side. The settler’s work is to make even dreams of liberty impossible for the native. The native’s work is to imagine all possible methods for destroying the settler. On the logical plane, the Manicheism of the settler produces a Manicheism of the native. To the theory of the “absolute evil of the native” the theory of the “absolute evil of the settler” replies.

The appearance of the settler has meant in the terms of syncretism the death of the aboriginal society, cultural lethargy, and the petrifieation of individuals. For the native, life can only spring up again out of the rotting corpse of the settler. This then is the correspondence, term by term, between the two trains of reasoning.

But it so happens that for the colonized people this violence, because it constitutes their only work, invests their characters with positive and creative qualities. The practice of violence binds them together as a whole, since each individual forms a violent link in the great chain, a part of the great organism of violence which has surged upward in reaction to the settler’s violence in the beginning. The groups recognize each other and the future nation is already indivisible. The armed struggle mobilizes the people, that is to say, it throws them in one way and in one direction.

The mobilization of the masses, when it arises out of the war of liberation, introduces into each man’s consciousness the ideas of a common cause, of a national destiny, and of a collective history. In the same way the second phase, that of the building-up of the nation, is helped on by the existence of this cement which has been mixed with blood and anger. Thus we come to a fuller appreciation of the originality of the words used in these underdeveloped countries. During the colonial period the people are called

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upon to fight against oppression; after national liberation, they are called upon to fight against poverty, illiteracy, and underdevelopment. The struggle, they say, goes on. The people realize that life is an unending contest.

We have said that the native’s violence unifies the people. By its very structure, colonialism is separatist and regionalist. Colonialism does not simply state the existence of tribes; it also reinforces it and separates them. The colonial system encourages chieftaincies and keeps alive the old Marabout confraternities. Violence is in action allinclusive and national. It follows that it is closely involved in the liquidation of regionalism and of tribalism. Thus the national parties show no pity at all toward the caids and the customary chiefs. Their destruction is the preliminary to the unification of the people.

At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect. Even if the armed struggle has been symbolic and the nation is demobilized through a rapid movement of decolonization, the people have the time to see that the liberation has been the business of each and all and that the leader has no special merit. From thence comes that type of aggressive reticence with regard to the machinery of protocol which young governments quickly show. When the people have taken violent part in the national liberation they will allow no one to set themselves up as “liberators.” They show themselves to be jealous of the results of their action and take good care not to place their future, their destiny, or the fate of their country in the hands of a living god. Yesterday they were completely irresponsible; today they mean to understand everything and make all decisions. Illuminated by violence, the consciousness of the people rebels against any pacification. From now on the demagogues, the opportunists,

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and the magicians have a difficult task. The action which has thrown them into a hand-to-hand struggle confers upon the masses a voracious taste for the concrete. The attempt at mystification becomes, in the long run, practically impossible.
VIOLENCE IN THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT

We have pointed out many times in the preceding pages that in underdeveloped regions the political leader is forever calling on his people to fight: to fight against colonialism, to fight against poverty and underdevelopment, and to fight against sterile traditions. The vocabulary which he uses in his appeals is that of a chief of staff: “mass mobilization”; “agricultural front”; “fight against illiteracy”; “defeats we have undergone”; “victories won.” The young independent nation evolves during the first years in an atmosphere of the battlefield, for the political leader of an underdeveloped country looks fearfully at the huge distance his country will have to cover. He calls to the people and says to them: “Let us gird up our loins and set to work,” and the country, possessed by a kind of creative madness, throws itself into a gigantic and disproportionate effort. The program consists not only of climbing out of the morass but also of catching up with the other nations using the only means at hand. They reason that if the European nations have reached that stage of development, it is on account of their efforts: “Let us therefore,” they seem to say, “prove to ourselves and to the whole world that we are capable of the same achievements.” This manner of setting out the problem of the evolution of underdeveloped countries seems to us to be neither correct nor reasonable.

The European states achieved national unity at a moment when the national middle classes had concentrated

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most of the wealth in their hands. Shopkeepers and artisans, clerks and bankers monopolized finance, trade, and science in the national framework. The middle class was the most dynamic and prosperous of all classes. Its coming to power enabled it to undertake certain very important speculations: industrialization, the development of communications, and soon the search for outlets overseas.

In Europe, apart from certain slight differences ( England, for example, was some way ahead) the various states were at a more or less uniform stage economically when they achieved national unity. There was no nation which by reason of the character of its development and evolution caused affront to the others.

Today, national independence and the growth of national feeling in underdeveloped regions take on totally new aspects. In these regions, with the exception of certain spectacular advances, the different countries show the same absence of infrastructure. The mass of the people struggle against the same poverty, flounder about making the same gestures and with their shrunken bellies outline what has been called the geography of hunger. It is an underdeveloped world, a world inhuman in its poverty; but also it is a world without doctors, without engineers, and without administrators. Confronting this world, the European nations sprawl, ostentatiously opulent. This European opulence is literally scandalous, for it has been founded on slavery, it has been nourished with the blood of slaves and it comes directly from the soil and from the subsoil of that underdeveloped world. The well-being and the progress of Europe have been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of Negroes, Arabs, Indians, and the yellow races. We have decided not to overlook this any longer. When a colonialist country, embarrassed by the claims for independence made by a colony, proclaims to the nationalist leaders: “If you wish for independence,

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take it, and go back to the Middle Ages,” the newly independent people tend to acquiesce and to accept the challenge; in fact you may see colonialism withdrawing its capital and its technicians and setting up around the young State the apparatus of economic pressure. * The apotheosis of independence is transformed into the curse of independence, and the colonial power through its immense resources of coercion condemns the young nation to regression. In plain words, the colonial power says: “Since you want independence, take it and starve.” The nationalist leaders have no other choice but to turn to

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* In the present international context, capitalism does not merely operate an economic blockade against African or Asiatic colonies. The United States with its anti-Castro operations is opening a new chapter in the long story of man’s toiling advance toward freedom. Latin America, made up of new independent countries which sit at the United Nations and raise the wind there, ought to be an object lesson for Africa. These former colonies since their liberation have suffered the brazenfaced rule of Western capitalism in terror and destitution.

The liberation of Africa and the growth of consciousness among mankind have made it possible for the Latin American peoples to break with the old merry-go-round of dictatorships where each succeeding regime exactly resembled the preceding one. Castro took over power in Cuba, and gave it to the people. This heresy is felt to be a national scourge by the Yankees, and the United States now organizes counterrevolutionary brigades, puts together a provisional government, burns the sugar-cane crops, and generally has decided to strangle the Cuban people mercilessly. But this will be difficult. The people of Cuba will suffer, but they will conquer. The Brazilian president Janio Quadros has just announced in a declaration of historic importance that his country will defend the Cuban Revolution by all means. Perhaps even the United States may draw back when faced with the declared will of the peoples. When that day comes, we’ll hang out the flags, for it will be a decisive moment for the men and women of the whole world. The almighty dollar, which when all is said or done is only guaranteed by slaves scattered all over the globe, in the oil wells of the Middle East, the mines of Peru or of the Congo, and the United Fruit or Firestone plantations, will then cease to dominate with all its force these slaves which it has created and who continue, empty-headed and emptybellied, to feed it from their substance.

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their people and ask from them a gigantic effort. A regime of austerity is imposed on these starving men; a disproportionate amount of work is required from their atrophied muscles. An autarkic regime is set up and each state, with the miserable resources it has in hand, tries to find an answer to the nation’s great hunger and poverty. We see the mobilization of a people which toils to exhaustion in front of a suspicious and bloated Europe.

Other countries of the Third World refuse to undergo this ordeal and agree to get over it by accepting the conditions of the former guardian power. These countries use their strategic position–a position which accords them privileged treatment in the struggle between the two blocs — to conclude treaties and give undertakings. The former dominated country becomes an economically dependent country. The ex-colonial power, which has kept intact and sometimes even reinforced its colonialist trade channels, agrees to provision the budget of the independent nation by small injections. Thus we see that the accession to independence of the colonial countries places an important question before the world, for the national liberation of colonized countries unveils their true economic state and makes it seem even more unendurable. The fundamental duel which seemed to be that between colonialism and anticolonialism, and indeed between capitalism and socialism, is already losing some of its importance. What counts today, the question which is looming on the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity must reply to this question, or be shaken to pieces by it.

It might have been generally thought that the time had come for the world, and particularly for the Third World, to choose between the capitalist and socialist systems. The underdeveloped countries, which have used the fierce competition which exists between the two systems in order to assure the triumph of their struggle for national libera-

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tion, should however refuse to become a factor in that competition. The Third World ought not to be content to define itself in the terms of values which have preceded it. On the contrary, the underdeveloped countries ought to do their utmost to find their own particular values and methods and a style which shall be peculiar to them. The concrete problem we find ourselves up against is not that of a choice, cost what it may, between socialism and capitalism as they have been defined by men of other continents and of other ages. Of course we know that the capitalist regime, in so far as it is a way of life, cannot leave us free to perform our work at home, nor our duty in the world. Capitalist exploitation and cartels and monopolies are the enemies of underdeveloped countries. On the other hand the choice of a socialist regime, a regime which is completely orientated toward the people as a whole and based on the principle that man is the most precious of all possessions, will allow us to go forward more quickly and more harmoniously, and thus make impossible that caricature of society where all economic and political power is held in the hands of a few who regard the nation as a whole with scorn and contempt.

But in order that this regime may work to good effect so that we can in every instance respect those principles which were our inspiration, we need something more than human output. Certain underdeveloped countries expend a huge amount of energy in this way. Men and women, young and old undertake enthusiastically what is in fact forced labor, and proclaim themselves the slaves of the nation. The gift of oneself, and the contempt for every preoccupation which is not in the common interest, bring into being a national morale which comforts the heart of man, gives him fresh confidence in the destiny of mankind and disarms the most reserved observers. But we cannot believe that such an effort can be kept up at the same

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frenzied pace for very long. These young countries have agreed to take up the challenge after the unconditional withdrawal of the ex-colonial countries. The country finds itself in the hands of new managers; but the fact is that everything needs to be reformed and everything thought out anew. In reality the colonial system was concerned with certain forms of wealth and certain resources only -precisely those which provisioned her own industries. Up to the present no serious effort had been made to estimate the riches of the soil or of mineral resources. Thus the young independent nation sees itself obliged to use the economic channels created by the colonial regime. It can, obviously, export to other countries and other currency areas, but the basis of its exports is not fundamentally modified. The colonial regime has carved out certain channels and they must be maintained or catastrophe will threaten. Perhaps it is necessary to begin everything all over again: to change the nature of the country’s exports, and not simply their destination, to re-examine the soil and mineral resources, the rivers, and–why not?–the sun’s productivity. Now, in order to do all this other things are needed over and above human output–capital of all kinds, technicians, engineers, skilled mechanics, and so on. Let’s be frank: we do not believe that the colossal effort which the underdeveloped peoples are called upon to make by their leaders will give the desired results. If conditions of work are not modified, centuries will be needed to humanize this world which has been forced down to animal level by imperial powers. *

The truth is that we ought not to accept these condi-

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* Certain countries which have benefitted by a large European settlement come to independence with houses and wide streets, and these tend to forget the poverty-stricken, starving hinterland. By the irony of fate, they give the impression by a kind of complicit silence that their towns are contemporaneous with independence.

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tions. We should flatly refuse the situation to which the Western countries wish to condemn us. Colonialism and imperialism have not paid their score when they withdraw their flags and their police forces from our territories. For centuries the capitalists have behaved in the underdeveloped world like nothing more than war criminals. Deportations, massacres, forced labor, and slavery have been the main methods used by capitalism to increase its wealth, its gold or diamond reserves, and to establish its power. Not long ago Nazism transformed the whole of Europe into a veritable colony. The governments of the various Europan nations called for reparations and demanded the restitution in kind and money of the wealth which had been stolen from them: cultural treasures, pictures, sculptures, and stained glass have been given back to their owners. There was only one slogan in the mouths of Europeans on the morrow of the 1945 V-day: “Germany must pay.” Herr Adenauer, it must be said, at the opening of the Eichmann trial, and in the name of the German people, asked once more for forgiveness from the Jewish people. Herr Adenauer has renewed the promise of his people to go on paying to the state of Israel the enormous sums which are supposed to be compensation for the crimes of the Nazis. *

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* It is true that Germany has not paid all her reparations. The indemnities imposed on the vanquished nation have not been claimed in full, for the injured nations have included Germany in their anti-communist system of defense. This same preoccupation is the permanent motivation of the colonialist countries when they try to obtain from their former colonies, if not their inclusion in the Western system, at least military bases and enclaves. On the other hand they have decided unanimously to forget their demands for the sake of NATO strategy and to preserve the free world; and we have seen Germany receiving floods of dollars and machines. A Germany once more standing on its feet, strong and powerful, was a necessity for the Western camp. It was in the understood interests of so-called free Europe to have a prosperous and reconstructed Germany which would be capable of serving as a first rampart against the eventual Red hordes. Germany has made admirable use of the European crisis. At the same time the United States and other European states feel a legitimate bitterness when confronted with this Germany, yesterday at their feet, which today metes out to them cutthroat competition in the economic field.

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In the same way we may say that the imperialist states would make a great mistake and commit an unspeakable injustice if they contented themselves with withdrawing from our soil the military cohorts, and the administrative and managerial services whose function it was to discover the wealth of the country, to extract it and to send it off to the mother countries. We are not blinded by the moral reparation of national independence; nor are we fed by it. The wealth of the imperial countries is our wealth too. On the universal plane this affirmation, you may be sure, should on no account be taken to signify that we feel ourselves affected by the creations of Western arts or techniques. For in a very concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries: Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the underdeveloped peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: “It’s a just reparation which will be paid to us.” Nor will

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we acquiesce in the help for underdeveloped countries being a program of “sisters of charity.” This help should be the ratification of a double realization: the realization by the colonized peoples that i t is their due, and the realization by the capitalist powers that in fact they must pay. * For if, through lack of intelligence (we won’t speak of lack of gratitude) the capitalist countries refuse to pay, then the relentless dialectic of their own system will smother them. It is fact that young nations do not attract much private capital. There are many reasons which explain and render legitimate this reserve on the part of the monopolies. As soon as the capitalists know–and of course they are the first to know–that their government is getting ready to decolonize, they hasten to withdraw all their capital from the colony in question. The spectacular flight of capital is one of the most constant phenomena of decolonization.

Private companies, when asked to invest in independent countries, lay down conditions which are shown in practice to be inacceptable or unrealizable. Faithful to the principle of immediate returns which is theirs as soon as they go “overseas,” the capitalists are very chary concerning all long-term investments. They are unamenable and often openly hostile to the prospective programs of planning laid down by the young teams which form the new government. At a pinch they willingly agree to lend money to

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* “To make a radical difference between the building up of socialism in Europe and our relations with the Third World (as if our only relations with it were external ones) is, whether we know it or not, to set the pace for the distribution of the colonial inheritance over and above the liberation of the underdeveloped countries. It is to wish to build up a luxury socialism upon the fruits of imperialist robbery–as if, inside the gang, the swag is more or less shared out equally, and even a little of it is given to the poor in the form of charity, since it’s been forgotten that they were the people it was stolen from.” Marcel Péju, “To die for De Gaulle?” Temps Modernes, No. 175-6, October-November 1960.

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the young states, but only on condition that this money is used to buy manufactured products and machines: in other words, that it serves to keep the factories in the mother country going.

In fact the cautiousness of the Western financial groups may be explained by their fear of taking any risk. They also demand political stability and a calm social climate which are impossible to obtain when account is taken of the appalling state of the population as a whole immediately after independence. Therefore, vainly looking for some guarantee which the former colony cannot give, they insist on garrisons being maintained or the inclusion of the young state in military or economic pacts. The private companies put pressure on their own governments to at least set up military bases in these countries for the purpose of assuring the protection of their interests. In the last resort these companies ask their government to guarantee the investments which they decide to make in such-and-such an underdeveloped region.

It happens that few countries fulfill the conditions demanded by the trusts and monopolies. Thus capital, failing to find a safe outlet, remains blocked in Europe, and is frozen. It is all the more frozen because the capitalists refuse to invest in their own countries. The returns in this case are in fact negligible and treasury control is the despair of even the boldest spirits.

In the long run the situation is catastrophic. Capital no longer circulates, or else its circulation is considerably diminished. In spite of the huge sums swallowed up by military budgets, international capitalism is in desperate straits.

But another danger threatens it as well. Insofar as the Third World is in fact abandoned and condemned to regression or at least to stagnation by the selfishness and

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wickedness of Western nations, the underdeveloped peoples will decide to continue their evolution inside a collective autarky. Thus the Western industries will quickly be deprived of their overseas markets. The machines will pile up their products in the warehouses and a merciless struggle will ensue on the European market between the trusts and the financial groups. The closing of factories, the paying off of workers and unemployment will force the European working class to engage in an open struggle against the capitalist regime. Then the monopolies will realize that their true interests lie in giving aid to the underdeveloped countries–unstinted aid with not too many conditions. So we see that the young nations of the Third World are wrong in trying to make up to the capitalist countries. We are strong in our own right, and in the justice of our point of view. We ought on the contrary to emphasize and explain to the capitalist countries that the fundamental problem of our time is not the struggle between the socialist regime and them. The Cold War must be ended, for it leads nowhere. The plans for nuclearizing the world must stop, and large-scale investments and technical aid must be given to underdeveloped regions. The fate of the world depends on the answer that is given to this question.

Moreover, the capitalist regime must not try to enlist the aid of the socialist regime over “the fate of Europe” in face of the starving multitudes of colored peoples. The exploit of Colonial Gargarin doesn’t seem to displease General de Gaulle, for is it not a triumph which brings honor to Europe? For some time past the statesmen of the capitalist countries have adopted an equivocal attitude toward the Soviet Union. After having united all their forces to abolish the socialist regime, they now realize that they’ll have to reckon with it. So they look as pleasant

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as they can, they make all kinds of advances, and they remind the Soviet people the whole time that they “belong to Europe.”

They will not manage to divide the progressive forces which mean to lead mankind toward happiness by brandishing the threat of a Third World which is rising like the tide to swallow up all Europe. The Third World does not mean to organize a great crusade of hunger against the whole of Europe. What it expects from those who for centuries have kept it in slavery is that they will help it to rehabilitate mankind, and make man victorious everywhere, once and for all. But it is clear that we are not so naive as to think that this will come about with the cooperation and the good will of the European governments. This huge task which consists of reintroducing mankind into the world, the whole of mankind, will be carried out with the indispensable help, of the European peoples, who themselves must realize that in the past they have often joined the ranks of our common masters where colonial questions were concerned. To achieve this, the European peoples must first decide to wake up and shake themselves, use their brains, and stop playing the stupid game of the Sleeping Beauty.

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Le génocidaire-détrousseur-de-vieilles-dames serait-il enfin épinglé? (23 mars 2018) (ndlr)

sarko 

LE MONDE

L’ancien président de la République, poursuivi pour corruption passive, financement illégal de campagne électorale et recel de détournements de fonds publics libyens, dénonce une « manipulation ». Il a été placé sous contrôle judiciaire.

A l’issue de deux jours de garde à vue, l’ancien président de la République, Nicolas Sarkozy, a été mis en examen, mercredi 21 mars, des chefs de corruption passive, financement illégal de campagne électorale et recel de détournements de fonds publics libyens, selon les informations du Monde. Il a été placé sous contrôle judiciaire.

L’ancien chef de l’Etat avait été mis en garde à vue mardi en début de journée et entendu dans des locaux de la police judiciaire. Sa garde à vue s’est achevée en fin de journée mercredi. Alors qu’une information judiciaire avait été ouverte en avril 2013, M. Sarkozy était entendu pour la première fois dans cette enquête. L’un des juges d’instruction chargés du dossier, Serge Tournaire, l’avait déjà renvoyé devant le tribunal dans l’affaire Bygmalion, qui concerne sa campagne de 2012.

Le député européen Les Républicains (LR) Brice Hortefeux, ancien ministre de l’intérieur de Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012), a également été interrogé mardi toute la journée sous le statut de suspect libre.

5 millions d’euros en liquide
L’affaire avait été révélée en mai 2012 par le site Mediapart, qui avait publié un document libyen faisant état d’un financement par la Libye de la campagne de 2007 de M. Sarkozy. Depuis, les investigations ont considérablement avancé, notamment grâce à certains témoins-clés. En novembre 2016, l’intermédiaire Ziad Takieddine avait ainsi affirmé avoir transporté 5 millions d’euros en liquide de Tripoli à Paris entre la fin de 2006 et le début de 2007 pour les remettre à Claude Guéant, puis à Nicolas Sarkozy, alors ministre de l’intérieur.

Les propos de M. Takieddine venaient confirmer ceux tenus, le 20 septembre 2012, par Abdallah Senoussi, l’ancien directeur du renseignement militaire du régime Kadhafi devant le procureur général du Conseil national de transition libyen. Les carnets d’un ancien ministre du pétrole libyen – Choukri Ghanem, mort en 2012 dans des circonstances encore troubles – récupérés par la justice française, mentionnaient également l’existence de ces versements. M. Takieddine a, depuis, été mis en examen pour « complicité de corruption d’agent public étranger » et pour « complicité de détournements de fonds publics en Libye ».

Opérations suspectes
Mais le dossier est tentaculaire et les enquêteurs doivent remonter la piste de nombreux flux financiers impliquant plusieurs protagonistes. Pour l’heure, ils pensent avoir remonté une piste de l’argent libyen à travers l’intermédiaire Alexandre Djouhri, alors proche de Bechir Saleh – ancien grand argentier de Kadhafi et homme des relations avec la France, récemment blessé par balle lors d’une agression à Johannesburg (Afrique du Sud) –, et de Claude Guéant. Ancien secrétaire général de l’Elysée de Nicolas Sarkozy, ce dernier a été mis en examen pour « faux et usage de faux » et pour « blanchiment de fraude fiscale ».

De nouvelles preuves ont-elles été rassemblées pas les enquêteurs qui permettraient une mise en cause directe de M. Sarkozy ? Selon les informations du Monde, plusieurs anciens dignitaires du régime Kadhafi auraient livré de nouveaux éléments confirmant les soupçons de financement illicites. Depuis plusieurs semaines, la justice française dispose, en outre, de nombreux documents saisis lors d’une perquisition menée en 2015 au domicile suisse d’Alexandre Djouhri. Jusqu’ici, Nicolas Sarkozy a toujours contesté les accusations de financement illicite de sa campagne de 2007.

Nicolas Sarkozy : « Je vis l’enfer de cette calomnie »

Cote d’Ivoire: Reportage de CNN – la démocratie sacrifiée par un boucher antidémocrate

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/12/14/president-ouattara-ivory-coast-scott-mclean-pkg-intv-intl-ldn-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/around-the-world/

The Sarkozy-Obama Epic African Adventure: Killing Gaddafi and Arresting Africa’s élan vital, M. Frindéthié

sarkozy_gaddafi-550x404

Rendezvous with History

 

In their common quest for exceptionalism, Sarkozy and Obama had a rendezvous with History. They both needed to perform political acts of grandeur; the former to recapture a lost Napoleonic paradise, and the latter to belong, to acquire approval by the American electors after years of marginalization as unfit for the American presidency characterized by hubris and jingoism. They both needed to perform acts of exceptionality. Tunisia was a warm-up session, a prelude to Sarkozy and Obama’s epic African adventure. An event had started in Tunisia that was quickly termed the “Arab Spring,” and to which leaders of the so-called “free world” needed to quickly anchor themselves; an event that they even needed to recuperate. For, indeed, at the beginning, Sarkozy was not onboard with the so-called “Arab Spring.” Nevertheless, by some remarkable acrobatics, the French president succeeded in inaugurating himself the champion of “democracy” in the Arab world, and, dans la foulée, dragged the exceptionalism-lacking-American-president-in-need-of-recognition into some of the world’s biggest international frauds.

On December 17, 2010, after trying unsuccessfully to recover his confiscated fruit cart from the Tunisian police, Tarek Bouzizi, a young Tunisian fruits vendor, set himself on fire and died two weeks later. Tarek’s hopelessness and anger, symptomatic of the condition of so many Tunisian youths living in poverty and under the repressive system of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, spontaneously ignited a protest that grew larger the more brutally the Tunisian authorities tried to squash it. Seeing his good friend Ben Ali in difficulty, Sarkozy offered to send him a force to crush the protest. The President of the “country of human rights” had found no other solution to the Tunisian crisis than to offer more repression to the Tunisian people. At the French Assemblée Nationale, the members of the French Socialist and Communist Parties displayed a feigned vexation at Sarkozy’s “lack of good judgment”. They knew however that it was the rule of the game to openly protest the policy of the opposing party; which in reality they would rehearse as soon as they would be in position to govern.

French politicians are groomed to wallow in war, violence and corruption. In recent memory, no French President has left office without some sort of international scandal. It is one measure of French exceptionalism. In 1979, President Giscard d’Estaing had gone to war against Central African Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa to hide a personal diamond deal gone public. François Mitterrand had his moment of affirmation of French exceptionalism in Rwanda. Mitterrand sent the Hutu army 500 French paratroopers and 150 military advisers. In 1992, Mitterrand directly helped the Hutus slaughter the Tutsis in Rwanda. And it was a French military authority that confessed it: “It is true that in February 1992 we were very hard. We use the occasion to test some experimental weapons, some light mountain tanks and some combat helicopters equipped with a dozen rockets on each side.”1 After Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac had two moments of exceptionalism; the first when in 1997, in his effort to help oil giant Elf (now Total) recapture some lost dividends from the fiscally hostile Congolese government of Lissouba, he decided to return Dictator Sassou Nguesso to power, sending the latter scores of military advisers with 25 tons of military materials to help him massacre Lissouba’s supporters and finally take over power. Chirac’s second moment of exceptionality came when in 2004 he ordered French soldiers in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to shoot and kill unarmed Ivorians protesting French political interference in their country.2 Sarkozy had hardly started. He would be exceptional, too, like all his predecessors. He had been carrying on Chirac’s war in Côte d’Ivoire, but thus far, Chirac’s Ivorian heritage had not brought him moments of grandeur yet. Sarkozy needed to diversify; he needed to distribute his eggs in several baskets.

For the time being, Sarkozy’s open support to Ben Ali looked a lot like a big gaffe. By all indications, Ben Ali was about to fall; and Sarkozy needed to perform some winning acrobatic to save face and re-position the “country of human rights” on the right side of history. So, when on January 14, 2011 Ben Ali finally fled Tunisia, Sarkozy, who three weeks earlier had offered to help him repress the Tunisian revolution, had this to say: « France’s policy is based on two unbroken principles: Non-interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and the support of democracy and freedom …. For several weeks now the Tunisian people have been expressing their aspiration for democracy. France, which has enduring ties of friendship with Tunisia, is determined to be by its sides.” Sarkozy’s Tunisia policy was a failure. But if carried on, the “Arab Spring” could still help restore France’s exceptionalism. The most important thing was to learn one’s lesson and to be henceforth positioned to “the right side”; to know when to drop one’s friends and make new ones.

In France, the center-right government of Sarkozy, aided by a “philosopher of war,” Bernard Henry Levy, was fanning the flames of confrontation in the Arab world. Sarkozy had philosophical support to go to war; even against a president that months earlier he had called his “brother”.3 Duplicity, which is one of the organizing principles of French exceptionalism, was actuated by Sarkozy when, in order to save himself from a brewing scandal, the French President launched into a war against Gaddafi; a war which Obama, too eager to shed the label of “weak president”, perhaps not-so-naively, supported and heavily partook in.4 After Tunisia, a rendezvous with the “Arab Spring” was in the making for all “democracy lovers” in the world; which Obama would rather not miss. Sarko, who was now an expert in detecting the direction of the wind, was going to help Obama perform acts of exceptionalism.

To Kill Gaddafi and, with Him, Africa’s élan vital

On October 19, 2011, Gaddafi was captured alive by a frenzied Allah-vociferating mob of Libyan “revolutionaries” a few minutes after NATO fighter jets had shelled his 50-car convoy and cut short his escape from his home town of Sirte. Found hidden in a sewage culvert, Gaddafi was dragged out, then shot and killed execution style by the throng. One of his executioners, a bearded-man in full combat apparel, admitted that Gaddafi was captured alive and killed moments later. Right on the scene of the murder, he animatedly said to a TV reporter: “We caught him and we shot him … one guy shot him.” That mysterious “one guy” that shot Gaddafi, a report by French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné and several investigations will later reveal, was an infiltrated French secret service assassin, who had taken advantage of the tumult created by Gaddafi’s capture to approach the Libyan leader close enough to shoot him on orders of NATO, and Nicolas Sarkozy particularly. According to Le Canard Enchaîné, neither Obama nor Sarkozy wanted Gaddafi to emerge alive from the bombings of Libya. Gaddafi knew too much, and given a chance to speak, he could reveal some very damaging facts about his relations with some Western leaders. The weekly’s version refutes NATO’s account that “Gaddafi was trying to escape Sirte in a convoy, when French and American drones fired on his convoy, leaving him wounded. NTC [Libyan National Transitional Council] forces later captured and killed Gaddafi.” Le Canard Enchaîné reported, instead, that on October 19, 2011, few hours before Gaddafi’s convoy was shelled in Sirte, a colonel at the Pentagon had called a leader of the French Military Intelligence, which was tasked with chasing after the Libyan leader, and had told him that “Gaddafi has fallen into the trap, the US drones have located him in a district of Sirte and it became impossible for him to escape the grip of his chasers.” The US Chief told the French Leader: “Leaving Gaddafi alive will turn him into a nuclear bomb.”5

This story was substantiated in 2012 by Mahmoud Jibril, interim Prime Minister of Libya after the fall of Gaddafi, who told Egyptian TV that “it was a foreign agent who mixed with the revolutionary brigades to kill Gaddafi.” Rami El Obeidi, the former head of foreign relations for the Libyan transitional council, admitted that he was aware that Gaddafi was being stalked through his satellite communication system as he spoke with President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria. The NATO assassin knew where Gaddafi was at all times and chose the right moment to eliminate him.6 The United Nations’ call for an investigation to elucidate the circumstances of the Libyan leader’s death was merely a melodramatic contortion, especially when it is demonstrated that the UN have never been able to lead any investigation to fair conclusion; especially when everything indicates that the UN, this outpost of the Euro-American imperial power, were in on the kill. Why was Gaddafi such a threat to the Euro-American imperial power, and what is the origin of Sarkozy’s vendetta against Gaddafi?

In 1988, Gaddafi was accused of sponsoring the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that caused the deaths of 270 passengers and crewmembers. As a punishment, the Libyan Guide was shunned by the Euro-American coalition. However, on May 15, 2007, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the removal of Colonel Gaddafi from the US terror list and the resumption of regular diplomatic relations with Libya for, said she, “the excellent cooperation Libya has provided to the United States and other members of the international community in response to common global threats faced by the civilized world since September 11, 2001.”7 Even before the U.S.’s decision, European leaders were busy courting Gaddafi, who, according to a British diplomat in Libya, had “way more cash than he knew what to do with it.” On March 25, 2004, Tony Blair had tea under a tent in the Libyan Desert with Gaddafi. There, as he was negotiating a $1.2 billion gas exploitation contract for BP as well as important sales of British missiles and air defense systems, Blair expressed a deep-felt relief in the Euro-American leadership: “It’s good to be here at last after so many months.”8 Soon after Rice’s announcement, relieved Euro-American leaders were in Libya wooing Gaddafi. The Libyan Guide’s huge cash reserve had no black powder scent on it, and Europe was in dire need of economic resurgence. Between 2008 and 2010, Tony Blair visited Libya four times, doing business with Gaddafi’s son Saif el-Islam Gaddafi and with Mohammed Layas, Head of the LIA (Libyan Investment Authority) on behalf of JP Morgan.9 Gaddafi had supposedly made amends in the form of surrendering two suspected Libyans to be tried at The Hague for their role in the bombing of Pan Am 103, surrendering his Weapons of Mass Destruction Program, severing ties with terrorists organizations, accepting responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing, and paying $2.7 billion in compensation to the victims of the bombing. Having been hailed back into the “Concert of Nations,” Gaddafi undertook to tour world capitals.

In December 2007, Gaddafi was greeted in Paris by Sarkozy with the highest honors. Nothing was refused him. He was even allowed to set up tent at the Elysée. On that occasion, high level exclusive discussions were had between France and Libya for a deal that would guarantee France the supply of military equipment to Libya. In July 2010, an important French delegation in Tripoli had been negotiating the signature of several lucrative military armament contracts with Libyan authorities for two weeks. Gaddafi was poised to purchase from Dassault Aviation, Thales, MBDA, and CMN 14 Rafale fighter jets, important communication materials, some radars, and a modern naval fleet. This was potentially a 4.5 billion-euro market, a huge oxygen tank for the struggling French economy hit by the global economic crisis.

Built in the mid-1980s, the French Rafale, a fighter jet with dubious performance, had never been sold outside of France before Gaddafi’s prospective purchase. If Gaddafi’s acquisitions materialized, it could be a confidence booster for the Rafale, and other markets could open up for France’s military aviation industry, especially as Brazil and India were waiting to see how Libya would rate its new acquisitions. The deal with Gaddafi went bust and, in a domino effect, Brazil acquired Gripen jets from Swedish Saab, instead, and India gave itself more time to shop around.10 Sarkozy, who had hoped to be the French president that would finally sell a Rafale, was disheartened and humiliated, especially after so much drumbeat around a possible first sale of the Rafale in more than 23 years, and the ensuing scorns and ridicules he harvested at home. Gaddafi was going to pay for making a fool of Sarkozy’s Napoleonic ego. In a twinkling of an eye, the good client of a few weeks earlier turned out to be a dictator. On March 13, 2011, at the Elysée, Sarkozy greeted the first Libyan opposition government in exile and pledged his country’s support to Gaddafi’s opposition.

A month earlier, social protests by Libyans demanding better living conditions and a more democratic system had put Colonel Gaddafi at odds with the opposition in Libya. The protesters had become armed militias attacking Libyan army outposts, and Gaddafi ordered his police to respond with disproportionate force. This was opportune: by violently cracking down on the protests, Gaddafi had handed the West a priceless occasion to rehash its worn-out sentence–“killing his own people,” as opposed to killing other peoples, as is customary for Western powers—and an invaluable pretext to do away with him. On February 26, 2011, a French-sponsored resolution (Resolution 1970-2011) was voted by the United Nations Security Council to refer Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court, to impose an arm embargo on Libya, to inflict a travel ban on Gaddafi, his relatives and his associates, and to freeze Libya’s economic assets on member states’ territories to be purportedly used at a later time for the Libyan people or to be used by member states for “justified extraordinary expenses”. Resolution 1970-2011 also set up a committee to monitor the sanctions imposed on the Libyan government. The sanctions did little to inhibit Gaddafi’s crackdown on the protests, and France, through its Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, introduced another resolution (Resolution 1973-2011) on March 17, 2011, which was successfully voted on by the UN Security Council to establish a no-fly-zone over Libyan territory. Following Sarkozy’s previous call for Gaddafi to resign, with Resolution 1973-2011, the Security Council officially affirmed the illegitimacy of Gaddafi’s government.11

Upon the adoption of Resolution 1973-2011, Juppé sententiously spoke of the right of the Libyan people to “breathe the fresh air of democracy” and of the international community’s responsibility to “help the people of [Libya] build a new future.” Mark Lyall Grant, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, urged NATO and the Arab League on behalf of the United Kingdom to act fast in order to free the Libyan people from a government that has “lost legitimacy.” For Peter Witting of Germany, it was important to send Gaddafi and his associates the message that “their time [was] over and that they must relinquish power immediately.” For U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Suzan Rice, the saintly Security Council had “responded to the Libyan people’s cry for help.”12 On March 16, 2011, when Euronews asked Gaddafi’s eldest son about his response to France’s, and especially Sarkozy’s ardor to intervene in Libya, Saif-al-Islam Gaddafi accused Sarkozy of hypocrisy and asked that the French President return $50 million of Libyan money allegedly given him by his father to finance his 2007 presidential campaign. Saif threatened to publish proof of the not-so-legal transaction.

First of all, Sarkozy must return the money he received from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We did finance his campaign, and we do have proofs of that. We are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we want this clown to do is to return this money to the Libyan people. We gave him this money because we expected him to work in favor of the Libyan people, but he has deceived us. Return our money. We have all the details, the bank accounts, the documents, the transfer operations. We will reveal everything soon.13

First, denied by Sarkozy and dismissed by the French as a desperate move by the son of a cornered dictator, Saif’s allegations were confirmed on October 25, 2011, by former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Ali-al Mamoudi in a Tunisian court. Subsequent investigations by French judges revealed a few disturbing elements, but no smoking gun; and key Libyan witnesses that had much to lose by confirming Saif’s story, took the safe road and refuted it. The story of Gaddafi’s money into Sarkozy’s campaign gained traction again when in a documentary aired in 2013 and in 2014 by France Télévisions Gaddafi’s former interpreter, Moftah Missouri, confirmed that the Libyan leader told him personally that Sarkozy had received from him $20 million; a revelation that in April 2013 prompted a French judge to order that Sarkozy’s personal phone, along with those of two of his former ministers, Brice Hortefeux and Claude Gueant, be tapped. The surveillance of Sarkozy’s phone conversations did reveal at least that he was concerned enough to try to obstruct the investigations against him, when, on the very days of the two incriminating broadcasts, he phoned Patrick Calvar, the Director of Internal Intelligence Office to inquire whether Calvar was still loyal to him and whether he intended to subpoena Gaddafi’s interpreter. Gaddafi used to tape all his communications and archive them. Coincidentally, all records of Gaddafi’s conversations have disappeared with the NATO bombing of Tripoli. A French investigation team still hopes to recover them as they seem to be at this point the only material evidences likely to explain the former French President’s relations with the fallen Libyan Leader.14

In any case, after March 16, 2011, Sarkozy’s enthusiasm to go to war against Gaddafi became obsessional. It all took a personal coloration. It was no longer “for humanitarian purpose” that Sarkozy was going to war; it was more for the purpose of saving his political career. If proven—and Sarkozy’s attempts at obstructing justice indicated that he was not as clean as he had claimed to be—Saif’s allegations could sink his public and personal lives. A French president before him had fallen upon evidence of corruption, and Sarkozy would not be another disgraced French president. Upon the Saif’s threat to release the evidence that his father had financed Sarkozy’s political campaign in a quid pro quo arrangement, Sarkozy’s agitations turned epileptic. The French president wasted no time to lobby his peers’ support at the UN in favor of an airstrike against Gaddafi. So, hardly had UN Resolution 1973-2011 been voted when the French air force was out pounding Gaddafi’s positions, apparently to prevent the Libyan leader from massacring his own people. Since we know that France has really never cared about Africans’ lives, since we know that France has always abided by de Gaulle’s dearest maxim that “France has no friends but only interests,” Sarkozy’s alacrity to “save African lives” by attacking Gaddafi under whose feet, just a few months ago he unfurled the red carpet, rang suspect.15

Could it be that through his precipitous airstrike, Sarkozy was, among other hidden motives, trying to cover up some embarrassing evidence? Just like his predecessor Valerie Giscard d’Estaing in Central Africa? The Euro-American power’s purported intention to save lives and insure the pursuit of democracy in Libya was a fallacy. The West’s true impulses for wanting the Libyan leader out of the picture resided elsewhere. The motivations were personal, economic, and geopolitical. Gaddafi was working for the betterment of the African continent, and as such, against the continuation of the Euro-American dominance in Africa. As noted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “at the center of the US philosophy is only one thing: ‘We are number one and everybody else has to respect that’ … the United States wants all the same to dominate the world and cannot merely be a first among equals.”16 As we shall see, in Africa, Gaddafi was the only head of state who, not only could undermine this American hegemonic proclivity, but also had the political will and the social and economic program as well as the financial means to shift the world center of influence from North to South.

Africa is one of the most resourceful continents in terms of geological and agricultural riches. However, the elites of Africa are also the most impressionable. Elsewhere, we have treated of the African elites’ seduction with an idea of globalization whose principal theorem is to make the black continent the perpetual camel of the world and the transporter—as opposed to transformer—of Africa’s riches to the “First world”.17 Gaddafi had understood that in order to emerge as a political and economic power to be contended with, Africa would have to dis-alienate itself, mentally and materially. The elites of post-colonial Africa—most of whom are direct products or progeny of the yields of the colonial school and of the colonial church of mental estrangement that taught them to hate themselves and love everything Occidental—will need to come out of their stupor and break the spell of maintenance and perpetuation of the ideology of Western dominance. Gaddafi’s proud posture, his proposed re-articulation of Africa’s social lives around African values, was meant to outfit the African elites with a sense of worth and reverse their mental dependence on the West. Materially, Gaddafi was placing African nations in the necessary conditions for them to reject Western countries’ poisoned gifts of aid and loans. Gaddafi’s active Pan-Africanism was outfitting several Sub-Saharan African countries with economic infrastructures that could free them from their abusive rapports with the West, and especially France. Nearly all the Sub-Saharan African countries benefited from Gaddafi’s generous Community of Sahel-Saharan States Investment Bank lodged in Tripoli. In every African country, Gaddafi’s financial footprints were noticeable at every level of development, from tourism to heavy industry.

Of course, while leading African nations to develop their own investment systems and emancipate themselves from their manipulative “friendship” with the Euro-American world, Gaddafi had his own dream of becoming the Fundamental Leader in Africa. On August 28, 2008, in Benghazi, Gaddafi was inaugurated “King of kings” at a ceremony that he orchestrated, and which gathered more than 200 African traditional kings and chiefs as well as some African mayors. Another accolade for Gaddafi, who just a year earlier was a pariah on world stage! This was all it took for French newspapers to turn apoplectic and belittle all those who took part in the crowning ceremony. Gaddafi, L’Express wrote, “was accompanied by seven African ‘kings’ in traditional costume covered in shiny metal.”18 Notice the disdainful quotations around “kings”. Notice the contemptible mention of, not gold, but “shining metal”. In other words, These African kings were not kings in the real sense of the term. They were not kings like would be the King of Spain, the Queen of Denmark, or the Queen of England. And these pseudo-kings, who wanted to pass for “real” kings, were bedecked in “shining metal”. In other words, Africa, the continent of gold and diamonds, which for the last 600 years has been pillaged by the Euro-American swashbucklers, could only afford “shining metals” for its not-so-kings. Perhaps L’Express is right, in that Africa’s precious metals are to be found in the coffers of the Euro-American banks. Still, what baseness! What a discharge of uncontrolled abhorrence!

It was not just the Euro-American imperialist power that was afraid of Gaddafi’s geopolitical positioning. In Africa, too, a certain African elite infected with the poison of self-hatred saw Gaddafi as a threat to its power; a power that it has held thanks to its allegiance to rapacious Occident’s neo-colonial program. Many of Gaddafi’s African peers, though they did glean from his bountiful reserve of petrodollars, secretly loathed him. It is even remarkable that it was the African heads of state whose countries benefited the most from Gaddafi’s not-so-disinterested kindness—lets us admit it—that failed to come to his defense when he needed them most. It is remarkable that they even supported the West’s assault on Libya. And yet, they had more to gain with Gaddafi’s presence than with his absence. Gaddafi, at least, was investing in Africa, which could not be said of most of his African peers nor of the Euro-American powers that usually give with one hand and take back ten-fold with the other. The African leaders who have benefited from Gaddafi’s generous donations to later turn on him were simply still under the spell of the slave mentality that caused the house Negro to prefer the comfortable bondage in the Master’s House to the uncertain future in liberty. The mentally enslaved African leaders enjoyed little dictatorial powers the Euro-American coalition afforded them under bondage and secretly loathed Gaddafi, whom they perceived as a threat to their privileges. The West, in its assassination of Gaddafi, was going to make use of this brotherly suspicion.

The imperial powers of Europe and America cannot stomach the idea of a unified and competitive Africa. The Euro-American powers cannot envision, with serenity, an Africa that emerges to become a serious alternative to them on world stage. China had placed them on unstable grounds. India was threatening to shove them to the margin of indispensability. Should Africa rise undisturbed, they could become totally irrelevant. Of all the African leaders capable of putting Greedy West out of business in Africa, Gaddafi’s was the most formidable. Gaddafi believed that African states should make it their mid-term objective to leave the Bretton Woods institutions, these insatiable organizations that have thriven by cultivating misery in Africa. Gaddafi was on his way to enfranchising Africa from the international usurers that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are in reality.

In “Les vraies raisons de la guerre en Libye,” Jean-Paul Pougala enumerates some of the grievances that the West had against Gaddafi, which are some of the real motives of the Euro-American war against the Libyan President. The West had never forgiven Gaddafi for freeing Africa from its stifling information tutelage by offering the continent its first Regional African Satellite Communication Organization (RASCOM) in 2006. Before RASCOM, as notes so perceptibly Pougala, calling from and to Africa was the costlier communication in the world. For this service, Europe would bill Africa $500 million per year. If Africa wanted its own satellite in order to circumvent this hefty annual tab from Europe, the continent would have to come up with $400 million. Gaddafi disbursed ¾ of the money needed so that Africa would not have to borrow it from the gluttonous lenders of international finance, the rest coming from the African Development Bank and the West African Development Bank. Another one of Gaddafi’s ventures was to contribute to the creation of three African banks, precisely a $42 billion African Monetary Fund to correct the rapacious activities of the IMF in Africa, and which would be headquartered in Yaoundé, Cameroun, an African Central Bank, headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria, and an African Investments Bank, headquartered in Sirte, Libya.19 These were Gaddafi’s biggest projects for Africa. His militant economic Pan-Africanism was a threat to the West’s hegemonic intentions in Africa. The development of these financial institutions, as Celestin Bedzigui pointed out, would have accelerated African countries’ enfranchisement from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both instruments of the Euro-American maintenance of Africa into debts and in a perpetual state of backwardness, and would have brought the end of the CFA franc, the currency that 14 former French colonies are forced to use. Furthermore, Gaddafi’s economic influence on the world stage was growing at a proportion that could not be to the liking of the Euro-American imperial power: “The combination of water and oil has given Libya a sound economic platform. Ideally placed as the ‘Gateway to Africa’, Libya [was] in good position to play an increasingly influential role in the global economy.”20

In fact, in the 1950s, oil exploration in the Libyan southern desert had unexpectedly uncovered a huge basin of fresh water about 40,000 years old. If exploited, the aquifer could supply Libyans with fresh water for the next 200 years. Furthermore, its exploitation could be considerably less expensive than desalinating seawater or importing overpriced water from Europe as was the case. With the technical know-how of South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Japan, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom, in 1984, Gaddafi injected $25 billion of Libyan oil money in what his fellow countrymen proudly coined “the eighth wonder of the world,” a system of underground pipelines to bring much needed fossil water from the desert to the Libyan people. Gaddafi’s Pharaonic “Great Man-Made River Project”, as Libyans noted was a turning point: “The water changed lives. For the first time in our history there was water in the tap for washing, shaving, showering … the quality of life is better now, and it’s impacting the whole country;”21 and, indeed, it was. Thanks to the GMMRP, 130,000 hectares of land were irrigated to make new farms; lands were distributed to small farmer to grow produce and supply the local markets, large farms were established to produce export crops, such as wheat, oat, and barley. For Europe, the GMMRP not only meant that Libya would no longer rely on its costly water market, but it also meant that Libya was henceforth targeting the European markets and becoming a formidable economic force to reckon with. This was more than the Euro-American imperial power could stomach. Gaddafi, the arrogant leader from Africa who could dared to dictate his economic rules to the Euro-American power, had to be stopped.

Besides killing any hope of Africa’s economic independence by eliminating Gaddafi, the West, like a throng of predatory Vikings, had its eyes on the huge riches to loot in the ensuing chaos of a war against Gaddafi. Libya was a huge reservoir of oil and gas, for which Europe also has a voracious appetite. Furthermore, the estimated $150 billion Libyan foreign investment portfolio, which was managed by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) had cash-stricken West green with envy. Just before the military raid on Libya, the Euro-American ruling circles looted these funds in the greatest act of piracy. They were helped by Mohamed Layas, the representative of the Libyan Investment Authority, who, in a January 20 diplomatic correspondence published by WikiLeaks, informed the US Ambassador in Tripoli that LIA had deposited $32 billion in US banks. Five weeks later, on 28 February, the US Treasury reportedly « froze » these assets. This money which, according to US official constituted the « the largest sum of money ever blocked in the United States, » Washington declared, would be safeguarded « in trust for the future of Libya. » In reality, the money was used to revitalize the debt-stricken sinking US economy. A few days later, the European Union, too, “froze” 45 billion euros of Libyan funds, apparently for the same purpose.22

For Sarkozy, besides looting Gaddafi’s country, would it not be even better to resuscitate France’s economy by selling a few of the country’s unwanted Rafale fighter jets? For, after all, one of the main reasons why the Rafale has remained unsold is that, contrary to the Mirages fighter jets that became popular after Israel tested them during the six-day war, the Rafale’s trumpeted technological prowess had never been verified on the battle field. So, Libya was also to be the testing ground for the clientless French jets. Thoughtless French troops had spilled the beans of Sarkozy’s macabre plans in Libya. Indeed, whoever had seen the news on French TF1 on March 25, 2011, and had decided to go back to the same site the following day to review the coverage of the war in Libya would notice one thing: The news video reportage on French airplane carrier Charles de Gaulle has been shortened. The embarrassing portion of the reporting, where a careless French soldier stated as-a-matter-factually that the airstrike on Gaddafi’s army offered great opportunities to test new military equipment and to train new pilots was edited out of the tape. The order to amend the news footage came certainly from the Elysée, as it is a fact that the French media is one of the most policed media in the world despite statements to the contrary. The French military sorties against Gaddafi were hoped to make France’s target weapon buyers, India and Brazil, take notice of the Rafale’s firing power. Testing new weapons in Africa in order to recruit new buyers has long been part of France’s marketing campaign. Mitterrand had done it in Rwanda. Creating havoc in Africa as a means to augment the French economy is a fashionable strategy among France’s social engineers.

In its exceptional barbarism, the Euro-American imperial power has in fact destroyed the countries it purportedly came to save. As James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya note, like in Iraq where the West’s intervention has resulted in “well over a million civilian deaths, four million refugees and the systematic destruction of a complex society and its infrastructure, including its water supplies and sewage treatment, irrigation, electricity grid, factories, not to mention research centers, schools, historical archives, museums and Iraq’s extensive social welfare system,” in Libya, in the early days of the raid, the bombing had caused the total destruction of civilian infrastructures, of airports and roads and seaports, of communication centers, the flight of scores of multinational corporations, and the mass migration of hundreds of thousands of people from Asia, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.23 The most lasting damage done to Libya by the Euro-American power has been the foreclosure of the country’s prospects for democracy and development. The Euro-American power has killed the future of Libya; the Euro-American power has ensured that Libya should never again be a threat to its hegemony in Africa; the Euro-American power has made sure that Libya should never get back onto

the rails of democracy, by transforming into a thousand tiny chaotic spaces, each controlled by a warlord and his army of thugs, a country that, despite some political imperfections, invested oil money into one of the largest civil engineering venture in the world, in order to bring to his people, from miles underneath the scorching desert sand, through a 4000-kilometer network of pipelines, potable water, a most fundamental human right.

In July 2011, [the Euro-American power] not only bombed the Great Man-Made River water supply pipeline near Brega, but also destroyed the factory that produces the pipes to repair it, claiming in justification that it was used as “a military storage facility” and that “rockets were launched from there”. Six of the facility’s security guards were killed in the NATO attack, and the water supply for the 70 percent of the population who depend on the piped supply for personal use and for irrigation has been compromised with this damage to Libya’s vital infrastructure.24

The Euro-American power’s attack on Libya was a grave breach of the Libyans’ human rights, if only for the destruction of Gaddafi’s water project. But there was more than that. Schools, hospitals, personal properties acquired by thousands of Libyans over many years, jobs vital to families’ subsistence, and the serenity of the Libyans were destroyed.

Gaddafi’s execution after his capture and the fact that his body was put on display in a circus-like carnival in Misurata for old and very young to taunt were indications of the true genealogical spirit of the Libyan new found “democracy” under the saintly aegis of Europe and America. The signatories of the Libyan “democracy” had just revealed the measure of their “independence”. It was couched in human rights abuse and lawlessness. Intellectual honesty demands that we ask ourselves whether a democracy that has lynching at its very core is a sustainable democracy. Is it not rather the fact that the moral urgency of such a democracy is already thwarted by its very performativity? After wishing for and ordering the assassination of Gaddafi, the Euro-American operatives came out exhibiting their sense of exceptional ethics. Yes, they do kill. But theirs are clean killings, sanitized killings, and not the indecorous and undignified butchery offered the world by “these Arabs”, one could read in their declarations of outrage. For Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary,

[the circumstance of Gaddafi’s murder] was clearly a very confusing moment and I would have preferred that he had faced justice either in a Libyan court or in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, but it is difficult for us in Britain to put ourselves into the position of the soldiers and those who were involved in the capture of Gaddafi and I think the best accounts were those that have come from the Libyans themselves.25

For Phillip Hammond, the British Defense Secretary, “it’s certainly not the way we [civilized people] do things, it’s not the way we would have liked it to have happened … The fledgling Libyan government will understand that its reputation in the international community is a little bit stained by what happened.” To which one is tempted to ask: What of the reputation of the Euro-American power that has commissioned the total destruction of Libya, the murdering of thousands of innocent Libyans, and the assassination of Gaddafi, all under the false pretense of saving Libyan lives and building a democratic society in Libya?

Today, Libya is burning; Iraq is burning; Egypt is burning; Syria is burning. Imperialist West is scurrying away from the crime scenes. 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 and civilization” will always amaze decency. All the social engineers in the West who had 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” and which has turned out to be a very long winter?

A Most Profitable Partnership

Obama was right to be elated and proud when he declared that “all of this was done without putting a single US troop on the ground.” Of course, the operation had cost America at least $2 billion according to Vice-President Joe Biden; but this was small change compared to what was spent in other wars. Furthermore, America had gained at least $32 billion of Libyan money. This was a profitable war for the Euro-American coalition. Indeed, on this April 3, 2011, exactly seventeen days after France has battled at the United Nations to have UN Resolution 1973-2011 authorizing war on Gaddafi adopted, a letter signed by the Libyan National Transitional Council and destined to the Emir of Qatar, and a copy of which was obtained by French paper Libération, indicated that French oil exploration companies, of which Total is the leader, had played an important role in effecting the Euro-American war in Libya: The Libyan CNT had guaranteed France an additional 542,000 barrels of oil per day in Libya for its support to topple Gaddafi, on top of the 1,550,000 barrels it was exploiting before the beginning of the West’s offensive on the Libyan people. As the leadership of the CNT promised, “Regarding the agreement on oil signed with France in exchange for recognition of our Council,” the letter stated, “… as the legitimate representative of Libya, we have delegated the brother Mahmoud [Shammam, Minister in charge of media at the CNT] to sign this agreement assigning 35 percent of total crude oil to the French in exchange for full and ongoing support to our Council.”26 The chaos that ensued the Euro-American shelling of Libya and the assassination of Gaddafi, the fact that Libya is now a lawless state divided into four unruly zones (Benghazi, Sirte, Tripoli, and Pheasant) does not inconvenience Total the least. Despite the chaos—and some critics would suggest that it is precisely thanks to the chaos—Total continues to thrive in Libya, undisturbed.27 In fact, as remarks Ivorian economist Tiémélé,

In spite of the official clamors and agitations cynically advocating defense of democratic values and respect for human rights worldwide, the presence and activities of TOTAL and other major Western oil companies in Libya eventually convince us of the hypocrisy of the Western leaders, for whom, in fact, only their petty interests matter … Here lies the answer to all these wars conveniently promoted over the recent decade in countries with the largest oil reserves (Iraq, Libya, Syria, threats against Iran, and Sudan then South Sudan, Ivory Coast, Mali, Central African Republic, Chechnya and Asian countries of the former USSR, the threat of war against Russia itself, instability in Nigeria with the sect Boko Haram, etc.).28

Faut-il juger Sarkozy pour abus de faiblesse ? M. Frindéthié (publié le 3/23/2013)

detrousseur2Je ris de douleur à voir la justice française s’exciter autour de l’ex-agité de l’Elysée pour, le mettre en examen pour « abus de faiblesse » sur la personne de Liliane Bettencourt. Sarkozy aurait profité de la sénescence de la milliardaire octogénaire pour lui soutirer d’importantes sommes.  Sarkozy ne serait en fin de compte qu’un piètre dépouilleur de vieilles dames ayant moins de scrupules qu’un détrousseur de métro.

Mais pourquoi s’excite-t-on tant autour des frasques de Sarkozy ? Sarkozy n’a-t-il pas tout simplement reproduit un paradigme si cher aux politiciens français, l’abus de faiblesse ou de confiance, et qui, depuis des décennies, se trouve ennobli sur la plus grande marche de l’échelle des vertus françaises ? N’est-ce pas en abusant des faiblesses qu’elle a bien pris soin de créer auparavant dans les Etats africains que la France arrive en pompier pour les ensuite détrousser ? Juger Sarkozy pour abus de faiblesse serait fort comique, à moins que l’on ne juge tous les présidents français qui l’ont précédé, qui ont perfectionné et lui ont légué cet outil très français qu’est l’abus de faiblesse et de confiance. Sarkozy n’est que le fier enfant de sa mère abusive, la France. Faut-il juger l’enfant d’être une si belle réplique de sa génitrice ?

Folie Circulaire, Frindéthié

Dans 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

Ne faites pas attention à ma peau noire : c’est le soleil qui m’a brûlé

Et voici ceux qui ne se consolent point de n’être pas faits à la ressemblance de Dieu mais du diable, ceux qui considèrent que l’on est nègre comme commis de seconde classe : en attendant mieux et avec possibilité de monter plus haut ; ceux qui battent la chamade devant soi-même ; ceux qui vivent dans un cul de basse-fosse de soi-même ; ceux qui disent à l’Europe : « Voyez, je sais comme vous faire des courbettes, comme vous présenter mes hommages, en somme, je ne suis pas différent de vous ; ne faites pas attention à ma peau noire : c’est le soleil qui m’a brûlé ».

Césaire

« pay no attention to my black skin: the sun did it. »

And there are those who will never get over not being made

in the likeness of God but of the devil,

those who believe that being a nigger is like being

a second-class clerk;

waiting for a better deal and upward mobility;

those who beat the drum of compromise in front of themselves,

those who live in their own oubliette;

those who say to Europe:

« You see, I can bow and scrape, like you I pay my respects,

in short I am not different from you;

pay no attention to my black skin: the sun did it. »

Césaire–Notebook

Passeport: Laurent Gbagbo dit non au chantage d’Alassane Ouattara

Alassane Ouattara se prononce sur l'acquittement de Laurent Gbagbo |  Financial Afrik

LE PRÉSIDENT GBAGBO DIT NON AU CHANTAGE D’ALASSANE OUATTARA

Les émissaires d’Alassane Dramane Ouattara envoyé cette semaine à Bruxelles rencontrer le président GBAGBO sont répartis bredouilles à Abidjan. Ces derniers avaient pour mission d’obtenir du président GBAGBO son accord pour la reconnaissance du troisième mandat illégal de d’Alassane Dramane Ouattara. Il était prévu qu’il fasse cette déclaration lors d’une interview aménagée par la chaîne France24 en présence du sulfureux journaliste Christophe Boisbouvier et son collègue Marc Perelman.

En échange, Alassane Ouattara affréterait un avion présidentiel pour le retour glorieux du Woody de Mama en Côte d’Ivoire.

La réponse du président GBAGBO a été sans appel :  » Je ne négocierai jamais mon retour en Côte d’Ivoire avec une contrepartie qui déshonore la dignité du peuple IVOIRIEN . Je rentrerai dans mon pays sans ou avec un passeport ordinaire « .

Cette décision du président GBAGBO fragilise au plus haut point Alassane Ouattara. Affaibli politiquement après le fiasco électoral qu’il a organisé, il aura du mal à obtenir la confiance de ses pairs si aucune force politique de premier plan ( FPI , PDCI ) ne le reconnaît.

Le premier ministre Affi N’guessan depuis sa cellule de prison refuse également toute idée de conditionner sa libération à une telle démarche . De son côté, le président Bedié demeure sur la même ligne d’autant plus qu’il a lui même assujetti le dialogue à la libération des prisonniers politiques et la levée de tous les blocus. Mais sans renoncer à son précieux projet de transition.

SOURCE : AFRICA INTELLIGENCE

Pour Simone Ehivet Gbagbo, Première Dame de Côte d’Ivoire (8 mars 2012)

Simone Ehivet Gbagbo

Bravo

 Bien qu’en ce jour auguste de la femme libre

Un régisseur colonial de haine ivre

Derrière ses barreaux à t’astreindre aspire

Afin d’annihiler le combat que tu inspires

 Bien frêles sont les murs de ta geôle

Que le souffle de ton serment fore

Et mille autres compagnes d’ardeur arme

Pour que s’estompent un jour les larmes    

 Simone Ehivet

Femme à la raison affutée

Au sourire fidèle

Au parler honnête

 As-tu écho des clameurs de la rue

Tes geôliers démoralisés s’entretuent

En ce jour auguste de la femme libre

Ton ardeur dans mille cœurs vibre

 Simone

Chapeau

C’est bientôt Noël, Macron, fais le con ! Frindéthié

Arrive Noël bientôt

La bûche fourrée et le tison qui craque

Dehors le blême glaçage

Est malvenu à l’agape fondante

De chocolat chaud et de truffes noires

Dont se délectent nos têtes blondes

Au prix d’une agonie nègre

 Qui les bras levés appelle à la liberté

Sous les balles chaudes du despote ami

Mais la décence vaut-elle cet admirable tableau

De Nos chérubins mains et face plongées

Dans ce noir délice qui nous vient des tropiques

Au coût d’une agonie nègre

Qui les bras levés

Evoquent la dignité humaine ?

Dehors le blanc linceul

Menace de s’inviter jusqu’au tison

Si ne nous viennent nos truffes noires et notre chocolat chaud

Au prix d’une agonie nègre

Qui rappelle la décence humaine

Mais nos têtes blondes s’impatientent

Adieu la décence humaine

Macron fais dans la tradition

Fais le con

Appelle Ouattara et dis Bravo

Pour que fonde la bûche et craque le tison

Car arrive bientôt Noël

La saison de l’agape de truffes noires et de chocolat chaud

Lettre ouverte à Monsieur Dramane Ouattara, « Bon Chef de Guerre » en Côte d’Ivoire, M. Frindéthié (5 décembre 2014)

hdPermettez, Monsieur Dramane Ouattara, que je vous instruise à deux choses; d’abord aux sens des deux mots chef et hasard, puis ensuite au concept de la démocratie.

En effet, lors de votre toute dernière promenade à Paris,  où, après vous être exhibé tout sourire satisfait à Dakar, aux côtés du Grand Blanc qui vous admonestait sur le caractère sacré des Constitutions, vous fîtes mains et pieds pour être reçu par le président français, afin de prouver aux Ivoiriens que la « leçon de Dakar » s’adressait à tous les autres présidents africains sauf à vous, François Hollande vous qualifiait de « bon chef » ; sobriquet que vous et la horde de griots que vous traînaillez à vos innombrables voyages ne comprîtes guère, tant vous, qui attendiez d’être validé par le Grand Blanc, le relayâtes dans vos journaux de derrière les fagots comme une estimation affirmative.

Et pourtant, un tout petit effort intellectuel aurait permis à vos batteurs de darbouka de comprendre qu’il n’y avait pas de quoi s’enorgueillir. Hollande se moquait de vous, en effet. Hollande vous a traité de « bon chef » tout court, et non pas de « bon chef d’Etat », car il ne semblait pas pouvoir s’amener à qualifier votre gouvernance de bon chef de guerre, de bon chef de clan, de bon chef de gang, à une gouvernance digne d’un chef d’Etat d’une société démocratique.

Et vous, tout bienheureux, n’y avez vu que du feu. Et vos feuilles de chou de titrer : « Hollande dit que Ouattara est un bon chef ». Ô stupidité, quand tu nous tiens ! Hollande se serait-il permis la même légèreté langagière avec, say, Obama ou Merkel ? Aurait-il pu les traiter de « bons chefs » ? Mais devrait-on en vouloir à Hollande lorsque les mots qu’il utilise pour qualifier votre chose-là, ce mardi-gras quotidien que vous définissez pompeusement de démocratie, ne rejoignent, en définitive, que les termes que le Vieux Ménékré utilisait si expertement pour désigner votre administration de « gouvernement de gangsters » ?

Dans votre administration de pirates où le penser a pris le large, où l’indiscipline et la vilénie morale ont pris leurs quartiers, où les loubards et danseurs de Batchingué sont inaugurés « ministres », et où se mélangent aisément les genres, ce ne sont pas seulement les fonds publics qui se confondent aux comptes privés ni la cancraille qui gouverne et humilie les populations. C’est aussi la détermination de la violence qui tue le hasard de la démocratie.

Eh oui, Dramane Ouattara, sachez-le ! Le hasard est à la démocratie ce que la violence est à la dictature. Et ça, vous ne le saviez pas, vous qui, imposé par les armes, osez tancer le Président Gbagbo d’avoir accédé à la magistrature suprême par le hasard. Vous l’auriez su que vous vous seriez tu. Il devient de plus en plus clair, pour de nombreux Ivoiriens, qu’il y a, en effet beaucoup de choses que vous ne saviez pas, que vous n’avez jamais sues, mais dont vous vous êtes vendu expert aux crédules ; comme par exemple, cette expertise en économie, qui au fil du temps se révèle être de la mystification, de la poudre aux yeux.

Hum ! Un ami universitaire, économiste de vocation, reconnu, lui au moins, pour ses publications d’expert enseignées dans les grandes universités du monde, me demandait un jour si ce fameux poste au FMI ne vous avait pas été offert par connivence, pour faire figure de proue ; comme le Roi Léopold II offrait au Bagalas des titres et des armes afin qu’ils lui ramènent les bras tranchés de leurs congénères récalcitrants.  Libre à vous de vendre votre âme. Mais n’insultez pas outre mesure les Ivoiriens, vous qui êtes arrivé au pouvoir dans les fourgons de la France et de l’ONU, de vouloir inculquer à leurs enfants que le lugubre calcul fataliste par lequel vous arrivez à vous targuer du titre de « président de la Côte d’Ivoire » est préférable au jeu hasardeux de la démocratie.

Car savez-vous que contrairement au déterminisme, à l’acceptation facile, au calcul fataliste dont relèvent les systèmes autoritaires et les dictatures, où le plus vil, le plus armé, le plus violent, le plus sauvage, le plus sanguinaire, ou le descendant de tel autocrate impose sa loi, au moins armé, au moins violent et au plus civil, les démocraties, elles, relèvent de l’aboutissement heureux du hasard, par lequel aucun dé n’est pipé d’avance, aucun candidat n’est prédestiné à diriger un pays, aucun programme de gouvernement n’est frappé du sceau d’approbation des dieux avant d’avoir été soumis au peuple et débattu sur la place publique ?Vous ne pouviez pas le savoir, sinon vous ne vous humilieriez pas à vous glorifier si ouvertement de n’être pas arrivé par le jeu du hasard de la démocratie mais plutôt par le fatalisme des armes ; tant il est vrai que depuis votre entrée en politique, la violence a pris le pas sur la civilité ; tant il est vrai que depuis votre entrée en politique, les Ivoiriens, plutôt que d’accourir voter, se précipitent pour sortir de la Côte d’Ivoire à l’approche de toute élection, et que ceux d’entre eux qui sont obligés de rester s’approvisionnent en nourriture, en eau et en bougies en prévision de la saturnalia de vos longs couteaux.

Connaissez-vous un seul pays démocratique qui se dépeuple autant que la Côte d’Ivoire à l’approche des élections ? Connaissez-vous un seul homme politique en Côte d’Ivoire qui ait suscité tant d’angoisse parmi les populations ? Connaissez-vous une époque antérieure à votre arrivée en Côte d’Ivoire où la violence ait autant rimé avec l’alternance politique, où le Nord du pays ait autant rimé avec goulag ? Votre amour pour la violence en politique et votre dédain pour la contradiction vous viennent de ce que vous vous considérez oint, choisi des dieux, consacré et donc absout de toute probabilité, de toute élection libre ; et donc absout du jeu de hasard de la démocratie. Vous avez fait assez de mal ; n’enseignez pas à la jeunesse ivoirienne votre sens déformé de la vie politique.

Lettre ouverte/ Plaidoyer pour la Justice et l’Etat de droit (Par Me Brizoua-Bi)

Excellence Monsieur le Président de la République, Alassane Ouattara

Eu égard aux immenses espoirs placés en vous pour la résolution de la crise actuelle en Côte d’Ivoire et suite au dialogue politique que vous avez engagé depuis le 11 novembre 2020, j’ai l’honneur de m’adresser publiquement mais très respectueusement à vous, pour proposer, à titre de contribution, un remède destiné à guérir notre pays : la Justice et l’Etat de droit.

Avant de commencer mon plaidoyer, je voudrais humblement vous inviter à vous souvenir de cette phrase du Pape Jean Paul II, de sainte mémoire, qui indiquait le 8 décembre 2003 au Vatican lors de la 37ème Journée Mondiale de la Paix que « le droit est la première route à suivre pour atteindre la paix. »

Si, lors de vos prochaines concertations avec vos frères, en particulier, le Président Henri Konan BEDIE et le Président Laurent GBAGBO, vous empruntez cette voie, notre pays pourra assurément retrouver le chemin de la paix et de la vraie réconciliation.

Mais avant cette étape, je voudrais me permettre de rappeler à votre très haute attention des évènements qui ont eu un impact certain sur le cours de l’histoire de notre pays que nous vivons.

D’abord, le 6 octobre 2000, lorsque par Arrêt N°E 001-2000, la Chambre constitutionnelle de la Cour Suprême excluait treize (13) candidats à l’élection présidentielle, y compris vous, nul n’avait imaginé que le 19 septembre 2002, suite à l’échec d’une tentative de coup d’Etat, une rébellion armée allait plonger notre pays dans une crise politique jusqu’en 2010.

Ensuite, le 3 décembre 2010, par la décision N° CI-2010-EP-034 / 03-12 / CC / SG, le Conseil constitutionnel proclamait les résultats définitifs de l’élection présidentielle du 28 novembre 2010 en donnant comme vainqueur Monsieur Laurent GBAGBO. Les contestations de ce scrutin ont été la cause d’un conflit post-électoral faisant plus de trois mille victimes, des morts, des blessés et des exilés.

C’est pourquoi, le 16 novembre 2011, lors de la rentrée solennelle de la Cour Suprême à Abidjan, le Président de la Cour Suprême d’alors déclarait en substance ceci : « …Disons-nous la vérité et reconnaissons que par la faute de certains d’entre nous, le peuple au nom de qui nous rendons la justice et qui est notre juge, n’est pas loin de nous retirer sa confiance, si ce n’est déjà fait. La Côte d’Ivoire est entrain de rebondir, mais il suffirait d’une décision de justice malheureuse, une seule, bien relayée par la presse et par internet pour briser cet élan. Malheur donc à celui par qui un tel scandale arrivera.»

Aujourd’hui encore, il est relevé malheureusement que, comme en 2010, suite à une décision du Conseil constitutionnel présidé cette fois par l’auteur de la déclaration précitée, la paix sociale est gravement troublée, l’unité nationale ébranlée et le sang d’innocents versé.

Excellence Monsieur le Président de la République, la valeur des vies humaines perdues ne pourra jamais être indemnisée. En revanche, elle impose aux gouvernants et gouvernés un regard, une introspection, un questionnement sincères relativement à notre justice.

Lorsque la justice ensanglante et sème les germes de la guerre dans un pays, c’est qu’elle est malade. Vous avez le pouvoir et le devoir de la guérir pour sauver ce pays de l’abîme.

La justice, pour être juste, doit être la même pour tous.

Lorsque la justice n’existe que pour une partie, elle cesse de l’être et menace la paix.

Enfin, conformément à l’article 155 de la Constitution « les décisions de justice sont exécutoires. Elles s’imposent aux pouvoirs publics, à toute autorité administrative, juridictionnelle, militaire et à toute personne physique ou morale. Les autorités publiques sont tenues de les exécuter et de les faire exécuter. ». Il est donc regrettable lorsque, par exemple, l’Etat est condamné par une juridiction internationale, en occurrence la Cour Africaine des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples à laquelle il est encore membre, qu’il refuse de se soumettre au verdict des juges. L’Etat a un devoir d’exemplarité et de cohérence en la matière.

Excellence Monsieur le Président de la République, j’ai revisité l’histoire de notre justice et des noms prestigieux comme Ernest BOKA, Alphonse BONI, Camille HOGUIE, Mamadou FADIKA, Bâtonnier ADAM Assi Camille, Bâtonnier Jean Konan BANNY pour ne citer que ceux-là ont servi la cause du droit et de la justice avec intégrité, indépendance, courage et compétence. Si notre pays veut tourner définitivement la page des crises électorales et des crises tout court, il doit puiser dans la richesse de son capital humain pour ne faire appel qu’aux meilleurs pour dire le droit. Dans le monde de la justice, les compétences les plus sûres dont l’intégrité est sans tâche existent et sont connues. Face aux questions les plus complexes et les plus sensibles pour l’avenir de la nation, ces femmes et ces hommes se souviendront toujours de leur serment pour servir uniquement la cause de la justice en taisant toute autre considération. Nous pouvons rappeler avec fierté que l’Afrique a fait confiance à l’un des nôtres, le juge ORE Sylvain, choisi après appel à candidatures, pour présider la Cour Africaine des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples, ce en lui accordant deux mandats.

Excellence Monsieur le Président de la République,

Le plaidoyer auquel je me livre serait inaudible et incomplet si je m’abstenais de donner une perspective mondiale à la perception de l’état de notre justice. Alors que le Rwanda occupe la première place en Afrique dans le classement réalisé par le « World Economic Forum » sur la justice, notre pays, lui, occupe un rang peu honorable. Il y a donc urgence à agir pour approfondir et élargir les réformes entreprises sous votre très haute impulsion au cours des neuf dernières années.

Le second aspect de mon adresse porte sur le respect de l’Etat de droit et son importance dans la construction de la démocratie.

En effet, s’il est mondialement reconnu les exceptionnelles performances économiques réalisées depuis les politiques publiques de redressement mises en œuvre depuis 2011, on constate en revanche un recul de l’Etat de droit.

L’Etat de droit est une réalité vivante dans un pays lorsque la primauté est accordée au droit.

Sans le respect de l’Etat de droit, la signature d’un Etat perd sa crédibilité.

Les récentes arrestations d’opposants, parfois sans égard pour leur statut de parlementaire et, les circonstances d’arrestation voire les mesures d’assignation à résidence de certains d’entre eux, sont une illustration de la nette régression observée dans ce domaine et dénoncée notamment par Amnesty International.

Les importants défis de développement économique et social qui se profilent à l’horizon, ne pourront être surmontés en dehors de l’Etat de droit qui doit être le pilier indestructible de l’action publique.

Lorsqu’il était interrogé sur l’origine de la prospérité et du leadership économique des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, Alan GREENSPAN, l’ex-Gouverneur de la Réserve Fédérale répondait de manière constante qu’elle résidait dans l’Etat de droit instauré à partir d’un document protecteur du fait de son caractère inviolable : la Constitution. Outre l’exemple américain, Singapour, Hong Kong, la Grande Bretagne et plus près de nous en Afrique, Maurice, sont parvenus à se hisser comme des destinations attractives pour les investisseurs grâce à la confiance et aux garanties qu’offrent les lois et institutions de ces pays.

En un mot, la stabilité dont dépend l’attractivité économique de notre pays ne pourra se consolider sans un Etat de droit, source de confiance à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur.

Abidjan, notre capitale économique, est déjà une place économique et financière de premier plan en Afrique notamment francophone. Avec la qualité de ses acteurs de la magistrature et du Barreau, Abidjan a vocation, si la volonté politique est au rendez-vous, à devenir également la place de droit tant souhaitée par les opérateurs économiques.

Excellence Monsieur le Président de la République,

Le respect de l’Etat de droit et l’impartialité de la Justice sont des principes fondamentaux qui doivent demeurer sûrs, inviolables et non négociables.

La Côte d’Ivoire mérite d’avoir une justice crédible et d’être un véritable Etat de droit.

J’ai plaidé.


Je vous prie d’agréer, Excellence, Monsieur le Président de la République, l’expression de ma très haute considération.

Michel BRIZOUA-BI
Avocat

Été
2019

Rencontre ratée
2019

Mouvement
2018

Portraits
2017

Disparition
2016

Of friends, foes, and faux-friends: « O friends, there is no friend! »

Has not, in reply to the dying sage, who advised us that « friends, there are no friends, » the living fool uttered for us these profound words that « foes, there are no foes »?

 

O my friends, there is no friend! /Ô mes amis, il n’y a pas d’amis!

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad meets Senator John Kerry in Damascuskerry 2PelosiBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair (R), and his wifBRITAIN SYRIAsarko

Nègreries (21 novembre 2015)

Attentat de Paris: marche de soutien des députés ivoiriens

Attentat de Paris: marche de soutien des députés ivoiriens

Alors que ses prisons et ses fosses communes débordent de ses  propres frères et sœurs qu’il ne sait aimer, un Nègre, assis sur un rocher au bord de l’Atlantique, les coudes sur les genoux, le menton dans les mains, les yeux rivés sur un hypothétique Occident qu’il imagine loin au-delà de l’horizon, s’exclame pitoyable : « y a-t-il quelqu’un là-bas qui m’aime ? » Ce cri, cet appel de détresse, cette incertitude, est le mode primordial d’expression du névrosé abandonnique. Et à ce supplice, répond une voix du « là-bas », qui lui fait la fausse promesse d’un salut universel. Là où l’amour était naguère interdit au Nègre, là où les portes du « paradis blanc » étaient fermées à l’égo nègre, désormais, le Nègre abasourdi se voit promettre par l’Occident la possibilité d’une « jouissance blanche », à condition que l’égo nègre abandonne à l’Occident l’objet d’échange pour un peu d’amour opalin ; à condition que l’égo nègre abandonne à l’Occident ce qu’il aurait dû garder pour l’échange commercial. Et voilà que, pour l’assurance d’une amitié lactescente, où l’amour ne présuppose aucun échange d’objet, le Nègre, désormais névrosé abandonnique, abandonne tout objet d’échange ; pire, s’abandonne lui-même, dans sa course effrénée vers l’accumulation des signata de l’autre ; l’expérience de ceux qui l’ont précédé ne lui ayant jamais rien appris.

Explication d’une députée rattrapée du Dozoland sur le soutien de la Rattrapocratie aux victimes de la France mais pas à celles du Nigéria:

Sogoma« Tu me calcules, je te calcule. Quand c’est chaud sur nous ce n’est pas le Nigeria que nous regardons d’abord et ce n’est pas le Nigeria qui nous regarde. C’est bel et bien la France…Nous dirons Yako d’abord à ceux avec qui nous sommes fortement liés par l’histoire, la langue et l’économie….Et quand notre Assemblée Nationale avait brûlé, l’ambassade du Nigeria était toujours notre voisin mais c’est la France qui nous a aidés à sa réhabilitation…vraiment polémiquer pour polémiquer? » (Source First Magazine)

Francopholie, Frindéthié (20 novembre 2015)

Negreries

Attentat de Paris: marche de soutien des députés ivoiriens

Dans 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

DÉCLARATION CONJOINTE PDCI- RDA/ FPI RELATIVE AU DIALOGUE POLITIQUE

Après la rencontre avec le président Bédié, ce vendredi 13 novembre 2020, la plateforme CNT maintient le mot d’ordre de désobéissance civile, et exige l’invalidation de la présidentielle du 31 octobre 2020. Le président Bédié rencontre ce samedi 14 novembre la plateforme Eds.

DÉCLARATION CONJOINTE PDCI- RDA/ FPI RELATIVE AU DIALOGUE POLITIQUE

1. Depuis la mort du président Félix Houphouët-Boigny, la Côte d’Ivoire est rentrée dans une spirale de crises auxquelles toutes les actions entreprises n’ont pu apporter de solutions durables.

2. Préoccupés par la dégradation continuelle du climat sociopolitique et sécuritaire du pays, les présidents Henri Konan BEDIE et Laurent GBAGBO, à l’occasion de leur rencontre de Bruxelles, le 29 juillet 2019, ont décidé d’œuvrer à la promotion de la réconciliation des ivoiriens en vue d’une paix durable en Côte d’Ivoire, en engageant leurs partis politiques respectifs.

3. Le PDCI-RDA et le FPI, avec une volonté commune clairement exprimée, se sont engagés, le 30 avril 2020, dans le cadre d’un accord de collaboration, à rechercher avec le peuple de Côte d’Ivoire, les solutions idoines d’une vraie réconciliation et d’une paix durable en terre ivoirienne.

4. Le PDCI-RDA et le FPI, après avoir fait le constat de l’échec de la politique de réconciliation conduite par le régime de M. Alassane Ouattara, se sont convaincus, avant l’échéance présidentielle du 31 octobre 2020, qu’aucun processus électoral ne pouvait être porteur de paix dans un climat sociopolitique non apaisé, du fait d’un manque de consensus national autour des questions essentielles qui touchent à la vie de la Nation.

5. Pour ce faire, le PDCI-RDA et le FPI n’ont eu de cesse d’appeler, sans être malheureusement entendus, le régime RHDP à la discussion et à un dialogue constructif entre tous les acteurs majeurs de la vie politique nationale. Les deux partis, fidèles aux valeurs de paix et avec la foi aux vertus du dialogue de leurs leaders, les président Henri Konan BEDIE et Laurent GBAGBO, n’ont pas hésité à saisir la CEDEAO et l’ONU aux fins d’infléchir la position de M. Alassane Ouattara, quant à son refus de discuter avec l’opposition.


6. Le PDCI- RDA et le FPI, conformément aux engagements conjoints pris dans le cadre de leur accord de collaboration, continuent de privilégier la négociation comme l’unique voie pour sortir la Côte d’Ivoire de la crise actuelle qui endeuille de NOMBREUSES FAMILLES, depuis l’annonce de la CANDIDATURE ANTICONSTITUTIONNELLE de M. ALASSANE OUATTARA pour un TROISIÈME MANDAT à la présidence de la République.

7. Le PDCI-RDA et le FPI estiment qu’avant l’entame des discussions qui doivent se faire avec toutes les parties prenantes, il est indispensable de ramener la sérénité et la confiance entre tous les acteurs, en apaisant le climat sociopolitique qui s’est considérablement dégradé ces derniers mois.

Ces actes d’apaisement passent par :

– La levée du blocus autour des résidences de tous les leaders des partis politiques de l’opposition, notamment celles du Pr MAURICE KAKOU GUIKAHUÉ , de messieurs AFFI N’GUESSAN , ALBERT MABRI TOIKEUSSE et du Pr HUBERT OULAYE ;

– Le retour des exilés avec à leur tête le président LAURENT GBAGBO, le premier ministre GUILLAUME SORO, le ministre CHARLES BLÉ GOUDÉ et le maire AKOSSI BENJO ;

– La libération de tous les prisonniers POLITIQUES, CIVILS et MILITAIRES, injustement et illégalement incarcérés ;

– La fin de toutes les poursuites judiciaires contre les responsables et militants de l’opposition et de la société civile ;

8. Le PDCI-RDA et le FPI demandent que ces discussions inclusives soient menées sous l’égide d’un facilitateur, après adoption par toutes les parties prenantes, d’un chronogramme précis et des sujets à débattre.

Fait à Abidjan, le 13 novembre 2020

Pour le PDCI-RDA
M. ÉMILE Constant BOMBET
Vice-président

Pour le FPI
Dr ASSOA Adou
Secrétaire Général

Just replace « elephants » with « Africans » … (October 30, 2015, 10:25pm)

elephants-killed-in-zimbabweEvery day, poachers slaughter scores of elephants in Africa in order to harvest their lucrative ivory tusks. Horrific, you think? Now, just replace « elephants » with « Africans » and « ivory tusks » with « natural resources » (oil, uranium, diamond, coltan, gold, cocoa, coffee, etc.), and perhaps you will start to understand what the Western economic hitmen (the World Bank, the IMF, and the multinational corporations) have been up to in Africa since the end of the European war.

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)

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)                                         

Côte d’Ivoire : Attention ! Poudrière Identitaire (publié pour la première fois le 21 janvier 2012), M. Frindéthié

Depuis l’installation martiale d’Alassane Dramane Ouattara au Palais Présidentiel d’Abidjan par les troupes françaises, nous n’avons pas cessé d’interpeller le monde sur les dérives identitaires de son régime. Convaincu qu’il jouit d’une immunité internationale, Alassane Dramane Ouattara encourage personnellement une politique d’épurement ethnique qu’il théorise sans apologie aucune comme « politique de rattrapage ethnique ». Cette politique hitlérienne de purification déguisée en des termes si peu adroits – devrait-on s’en étonner ? – Ouattara la justifie de ce que, de tous les temps, les Nordistes auraient été mis en marge de la société ivoirienne. Ah ! Si mensonge avariait bouche !

Dans son application la moins monstrueuse, la « politique de rattrapage ethnique » de Ouattara consiste à épurer aussi bien les entreprises de l’Etat que les entreprises privées, les associations culturelles, les associations sportives et les organisations non gouvernementales des ressortissants des régions où le président Gbagbo a enregistré une majorité de votes pendant les dernières élections présidentielles, afin de les remplacer par des ressortissants du Nord, où Ouattara a enregistré des scores suspicieusement immesurés. Ainsi, des milliers de travailleurs sudistes sont-ils allés augmenter la pléthore de chômeurs occasionnée par la guerre importée de Ouattara, alors que des milliers de Nordistes les remplaçaient ou décrochaient des contrats publics sans en démontrer les compétences nécessaires.

Dans son application la plus barbare, la « politique de rattrapage ethnique » consiste à laisser faire l’escadron de la mort et les milices armées de Ouattara, de tourner le dos de l’indifférence pendant qu’ils assassinent et commettent des horreurs de toutes sortes sur les populations du Sud. Ainsi, ne se passe-t-il pas un seul jour sans que des civils non armés soient criblés  de balles dans le silence de l’impunité.

Aujourd’hui, la politique d’épurement ethnique de Ouattara semble avoir réussi à pousser la colère des souffre-douleurs à son paroxysme. Les nombreux foyers de tensions qui ont surgi ces derniers mois sont l’évidence que les populations du Sud ont décidé de ne plus se résigner à la mort que leur offre Ouattara. La Côte d’Ivoire est d’autant plus assise sur une poudrière identitaire que Ouattara n’a aucune intention de réviser sa politique ethnocentrique.

Pendant l’épuration nazie, alors que montaient des hauts fourneaux d’Auschwitz les fumées chargées d’effluves de souffrance, de nombreuses populations des villages environnants prétendaient ne rien sentir ni ne rien voir. Aujourd’hui aussi, en Côte d’Ivoire, nombreux sont ceux qui, bénéficiaires de la politique d’épuration ethnique de Ouattara, prétendent ne rien voir ni ne rien entendre … jusqu’au moment inévitable.

Côte d’Ivoire. La police permet à des hommes armés de machettes d’attaquer des protestataires Publié le 18.08.2020.

microbes

La police ivoirienne travaillant de concert avec des « microbes » (milices armées de la dictature) pour la répression des manifestations

Côte d’Ivoire. La police permet à des hommes armés de machettes d’attaquer des protestataires
Publié le 18.08.2020.

Selon un témoignage exclusif obtenu par Amnesty International, à Abidjan, des policiers ont apparemment permis à des groupes d’hommes, qui étaient pour certains armés de machettes et de gros bâtons, d’attaquer des manifestant·e·s qui protestaient contre la décision du président Alassane Ouattara de briguer un troisième mandat.

Dans un entretien exceptionnel, un policier qui était de service le 13 août dans le quartier de Yopougon, à Abidjan, a déclaré à Amnesty International avoir entendu avec inquiétude ses collègues raconter que la semaine dernière des hommes armés avaient « aidé » la police à disperser des protestataires.

Deux minibus (gbakas) transportant des dizaines de jeunes hommes, dont certains étaient armés, sont arrivés à deux endroits du mouvement de protestation où le policier se trouvait. À l’un de ces endroits, deux hommes montés sur une moto escortant les gbakas se sont approchés du policier dirigeant les opérations et après une brève conversation, le groupe de jeunes hommes s’est mis, sans être inquiété, à chasser et à disperser les protestataires dans le quartier.

Notre source policière a indiqué que peu après l’arrivée du groupe d’hommes dans le quartier, un manifestant est apparu avec des blessures par arme blanche et a dit qu’il avait été attaqué par des hommes à moto.
Le policier a déclaré :

« On nous a envoyés dans un secteur du quartier de Yopougon où nous avons trouvé des barricades et quelques jeunes gens qui scandaient des slogans contre le troisième mandat. Ils n’étaient pas armés. Nous ne sommes pas intervenus parce qu’il n’y avait pas assez de policiers. Alors que nous tentions de dégager les routes, deux gbakas, un vert et un jaune, remplis de jeunes hommes, et une moto sont arrivés. Des dizaines d’hommes, dont certains étaient armés de machettes et de gros bâtons, sont sortis des véhicules. Ils étaient plus nombreux que les manifestants. Les deux hommes sur la moto se sont approchés de notre chef et ensuite le groupe d’hommes est entré dans le quartier et a commencé à chasser les manifestants. »

Dans plusieurs vidéos publiées sur les réseaux sociaux on peut voir des hommes armés sortir d’un gbaka vert, et se mettre à chasser les manifestants sous les yeux des policiers qui ont regardé passivement, sans intervenir.

Le policier a dit à Amnesty International avoir entendu d’autres policiers dire que des hommes armés avaient « aidé » la police à disperser des manifestants dans d’autres quartiers d’Abidjan.

« Nous avons été choqués quand nous avons compris que leur présence n’était pas fortuite. Quelqu’un les a apparemment informés des secteurs où les forces de sécurité intervenaient. C’est une initiative très dangereuse et je suis vraiment inquiet. Cela me rappelle deux crises qui ont eu lieu dans le passé, pendant lesquelles des milices ont semé la terreur au sein de la population », a-t-il déclaré.

Un témoin a dit à Amnesty International qu’hier matin, vers 5 h 30, quand il est sorti de chez lui, dans le secteur de la SIDECI du quartier de Yopougon, Carrefour SGBCI, il a vu que des jeunes non armés avaient barricadé la route avec des tables. Peu après, une Peugeot 406, trois autres véhicules et un gbaka blanc sont arrivés, transportant plusieurs dizaines d’hommes en civil armés de machettes, de couteaux et de gros bâtons. Ces hommes sont sortis des véhicules et ont attaqué les jeunes sur la barricade. L’un d’entre eux a été grièvement blessé avec une machette et il a été emmené au centre médical de Bethesda. La police est arrivée peu après et a trouvé les hommes armés, mais elle ne les a pas arrêtés.

Le témoin a dit avoir vu d’autres barricades dans le secteur de Niangon Nord de Yopougon. Il a aussi vu environ sept motos et trois véhicules avec des hommes armés de machettes et de bâtons qui enlevaient les barricades. Des policiers étaient présents mais ils n’ont rien fait. Quand les policiers sont partis, les hommes armés les ont suivis avec leurs motos et leurs véhicules.

« Le fait que la police collabore apparemment, pour la gestion des manifestations, avec des groupes d’hommes armés qui n’ont pas reçu de formation et qui n’ont pas à rendre de comptes, est extrêmement préoccupant. Cela représente une résurgence alarmante du recours à des agents non officiels du « maintien de l’ordre » en Côte d’Ivoire, et nous avons par le passé documenté de nombreux cas d’atteintes aux droits humains commises par des hommes armés en civil, a déclaré Samira Daoud, directrice pour l’Afrique centrale et l’Afrique de l’Ouest à Amnesty International.

« Nous demandons aux autorités ivoiriennes d’empêcher immédiatement ces groupes armés de commettre d’autres forfaits. Les autorités doivent mener une enquête exhaustive, efficace et impartiale sur les allégations d’atteintes aux droits humains commises par ces hommes, et sur la complicité apparente de la police. Les responsables présumés doivent être déférés à la justice et jugés dans le cadre de procès équitables par des tribunaux civils de droit commun. »

Des dizaines d’arrestations
Dans la nuit du 15 août, Pulchérie Gbalet, présidente d’Alternative citoyenne ivoirienne (ACI), une coalition de 40 organisations de la société civile ayant organisé les manifestations, et deux de ses collègues ont été arrêtés et emmenés dans un centre de détention non officiel de Sebroko à Abidjan. Elle a par la suite été conduite à la préfecture de police, où elle a été interrogée par la police.

Le 13 août, des hommes armés ont aussi attaqué un autre membre d’ACI à Anyama-Adjame, à une dizaine de kilomètres d’Abidjan, alors qu’il protestait. Cet homme a par la suite été arrêté par la police pour avoir protesté puis il a été relâché.

Le même jour, la police a arrêté cinq membres du parti d’opposition GPS qui se rendaient à un point de rassemblement pour les manifestants dans le quartier de Cocody à Abidjan. Quatre d’entre eux sont détenus à la prison centrale d’Abidjan (la MACA).
Selon le ministre ivoirien de la Sécurité et de la Protection civile, le général Vagondo Diomande, quelque 70 personnes ont été arrêtées entre le 10 et le 14 août pour « troubles à l’ordre public, incitation à la révolte, violence sur les forces de l’ordre et destruction de biens d’autrui ».

« Nous demandons aux autorités de libérer toutes les personnes qui ont été arrêtées alors qu’elles n’avaient fait qu’exprimer leurs opinions politiques ou alors qu’elles avaient simplement organisé des manifestations pacifiques ou participé à de tels rassemblements. Les autorités doivent veiller à ce que les personnes puissent librement exprimer leurs opinions sans crainte de représailles », a déclaré Samira Daoud.

Le ministre a également confirmé que cinq personnes avaient été tuées dans plusieurs régions du pays au cours des manifestations – trois à Daoukro, une à Gagnoa et une autre à Bonoua –, et que plus de 100 personnes, dont dix policiers et deux gendarmes, avaient été blessées.

Intensification de la répression
Depuis 2019, les rassemblements pacifiques organisés par des organisations de la société civile et des groupes de l’opposition sont régulièrement interdits et dispersés par la police et la gendarmerie, qui font usage d’une force excessive.

Le 26 juin 2019, le pays a adopté un nouveau Code pénal qui étouffe davantage encore les droits à la liberté d’expression et de rassemblement pacifique. Ce code qualifie de rassemblement illégal tout rassemblement public et non armé « susceptible de troubler l’ordre public », cette définition étant trop vague et susceptible de donner lieu à des abus.
« La répression des manifestations viole de manière flagrante les droits à la liberté d’expression, d’association et de réunion pacifique. Les autorités de la Côte d’Ivoire doivent protéger, et non sanctionner, les dirigeant·e·s de l’opposition, les personnes dissidentes, les journalistes et les défenseur·e·s des droits humains », a déclaré Samira Daoud.

Complément d’information
Le 10 août, Alternative citoyenne ivoirienne (ACI) a informé le ministre de l’Administration du territoire et le ministre de la Sécurité de son intention d’organiser des manifestations dans plusieurs villes le 13 août, pour protester contre la décision du président Alassane Ouattara de briguer un troisième mandat. ACI a reçu un accusé de réception de la notification des manifestations prévues.

La veille des manifestations, le ministre de l’Administration du territoire et de la Décentralisation, Sidiki Diakité, a annoncé que ces manifestations n’étaient pas autorisées et il a déclaré que son ministère n’en avait pas été officiellement informé.

Amnesty International on Cote D’Ivoire: Police allow machete-wielding men to attack protesters 18 August 2020, 09:59 UTC

microbesCote D’Ivoire: Police allow machete-wielding men to attack protesters
18 August 2020, 09:59 UTC

According to exclusive testimony obtained by Amnesty International, police officers in Abidjan apparently allowed groups of men, some of whom were armed with machetes and heavy sticks, to attack protesters demonstrating against President Alassane Ouattara’s decision to run for a third term in office.

In a rare interview, a police officer who was on duty on 13 August in Yopougon district of Abidjan told Amnesty International said he was alarmed to hear his colleagues talk about how the armed men had “helped” police disperse protesters last week.

Two minivans (Gbakas) ferrying dozens of young men, some armed, were driven to two protest locations where the officer was present. At one location, a couple of men on a motorbike escorting the Gbakas approached the police officer-in-charge and after a brief conversation, the group of young men went into the neighbourhood unhindered and begun chasing after and dispersing protesters.

While we were trying to clear the roads, two Gbakas, one green and one yellow, full of young people, and a motorbike, arrived. Dozens of men, some of them armed with machetes and heavy sticks, got out from the vehicles.

Police officer
Our police source said within moments of the group of men entering the neighbourhood, one protester emerged with stab wounds saying he had been attacked by men on a motorbike.

The police officer said:
“We were sent to an area of the district of Yopougon where we found barricades and a few young people chanting slogans against the third mandate. They were not armed. We did not intervene since there were not enough police officers. While we were trying to clear the roads, two Gbakas, one green and one yellow, full of young people, and a motorbike, arrived. Dozens of men, some of them armed with machetes and heavy sticks, got out from the vehicles. They were more than the protesters. The two men on the motorbike approached our chief and then the group of men entered the neighbourhood and started chasing the protesters.”

Several videos posted on social media show a green Gbaka offloading the armed men, who then began to chase protesters in full view of police officers who watched passively without intervening.

The police officer told Amnesty International he had overheard other officers saying that armed men had ‘helped’ police disperse protestors in other parts of Abidjan.
We were shocked and understood that their presence was not coincidental. Someone was apparently informing them of the areas where security forces were intervening. This is a very dangerous step and I am really worried.

Police Officer
“We were shocked and understood that their presence was not coincidental. Someone was apparently informing them of the areas where security forces were intervening. This is a very dangerous step and I am really worried. This reminds me of two past crises where militias were sowing terror among the population,” he said.

Yesterday, at around 5:30 am, a witness told Amnesty International that as he left his house in the SIDECI area of Yopougon District, Carrefour SGBCI, he saw young, unarmed people had barricaded the road with tables. Shortly thereafter, a Peugeot 406, three other vehicles and a white Gbaka arrived ferrying dozens of men in plainclothes armed with machetes, knives and heavy sticks. These men got out of the vehicles and attacked the young people at the barricade. One of them was seriously wounded with a machete and was taken to Bethesda clinic. Police arrived shortly thereafter, found the armed men but did not arrest them.

The witness reported seeing more barricades in the Niangon Nord area of Yopougon. He also saw about seven motorbikes and three vehicles with men armed with machetes and sticks removing the barricades. The police were present but did nothing. When the police left, the armed men followed them in their motorbikes and vehicles.

The apparent collaboration of the police with groups of armed men, that are neither trained nor accountable, to manage protests is extremely worrying. It represents an alarming resurgence of the use of unofficial “law enforcement” agents in Cote D’Ivoire.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Director for West and Central Africa
“The apparent collaboration of the police with groups of armed men, that are neither trained nor accountable, to manage protests is extremely worrying. It represents an alarming resurgence of the use of unofficial “law enforcement” agents in Cote D’Ivoire, where we have previously documented multiple human rights abuses by armed men in civilian clothes,” and said Amnesty International’s Director for West and Central Africa, Samira Daoud.

“We call on the Ivorian authorities to immediately stop these armed groups of men from committing further crimes. The authorities must undertake a thorough, effective and impartial investigation into allegations of human rights abuses committed by these men, as well as the apparent police complicity. Those found responsible must be brought to justice in fair trials in ordinary civilian courts.”

Scores arrested
On 13 August, armed men also attacked another member of ACI in Anyama-Adjame, some 10km from Abidjan while he was protesting. The man was later arrested by the police for protesting and released.

On the same day, the police arrested five members of the opposition party, GPS, while on their way to a rallying point for protestors in Abidjan’s Cocody area. Four of them are detained at the Central Prison of Abidjan (MACA).

According to Cote D’Ivoire’s Minister of Security and Civil Protection, General Vagondo Diomande, about 70 people were arrested between 10 and 14 August for “disrupting public order, incitement to revolt, violence against law enforcement agents and destroying property”.

We call on the authorities to release any person arrested solely for expressing their political views, or for organizing and participating in peaceful protests.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Director for West and Central Africa
“We call on the authorities to release any person arrested solely for expressing their political views, or for organizing and participating in peaceful protests. The authorities must ensure that people are free to express their views without fear of reprisals,” said Samira Daoud.

The Minister also confirmed that five people had been killed in various parts of the country during the protests; three in Daoukro, one in Gagnoa and another in Bonoua, and more than 100 people, including ten police officers and two gendarmes, were injured.

Escalating crackdown
Since 2019, peaceful assemblies organised by civil society organizations and opposition groups have been regularly banned and dispersed with excessive force by the police and gendarmerie.

On 26 June 2019, the country adopted a new Criminal Code which further undermines the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The code deems as “unlawful assembly” any public and non-armed gathering “that may affect public order”, overly broad descriptions with high potential for abuse.

The crackdown on protests is a blatant violation of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The authorities in Cote D’Ivoire should be protecting, not punishing, opposition leaders, dissidents, journalists and human rights defenders.
Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s Director for West and Central Africa
“The crackdown on protests is a blatant violation of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The authorities in Cote D’Ivoire should be protecting, not punishing, opposition leaders, dissidents, journalists and human rights defenders,” said Samira Daoud.

Background
On the eve of the protests, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Sidiki Diakité, announced that the protests were not authorized and claimed that his ministry had not been formally notified.

And this is why all lives matter to me

 

The Colors of My World (by Martial Frindéthié, 1990)

The white and threatening stretch of sand
That rocks the dreams of the nomad’s land,
When by the fire he got his pipe lit,
we could hear him secretly whisper his love for it.

The black veil that falls at night,
Stage of ghosts with the decline of the light,
How many times in its shelters
grew the intimate embrace of two lovers?

My voice is hoarse, yet I feel no shame.
I will raise my voice in a song for the flame
Red and yellow that gathers the tribe
these nights when the drummers take pride.

There’s a smile here that I’ve seen there.
There are eyes there that I’ve seen here.
My song is black and red yellow and blond.
Ain’t they the colors of my world?

 

Across the Sea (by Martial Frindéthié, 1990)

Before blows the corrosive breeze of the sly rumors
And explode the eyes at the sight of horrors,
Before is shed the blood of those who have no more
And rises from the ruins, like acid mist, the wicked, victorious clamor,

Find across the sea a hand to hold.

Before becomes a fist the waving hand
and dies the smile and the mouth praises the gang,
Before kills the air that is meant to heal
And empty is the heart and hatred begins to fill,

Find across the street someone to love.

Coronavirus … et après, Martial Frindéthié

CORONAVIRUS-FEATURED
Personne, et surtout personne dans les rangs de l’élite gouvernante africaine, n’avait un seul instant imaginé qu’une pandémie de l’ampleur de celle que nous vivons aujourd’hui mettrait le monde à l’arrêt, fermerait les frontières internationales et confinerait près de 8 milliards d’humains chez eux, les contraignant à ne compter que sur eux-mêmes, sur leurs propres systèmes de santé, sur leurs propres systèmes éducatifs, sur leurs propres systèmes de prestations sociales, sur leurs propres systèmes alimentaires.

Après tout, la mondialisation tant carillonnée ne promettait-elle pas, à ceux qui pouvaient se l’offrir, une libre circulation des personnes, des capitaux, et des technologies ? N’était-ce pas sur cette prémisse que les élites gouvernantes africaines avaient compté pour gruger leurs peuples, préférant détourner vers leurs comptes privés dans des paradis fiscaux les deniers publics, plutôt que de les utiliser à construire des routes, à bâtir et équiper des hôpitaux, à ériger des écoles et à financer la recherche, en un mot, plutôt que de les utiliser à pourvoir leurs pays de structures et de services qui bénéficieraient au bien-être de tous ?

Aujourd’hui, alors que le COVID 19 nous maintient tous en place, gouvernants et gouvernés, et que chaque pays, vomissant commodément les doctrines de la mondialisation, « se cherche », comme on le dit en parlance ivoirienne, se bunkérisant dans un égocentrisme salvateur, aujourd’hui, alors que tous nous sommes contraints à chercher des solutions locales, à nous soigner ici plutôt que dans les hôpitaux de là-bas, à nous nourrir de ce qui se produit ici plutôt que de ce qui vient de là-bas, puisse cette pandémie qui restreint nos mouvements et nous demande de compter d’abord sur l’ici plutôt que le là-bas, nous inspirer à comprendre la nécessité première de développer l’ici, d’accroitre les adéquations de l’ici, de valoriser, de soutenir, de hisser et d’éduquer le capital humain de l’ici pour le bien-être de tous, gouvernants et gouvernés.

Puisse le Coronavirus nous vacciner contre la cupidité, l’égoïsme, la rapine, et les détournements de capitaux qui minent notre bien-être collectif. Puisse-t-il nous emmener à réellement repenser nos priorités, pour enfin introduire dans notre vision du monde une étincelle de vrai engagement au profit du développement national, local ; une étincelle qui nous infuse une compréhension de la mondialisation, non pas comme fuite de soi, non pas comme déni de soi pour un amour obsessionnel de l’autre, mais plutôt comme connaissance du là-bas, engagement avec le là-bas, pour une plus grande appréciation et un plus grand épanouissement de l’ici.

Jacqueville, la cité de la honte, M. Frindéthié

jacqueville

Le voyageur qui s’aventure sur le littoral alladian n’ira jamais s’imaginer que c’est de cette région que la Côte d’Ivoire tire ses plus grandes richesses : le gaz naturel et le pétrole. Malgré ses énormes ressources géologiques qui contribuent au développement tant carillonné de la Côte d’Ivoire, le littoral alladian est demeuré un assemblage mélancolique de campements oubliés, une succession de hameaux dépressifs isolés de toute croissance économique et sociale, un patrimoine neurasthénique qui a du mal à amorcer son élan vital. Et pour cause ? Le littoral alladian n’a pas de route.

Jacqueville, le chef-lieu de ces agglomérations primitives est une « cité de la honte ». Ses plages jonchées d’amas de détritus, ses ruelles prises d’assaut par des bœufs, des moutons, des cochons et des chiens errants, des garages anarchiques de plein air, et toute cette belle carte postale emballée dans un épais poudrage de cendre ocre qui colle à tout et pénètre tout, Jacqueville ne rappelle plus la propreté légendaire de l’alladian.

Lorsque l’on a fini les quelques kilomètres de bitume reliant la passerelle jetée par-dessus la lagune ébrié et qui tient lieu de « pont de Jacqueville » et le chaos que l’on nomme abusivement « la gare », en direction de Toukouzou, le voyageur peut faire ses adieux à la dernière balise qui lui rappelait encore la terre des hommes. Car à partir d’ici, ce n’est plus une route qu’il a devant lui. Ici, le voyageur entre en aventure, dans un paysage lunaire : cratère, cratère, cratère, qui vous broie les os et les amortisseurs. Poussière, poussière, poussière, collante et pernicieuse, qui vous rentre partout ; dans les yeux, dans les cheveux, dans la bouche, dans les poumons, dans la culotte ! C’est l’enfer !

Et si ce jour-là est tombée une petite pluie, ce sont des mares aux cochons que le voyageur devra affronter. Ici, l’on ne voyage pas pour le plaisir d’une villégiature. Ici, l’on voyage, parce que l’on en est obligé. Sur ce long cimetière outrageusement nommé « route », mieux vaut ne pas avoir à être médicalement évacué ; mieux vaut ne pas être enceinte. L’on y passerait de vie à trépas.

Et c’est entre les villages de Grand Jack et d’Adjué que le voyageur en a marre de ces excavations marécageuses ; que les amortisseurs ont trop geint ; que la colonne vertébrale à trop subi ; que l’insulte des pancartes plantées en plein milieu des villages, sur les aires de jeux des enfants, avertissant des pipelines de gaz naturel sous haute pression devient insupportable ; que la moquerie des feux follets des plateformes pétrolières au large de l’océan atlantique devient intolérable.

Mais qu’est-ce que le goudron ? Sinon les rejets du pétrole qui coule à flot sur le littoral alladian ? Un gouvernement a-t-il le droit d’être démissionnaire au point de refuser à un peuple même les déchets des richesses qu’il lui a siphonnées ? Les routes du littoral alladian ne méritent-elles pas une petite couche du goudron qui sort du pétrole extrait du terroir alladian ? Qui parle pour l’alladian ? Qui intercède pour l’alladian ? Personne !

Et c’est là que le voyageur alladian, excédé, gare sa mécanique sur le bas-côté de « la route » pour maudire le sort qui l’a si méchamment affublé de « leaders » aussi caducs, aussi égotistes, aussi très peu visionnaires, depuis Philippe Grégoire Yacé jusqu’à Henriette Dagri Diabaté, en passant par Beugré Joachim, l’actuel « maire » de Jacqueville ; des hommes et des femmes démagogues, affairistes, attentistes, nombrilistes, accrocheurs de médailles, spéculateurs en terrains villageois, mais sans vision, sans idées, sans perspectives pour leur région.

Jacqueville, je reviendrai à toi !

Martial Frindéthié

Cote d’Ivoire: From the Castration of Colonization to the Self-castration of Neocolonization

awful1

Neocolonization as it is unfolding today on the African continent, especially in Francophone Africa, and more precisely in Cote d’Ivoire, has the chilling effect of conjuring up a depressing level of psychosexual investment on the part of the African leader into a pleasure principle that reverses the trajectory of the Oedipus complex. It is my sense that after 50 years of struggle that have landed him beyond the three organization stages of the Oedipus Complex in the form of the resolution of the colonial encounter, the “child” of the “mirror stage”, faced with the rupture of the symbolic order or the real(ity) of the post-independence moment, refuses to take the risk of a shattered experience, and chooses instead, at the cost of self-castration, to relapse, not

into the imaginary, but even worse, into a fantasy of unity mediated through circumfession to “Mummy France.”

Vidéo-La face cachée du cacao ivoirien

Justice américaine contra ADM, Cargill et Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire : Comment dramane s’est fait prendre à son propre piège, M. Frindéthié (20 décembre 2016)

cacaoAu début des années 2000, à la veille de la rébellion de dramane et de soro, lorsque le désir de voir tomber le Président Gbagbo prit chez dramane une obsession maladive et que tout fut mis en œuvre pour souiller l’image de « la Côte d’Ivoire de Gbagbo » au plan international, un mystérieux article fut publié dans le New York Times, qui se révélera être une fiction bien concoctée.

En effet, un journaliste américain du nom de Michael Finkel, mandé par les « tombeurs de Gbagbo », inventa un « reportage » dans lequel un enfant fictif du nom de « Youssouf Malé » fut introduit à l’Amérique comme l’épitomé d’un commerce dégradable ayant cours sur les plantations ivoiriennes de café et de cacao : l’esclavage des enfants.

Quelques temps après, Michael Finkel fut démasqué par une ONG indépendante et finit par confesser que son reportage n’était en fait qu’un tissu de menteries. Michael Finkel fut chassé du New York Times et s’évanouit dans la disgrâce.

Pour la Côte d’Ivoire, cependant, la mal était fait.

Dans le contexte international, l’on parla de la Côte d’Ivoire comme le pays de l’esclavage des enfants, et du cacao ivoirien comme le « cacao de la honte ». dramane s’en frotta les mains. Son épouse et lui avaient investi d’énormes ressources pour attaquer « le cacao de Gbagbo » ; et ils avaient enfin atteint leur but. Gbagbo était devenu « infréquentable », et son cacao « immangeable ».

dramane s’était convaincu qu’une fois au pouvoir, il renverserait les tendances, réparerait ce qu’il avait gâté, et redonnerait au cacao ivoirien ses lettres de noblesse. Et comme tout ce que, mû par sa haine pour Gbagbo et pour tous ceux qui ne voulaient pas qu’il fût président parce qu’il était musulman et du Nord, dramane gâta, dramane ne put jamais refaire la réputation du cacao ivoirien.

dominique, son épouse, après avoir participé à véhiculer l’image d’une Côte d’Ivoire esclavagiste, s’époumona à remettre dans le seau l’eau versée, et finit par admettre son échec en décembre dernier, exhortant la communauté internationale à reconnaître qu’en Côte d’Ivoire, bien sûr il y a des cas isolés de trafic d’enfants, mais qu’en général, ces enfants que l’on nomme « esclaves » ne sont que des « écoliers » qui, après l’école, viennent observer leurs parents au travail, comme cela se fait dans toutes les sociétés humaines.

Ah ! Qu’il est facile de gâter, mais dur de réparer !

C’est en voulant salir ce qui n’était plus le cacao ivoirien, mais plutôt le « le cacao du Président Gbagbo » que dramane mit ADM, Cargill et Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire dans le pétrin. Pour les Américains, ces compagnies-là ont profité de l’esclavage des enfants en Côte d’Ivoire.

La mayonnaise dramane a pris, alors, allons jusqu’au bout. Et les contorsions de dramane pour faire accepter aux Américains une narrative contraire à celle qu’il s’évertua tant à leur vendre naguère n’y fit rien. Allons jusqu’au bout, semblent dire les Américains à dramane et à sa clique, et que les partisans de la thèse de l’esclavage des enfants dans les champs de cacao ivoiriens soient entendus à la barre.

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, n’acceptez pas les semences GN (génétiquement modifiées) que l’on vous distribue si « généreusement ». C’est le cadeau du « drug dealer » à ses victimes, M. Frindéthié (20 décembre 2014)

OGMIvoiriennes du vivriers, depuis des mois j’entends dire que « la bienfaitrice » d’Abidjan vous distribue gratuitement des semences. Cela peut paraître philanthropique, n’est-ce pas ? Mais un cœur qui a supporté l’embargo sur les médicaments, un cœur qui a soutenu, impassible, le massacre des Ivoiriens afin que son mari accède au pouvoir peut-il vraiment avoir des gestes désintéressés envers les Ivoiriens ? Un cœur qui a pillé et continue de piller les ressources ivoiriennes, et dont les aspirations les plus profondes ne sont motivées que par l’accumulation illégale de richesses peut-il vraiment être charitable ?

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, n’acceptez pas les semences génétiquement modifiées qui vous sont offertes par cette « démarcheuse de mort » sous le manteau de la charité. N’acceptez pas le premier cadeau du « dealer » de drogue. Ce qu’elle recherche vraiment, c’est de créer en vous une dépendance qui vous amarrera à jamais aux multinationales vendeuses de semences qui, à défaut d’avoir vos terres, ont juré d’avoir le contrôle entier de ce que vous y plantez et le contrôle du prix de ce que vous y plantez.

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, n’abandonnez pas vos semences biologiques que vous avez toujours replantées l’année d’après pour des semences qui ne se reproduisent pas. Les semences OGM (organismes génétiquement modifiés) ont ceci de particulier qu’elles ne se reproduisent pas et qu’il faut chaque année aller les acheter à la firme biotechnique qui les fabrique. Attention donc à ces distributions « généreuses » de la vendeuse de mort, qui en réalité ne sont que la dernière trouvaille pour vous dépouiller de vos terres.

Lorsque vous aurez abandonné vos semences biologiques qui ont ce grand avantage de se replanter chaque année, et lorsque vous vous serez accrochées à ces semences GN qui ne se reproduisent pas, lorsque vous aurez remplacé vos semences biologiques par ces semences qu’il faut acheter chaque année chez le spécialiste, et qui, en plus d’être génétiquement formulées, manipulées pour s’autodétruire après la première récolte, requièrent aussi une quantité immesurable d’engrais pour s’activer, alors vous serez à jamais intoxiquées. Vous serez, grâce à la « bienfaitrice » d’Abidjan, les junkies des compagnies semences pour lesquelles elle manœuvre.

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, méfiez-vous de ces semences que vous offre si « généreusement » la marchande de mort. Mais surtout, Ivoiriens et Ivoiriennes, éduquez-vous sur les OGM pour mieux éduquer vos parents planteurs sur les dangers de cette autre grande escroquerie.

La réconciliation, un nouveau virus? Deux hommes assoiffés de vertu? par Frederick Becket (2e partie)

bedie-gbagbo_0_0

Dans ce second volet de notre trilogie, notre réflexion se focalise sur deux hommes : les présidents BÉDIÉ et GBAGBO.

Nous avons précédemment expliqué ce qu’il fallait entendre par RÉCONCILIATION, ce virus qui semble toucher tous les Ivoiriens, et particulièrement la classe politique. C’est trop souvent que la classe politique se sert de la réconciliation comme d’un cache-sexe, pour voiler l’insigne nudité (nullité ?) ou la vacuité de sa pensée et son absence de vision en ces heures pourtant décisives de l’histoire de la Côte d’Ivoire.

Par contre, si par RÉCONCILIATION, on entend la réconciliation de chaque Ivoirien avec lui-même, alors les présidents GBAGBO et BÉDIÉ, comptent au nombre des rares Ivoiriens qui ont la capacité de la favoriser, d’y contribuer, de la faciliter, et finalement de la rendre possible.

Sur ces 2 hommes, tout a été dit.

De leurs faiblesses, de leurs reniements, de leurs trahisons, de leurs mensonges, de leur lâcheté, de leur égoïsme, et de bien d’autres choses encore dont ils doivent avoir honte.

Mais aussi, de leur courage, de leur détermination, de leur lucidité, de leur engagement, de leur intégrité, de leur générosité, et de bien d’autres choses encore dont ils peuvent être fiers.

Ils ont déchaîné toutes les passions, des plus sincères aux plus malsaines.

Et, aujourd’hui, encore et toujours, ils continuent d’enflammer l’esprit de leurs contemporains. Il suffit de se rendre sur la toile, et de suivre ce qui se dit d’eux à travers les réseaux sociaux, pour s’en convaincre.

Par-delà les injures les plus obscènes que profèrent des milliers de malades mentaux qui ont (malheureusement) accès à certains médias, toutes les supputations convergent vers un point ultime : ces deux hommes sont-ils des « hommes du passé » que leurs turpitudes ont définitivement condamnés, appartiennent-ils à une génération incapable d’appréhender les enjeux actuels ? Faut-il les reléguer aux oubliettes de l’histoire ? Ou bien ont-ils encore un avenir ?

Alors que se précise, chaque jour davantage, une élection présidentielle dont l’enjeu est de jeter bas un pouvoir qui, 10 ans durant, s’est livré à la plus effroyable, la plus inhumaine de toutes les prédations sous la conduite d’un homme entré en politique par effraction, il faut s’interroger sur la santé morale de nos concitoyens.

Avec quels électeurs cette élection se fera-t-elle ?

Faute d’hommes de vertu pour porter leurs aspirations, les élections se tiendront avec une population qui n’a plus foi en rien.

Une population désemparée.

Une population abusée et désabusée. Désabusée parce que trop longtemps abusée.

Une population qui a ou baissé les bras, ou décidé, pour sa survie, de s’investir dans l’insincère apologie d’un régime auquel elle ne croit pas ; tel un Venance Konan, prototype du journaliste « démocrate » à l’africaine, qui aujourd’hui encense l’actuel locataire de la Présidence, dont hier seulement il disait ceci: « Pourquoi les Ivoiriens doivent-ils prendre le risque de confier leur destin à « mossi dramane », un homme dont le patriotisme n’est pas exclusivement ivoirien … un aventurier dont le patriotisme fluctue au gré de ses intérêts … un homme dont le nationalisme varie selon l’air du temps ? »

Pauvres ivoiriens ! Quels outrages, quelles mascarades n’ont-ils pas subis ?!

Et comme on comprend leurs désillusions et leur défaitisme…

Alors, que doivent faire les présidents BÉDIÉ et GBAGBO en cet instant précis ?

Faire preuve de courage et de vertu.

Pour être un homme vertueux, il faut :

– être convaincu qu’il n’existe pas d’homme providentiel ;
– être convaincu qu’une élection ne se remporte pas dans l’attachement hystérique à un homme mais par l’adhésion raisonnée aux valeurs qu’il défend ;
– être convaincu que les ivoiriens ne sont plus dupes et n’attendent plus de sauveurs ; ceux du passé leur ont laissé un goût bien trop amer.

Le Président Gbagbo, en particulier, doit être convaincu que son retour n’entraînera pas nécessairement de raz-de-marée susceptible de le porter au pouvoir, comme la lampe magique d’ALADIN transporte ce dernier sur des nuages blancs !

La violence du combat qui s’annonce ne doit plus laisser le moindre doute sur les comportements, les attitudes et les principes qui doivent prévaloir.

Chacun de ces deux hommes doit renoncer à lui-même.

L’heure n’est plus aux calculs d’états-majors, aux décomptes mesquins de ce que l’on perd et de ce que l’on gagne en s’alliant avec l’autre.

De toute façon, on perdra tout si on ne s’allie pas dans la transparence et la vérité.

L’heure n’est plus aux combines d’arrière-boutiques, à ces petits complots politiciens qui font les délices des militants à courte vue.

L’heure n’est pas à se demander lequel de BÉDIÉ ou de GABGO doit être la figure de proue, et à imaginer les stratégies pour imposer son champion.

L’heure n’est plus aux bases supputations, aux tactiques aussi tortueuses que perverses.

L’heure est à la transparence et à la vérité.

Voici venir l’heure des hommes vertueux, des hommes qui regardent leurs peuples dans les yeux, des hommes qui disent ce qu’ils font et font ce qu’ils disent.

L’heure est à la vertu.

Car de la vertu naît la confiance.

Les Ivoiriens ont soif de pouvoir accorder leur confiance à ces 2 hommes qui hier encore usaient de stratagèmes inavouables pour se duper l’un l’autre.

C’est justement parce qu’ils ont tant pêché, qu’ils se sont tant trompés, qu’un sursaut moral venant d’eux sera le premier indice, même s’il est faible et peut paraître dérisoire, d’une nation en train de se relever enfin, de se construire et de construire son identité nouvelle.

Les Ivoiriens doivent être convaincus que les motifs qui conduisent à l’alliance qu’on leur laisse entrevoir ont été murement réfléchis, soupesés, et finalement retenus.

La vertu dont ils feront preuve convaincra les ivoiriens que les « hommes du passé » se sont rachetés et qu’ils peuvent, dés lors, porter légitimement le combat collectif.

Il ne leur reste plus qu’à s’avancer, dés à présent, sous les projecteurs, et annoncer à la face du monde que, renonçant à toute manœuvre et à tout calcul, ils se portent garants de l’alliance nécessaire de leurs formations politiques, alliance fondée sur la vertu et la vérité.

Et que, pour cet ultime combat, l’ultime combat de leur vie, ils sauront se transcender.

Voici ce que disait KWAMÉ N’KRUMAH de l’africain vertueux, l’africain nouveau :

« L’Afrique a besoin d’un nouveau type de citoyen, dévoué, modeste, honnête et bien informé, qui renonce à lui-même pour servir la nation et l’humanité, qui ait la convoitise en horreur et déteste la vanité. Un homme nouveau, dont la force soit l’humilité, la grandeur, l’intégrité ».

Les Ivoiriens sont en quête d’hommes vertueux.

Puissent les Présidents BÉDIÉ et GBAGBO être des hommes assoiffés de vertu !

(à suivre)

La Réconciliation, un nouveau virus ? Réconciliation, Considération et Vérité, par Frederick Becket (1ère partie)

Gbagbo-BedieDepuis quelques temps, le même mot est sur toutes les lèvres. Dans la rue, les salons privés, les lieux publics ; il court d’un bout à l’autre de l’échiquier politique…
C’est le cas de le dire, tout le monde semble s’être donné le mot !!!
Et ce mot est : « réconciliation ».
La rapidité avec laquelle il se propage prend l’allure d’une épidémie.
Faudra-t-il bientôt que l’OMS déclare une nouvelle épidémie hémorragique en Afrique ? Et la Côte d’Ivoire épicentre de cette zone épidémique ?
Ainsi, les Ivoiriens auraient besoin de se réconcilier ?!
Chacun semble s’accorder sur ce constat.
Réconcilier dites-vous ?
Mais avec qui ?
Avec qui l’Ivoirien devrait-il se réconcilier ?
Si j’ai succombé, moi aussi, à cette épidémie, c’est non parce qu’elle est contagieuse, mais parce que je partage également la conviction que l’Ivoirien a besoin de se réconcilier.
Mais, se réconcilier d’abord avec lui-même.
Meurtris par 20 ans d’une tragédie politique qui n’en finit pas, les Ivoiriens ne croient plus en rien.
Déchirés, ils ont assisté à la partition de leur pays, et ont le sentiment que cette partition persiste de bien des manières.
Humiliés, ils ont dû courber l’échine devant l’invasion des hordes barbares qui ont déferlé de l’étranger.
Désemparés, ils ont cherché en vain les moyens de retrouver une unité politique, morale et culturelle qui les fuit depuis 20 ans… ou depuis toujours.
Désabusés, ils ont constaté l’incapacité de la classe politique à répondre aux attentes les plus élémentaires des citoyens.
Il se sentent déconsidérés.
Comment ne pas l’être lorsque l’on constate que les jeux politiciens tiennent lieu de projet politique ?
Comment ne pas l’être lorsque les combines prédatrices sont présentées comme des programmes économiques novateurs ?
Ils ont fini par se lasser des hommes politiques dont le discours, toujours le même, leur promet le paradis, pour finalement leur offrir la misère et le désespoir.
Ils se sentent trahis.
Tellement floués, bernés, déconsidérés, qu’ils sont aujourd’hui totalement démobilisés.
Croire que la providence est capable de produire un raz-de-marée populaire si puissant qu’il en sortira une société nouvelle est une illusion infantile.
C’est croire aux vertus bénéfiques d’un emplâtre sur une jambe de bois.
Aujourd’hui, rien ne peut remplacer la nécessité d’une vaste entreprise de ré-armement moral et politique. Rien n’est plus urgent que l’impératif de formation, d’éducation et de sensibilisation auquel nous faisons face.
Les Ivoiriens sont tellement démobilisés qu’ils renoncent à leurs droits les plus élémentaires.
La meilleure preuve est le taux d’abstention aux élections qui se sont tenues ces dernières années.
Les électeurs inscrits n’ont pas voté. Ils n’ont pas ressenti la nécessité d’un acte dont le sens et les fins ultimes leur échappaient.
Ils n’ont pas ressenti la nécessité d’accomplir un devoir, que par ailleurs l’on dit citoyen, pour désigner des représentants dont la qualité première est l’incivisme.
Des étrangers, payés à cette fin, l’ont fait à leur place.
À force donc d’avoir été floués, trahis, trompés, les Ivoiriens se sentent déconsidérés.
Une déconsidération dont la conséquence la plus malheureuse est la perte de confiance en soi.
Au moment où les présidents BÉDIÉ et GBAGBO prennent une nouvelle initiative politique, il est important qu’ils mesurent le formidable défi auquel ils font face : redonner à chaque Ivoirien une raison de croire d’abord en lui-même et en ses capacités personnelles d’influencer le cours de la vie.
La seule façon d’y parvenir est de le traiter avec considération, comme un citoyen adulte.
Un citoyen doué de raison devant lequel on est redevable des engagements que l’on prend.
Pas comme un électeur que l’on cherche à manipuler de mille et une façons, afin de lui extorquer un vote favorable.
De cette considération nouvelle naîtront la confiance et l’engagement. De cette considération naîtront des volontés et de fermes résolutions, faites pour durer, et que l’on entretiendra grâce à une saine pédagogie de l’action politique.
À ce moment précis de l’histoire de leur pays, les présidents BÉDIÉ et GBAGBO sont face à eux-mêmes.
Irrémédiablement seuls face à eux-mêmes et à leur vérité intime.
C’est d’eux notamment que dépend le ré-armement moral et politique, condition essentielle du succès des luttes politiques à venir.
Ils ont aujourd’hui le pouvoir de réconcilier chaque Ivoirien avec lui-même, créant ainsi la condition première d’une réconciliation nationale construite autour d’une identité commune, d’un dessein et destin communs.
S’ils saisissent cette formidable opportunité et sont capables de construire, dans la VÉRITÉ et la TRANSPARENCE , une alliance reposant sur des fondations forgées dans un esprit de sacrifices et de compromis mutuels, sur des bases mutuellement et sincèrement consenties, tous les succès sont possibles.

Enfin traités avec respect et considération, les Ivoiriens s’engageront et renonceront au défaitisme.
Une fois ce postulat rempli, le premier aspect à étudier est celui de la méthode, méthode à travers laquelle sera construite cette alliance afin d’en faire une alliance VRAIE et DURABLE, que les Ivoiriens regarderont avec CONSIDÉRATION, comme la preuve du respect dans lequel les hommes politiques les tiennent désormais.
Si, comme par le passé, l’initiative des 2 présidents se borne à un « coup politique », chacun cherchant secrètement à duper l’autre, un « coup politique » reposant sur de faux-semblants, de faux-calculs, et des arrière-pensées inavouables, le précipice s’ouvrira sous nos pieds.
Si ces deux hommes sombrent face au poids de l’histoire, nous sombrerons avec eux, et ce pays connaîtra le plus terrible de tous les naufrages.
De toutes nos forces, nous voulons croire qu’ils s’élèveront à la hauteur du destin qui est désormais le leur… à suivre

DJ ARAFAT EST MORT PARCE QU’ON NE LUI A PAS RETIRÉ SON PERMIS DE CONDUIRE ET SA MOTO ! (Franklin Nyamsi)

 

ICC Chief Prosecutor Accused of Crimes Against Humanity

 

Fatou Bensouda, ICC chief prosecutor, was minister of justice of Gambian dictator Yaya Jammeh of Gambia. Talk about credibility!

By Omar Bah
Criminal lawyer Carlos Ramirez Lopez and Walter Marquez, retired deputy to the National Assembly of Venezuela and president of El Amparo Foundation, have lodged a formal complaint against the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda.
The two submitted their complaints before the head of Independent Oversight Mechanism (IOM) of the ICC, Saklaine Hedaraly, seeking Bensouda’s suspension after they claim to have analyzed and consigned evidence that accuses the official as a serious human rights violator in The Gambia.
“In accordance with paragraph 1, article 46 of the Rome Statute, relating to the functioning of the ICC, in accordance with Rule 24 paragraph 1 section a.ii, of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, we file this complaint against the Chief Prosecutor, for gross negligence in the exercise of her duties, for concealing information or circumstances of a sufficiently serious nature to have precluded her from holding office, and for having committed serious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity before her official functions, which are of a grave nature that causes damage to the standing of the Court,” Marquez explained.
The complainants Ramírez and Márquez said that Bensouda participated in personal and direct actions that violate human rights as well as crimes against humanity committed against citizens of The Gambia, during the military dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh, between 1994 and 2002, to whom she served in various positions of the judicial repression apparatus of the regime as Prosecutor, Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
They indicated that on July 11, 2019, the JusticeInfo.Net media of the Hirondelle Foundation published a report under the signature of journalists Thierry Cruvelier and Mustapha K. Darboe, a citizen of Gambia, who included a chapter entitled “Will Fatou Bensouda face the Truth Commission in Gambia?” , in which they certify that several citizens of that country, including Batch Samba Jallow and Sainey Faye declared before the Commission that Fatou Bensouda personally participated in the serious human rights violations committed by the military regime.
The report notes that Bensouda joined the cruel dictatorship of this country in 1994, where multiple and serious human rights violations were committed through systematic practices of acts of torture, fabrication of evidence, illegal detentions, enforced disappearances and deaths in custody, and adds that the current ICC prosecutor only stopped participating in those criminal acts when in 2002 she was hired to work in the International Criminal Court for Rwanda, and then in 2004 when she was appointed Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court .
Carlos Ramirez Lopez and Walter Marquez pointed out that the Rome Statute in its article 42.3 requires that the Prosecutor must have a “high moral consideration”, and the actions of Fatou Bensouda, are contrary to ethics and moral force that should guide this official position.
Read more on…https://standard.gm/lawyers-seek-icc-prosecutors-suspension/

Africa’s Biggest Challenge Today is to Grow out of its Slave Mentality, M. Frindéthié (12/29/2010)

Africa’s biggest challenge today is to grow out of its slave mentality, and to grow veritably, in spite of the sabotaging acts of the nostalgic former colonizers assisted by their swarm of self-destructive native informants. This challenge is significant, as it amounts to displacing the frame of reference that informs the judgments of the African elites. Colonization was not just about draining off wealth from Africa; it was also about physically beating the African in the fields and on the worksites, and mentally beating his brain to pulp in the colonial schools and churches in order to outfit him for the maintenance and perpetuation of the ideology of Western dominance. This enterprise of alienation worked so successfully that the first leaders of the newly independent African countries—many of whom are still in power today through their progeny—govern their nations in the interest of the former colonizers. Whenever the Western frame of reference has been challenged by a few farsighted nationalists, whenever these nationalists have rallied enough support to imperil the Western influence on their countries, they have been simply eliminated by native hit men on the payroll of the rapacious Western interests, when their programs have not been sabotaged and their countries literally sacked and set on fire to confirm the propagated notion by a racist and self-centered West of the inability of blacks to govern themselves. Despite the danger of obliteration, a few audacious African intellectuals have not hesitated to challenge the presumed natural center of savage capitalism with its implied hegemonic agenda.

An they are right, for in spite declarations to the contrary, the presumed center is not the necessary center. The presumed center is inherently contradictory insofar as it has failed to uphold the very values upon which rests its assumed centrality. On the matters of freedom, equality, good governance, accountability, and above all, on the matter of democracy, the presumed center has demonstrated its imposture.

            It is understandable that foreign investors should seek to draw maximum profits from their investments in Africa. On the other hand, it should also be expected that African states would demand the maximum earnings for the exploitation of their resources by foreign multinationals. These two positions are not irreconcilable, and they should constitute the foundations upon which foreign investors and African governments conduct their negotiations. However, when multinational corporations from Western countries operate in Africa, they tend to bully African states to submission through economic blackmailing and threats of military invasions; for indeed, 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. Western multinational corporations have often blindfolded, gagged, and tortured African leaders in the dungeons of Western jouissance. Though, for some inexplicable reasons, most African leaders seem to have enjoyed their servitude, their unexpected proclivities have been depressing for the African masses. For the welfare of the people they are accountable to, African governments ought to get out of their losing rapport with the West.

This can only happen if African nations first place themselves in propitious conditions for rejecting Western countries’ poisoned gifts of aid and loans. African states have to develop their own investment funds and enfranchise themselves from the abusive and exploitative “friendship” that they have maintained with the core states. African states should make it their mid-term objective to leave the Bretton Woods institutions, these rapacious organizations that prosper by cultivating misery in Africa. To enfranchise themselves from the usurers that the World Bank and the IMF are, African states, along with other developing countries, should agree to apportion a small part of their annual commodity export revenues to a collective development account from which member states could be loaned money for their development projects. Such an account could also help member states establish strong credit for getting loans, no longer from the core states, which have given enough proof of their insincerity, but this time from such transitional states as China. This idea is not novel. President Gbagbo from Côte d’Ivoire is an indefatigable herald for the creation of what he calls Fonds de Garantie et de Souveraineté, which is essentially the same concept.

Ce que pense vraiment Venance Konan de dramane wattra: Morceaux choisis

Venance KonanVenance Konan, cet écrivaillon du ventre, a bien la plume bavarde ces derniers jours. Et si nous revisitions tel quel son gribouillage d’il y a quelques années ? Peut-être que cela nous aiderait un peu à pénétrer les effluves épais qui enfument sa cervelle pour découvrir l’essence de ce qu’il est vraiment.

IVOIRIENS ET LEUR IVOIRITE  (Vendredi 13 Février 1998 )

De nombreuses personnes, souvent très proches du PDCI disent que ce qui les gènes dans ce code électoral en discussion en ce moment est qu’il semble dirigé contre Monsieur Alassane Ouattara. Les gens du PDCI s’en défendent. Pour ma part, je pense que si ce code électoral était dirigé contre Monsieur Alassane Ouattara ce serait une très bonne chose.

Pourquoi ne dit-on pas que ce code électoral est dirigé contre Monsieur Gbagbo Laurent (qui lui a déjà déclaré qu’il sera candidat à a Présidence et affirme avoir le plus grand parti de Côte d’Ivoire) ou Monsieur WODIE, ou Monsieur Gueu Dro, ou moi ? Pourquoi seulement Alassane Ouattara alors qu’il n’a jamais dit qu’il briguera la présidence de la république de la Côte d’Ivoire, c’est parce que ceux qui le soutiennent et ceux qui le soutienne et ceux qui ne le soutiennent pas savent qu’il est celui qui a un problème de nationalité. Alassane Ouattara affirme être un ivoirien. C’est sans doute vrai. Mais il est un fait qu’à une certaine période de sa vie, il porta la nationalité du Burkina Faso actuel. Fut-il d’abord ivoirien, puis burkinabé avant de redevenir ivoiriens ? Est-ce parce que l’un de ses parents était burkinabè, si c’est le cas, nous constatons simplement qu’il eut des liens et des sentiments très forts avec ce pays pour s’en réclamer ressortissant. Pourquoi les ivoiriens doivent-ils prendre le risque de confier leur destin à un homme dont le patriotisme n’est pas exclusivement ivoirien ? Au nom de quel principe ?

A-t-il pris la nationalité burkinabé simplement parce que ça lui permettait d’entrer au FMI et à la BCEAO ?, si c’est le cas c’est un aventurier dont le patriotisme fluctue au gré de ses intérêts. Pourquoi les ivoiriens devraient-ils prendre le risque de confier leur destin à un homme dont le nationalisme varie selon l’air du temps ? Au nom de quel principe ?

Gbagbo Laurent et Djeny Kobina disent que cette loi est raciste, xénophobe etc que tous ceux qui ont la nationalité ivoirienne même s’ils ont été naturalisés hier doivent être candidats à la Présidence. Ignorons-nous que de nombreux ivoiriens vivant en France font tout aujourd’hui pour avoir la nationalité française afin d’échapper aux foudres de la police de Pasqua, ceux-là seront-ils fondés à briguer un jour la présidence française ? Ignorons-nous que de nombreux Guinéens, burkinabè, Maliens, Camerounais, Zaïrois, Nigérians font tout pour avoir la nationalité ivoirienne pour aller travailler dans des organismes internationaux, pour entrer en Europe (parce que s’ils disent leur vraie nationalité ils sont aussitôt suspects) ou pour venir vivre et travailler chez nous, combien de fois ivoir’soir n’a-t-il pas parlé des trafics de fausses pièces d’identité,

Est-ce d’être raciste et xénophobe que de prendre un minimum de précautions pour que notre pays ne tombe pas aux mains d’aventuriers, est-ce aller trop long que d’exiger que le père et la mère au moins soient ivoiriens pour être sûr que celui qui dirigera notre pays n’aura pas un coeur qui balance ailleurs, les ivoiriens savent-ils qu’ailleurs on exige que les parents eux-mêmes soient de père et mère nationaux pour briguer la présidence. On a aussi beaucoup commenté la disposition qui dit qu’il faut avoir résidé de façon continue en Côte d’Ivoire pendant les cinq années qui précèdent la date des élections, pour déduire qu’elle vise Alassane Ouattara. On a oublié de lire le paragraphe suivant qui dit que cette disposition ne s’applique pas aux ivoiriens choisis par l’Etat de Côte d’Ivoire pour servir dans des organisations internationales. Rappelons que lorsque Monsieur Alassane Ouattara allait au FMI, le gouvernement avait dit que c’était lui qui l’avait choisi. Et c’était ceux qui le supportent aujourd’hui, à savoir Gbagbo Laurent et Djeny Kobina, qui disaient que c’étaient faux, qu’il y était par ses propres mérites. Qui dit vrai aujourd’hui ? S’il y a été envoyé par la Côte d’Ivoire il est évident qu’il n’est pas visé par cette disposition. Donc où est le problème, s’il a décidé tout seul aller se mettre au service du FMI ? Pourquoi cela nous sera-t-il opposable aujourd’hui ?

Pourquoi le candidat doit-il avoir résidé au moins 5 ans dans le pays avant les élections, ceux qui ont suivi les dernières élections en Pologne ont la réponse. Vous vous en souvenez, un polonais qui avait vécu toute sa vie au canada a débarqué et s’est présenté à la candidature. Il a distribué des millions, promis la lune aux polonais et a mis Lech Walesa en ballotage après avoir battu le Premier Ministre Tadeuz Mazowiescki. Il s’en est fallu de peu qu’il ne devienne Président. Et l’on s’est rendu compte après qu’il n’était qu’un escroc. Il a disparu de la circulation après. La Côte d’Ivoire peut-elle se permettre de prendre un tel risque, Je pense que nous devons arrêter de voir Bédié, Alassane ou Gbagbo dans cette affaire de code électoral. Nous devons arrêter de voir nos ethnies, nos régions et nos religions dans cette affaire. Nous ne devons voir que la Côte d’Ivoire. La nôtre, celle de nos enfants, de nos petits-enfants, de nos arrière-petits-enfants. La Côte d’Ivoire éternelle. Si nous confions notre pays à des mains peu sûres et qu’il se brise, il n’y aura aucune ethnie ou religion qui sera épargnée. Et c’est aujourd’hui que nous devons poser les règles de cette Côte d’Ivoire que nous voulons solide. Et je crois que nous devons aujourd’hui remercier Alassane Ouattara de nous avoir permis d’ouvrir les yeux sur notre réalité, notre ivoirité. Pendant longtemps nous avons tous baigné dans un certain laxisme, nous avons tous fermé les yeux, et tout le monde a fait ce qu’il voulait dans notre pays. Aujourd’hui nous ouvrons les yeux et nous constatons que notre pays a au moins 40% d’étrangers, que notre économie ne nous appartient plus, que des assassins libériens font la loi dans l’Ouest de notre pays et que si nous n’y prenons garde nous confierons notre pays à quelqu’un qui n’est pas ivoirien ou pas suffisamment pour souffrir ou mourir avec lui. Et Messieurs Gbagbo et Kobina veulent que nous continuions dans cette voie dangereuse, au mon de quel principe ?

Nous sommes panafricanistes. Nous sommes fermement convaincus que l’intégration est notre voie de salut. Mais l’intégration suppose que nous marchions tous du même pas. Toutes nos boutiques sont tenues par des Mauritaniens. Allez essayer d’ouvrir une boutique en Mauritanie. Ou au Nigeria. Ou au Ghana. Essayer d’aller au Gabon sans visa. L’intégration suppose que tous les pays candidats à cette intégration se fixent des règles communes et des objectifs à atteindre et que tout le monde respecte ces règles. Mais on ne peut pas demander à l’un de perdre son identité au profit des autres.

Alors ce code électoral vise Alassane Ouattara, Oui, et alors, il n’est pas le seul. Mais il y a aussi des millions d’ivoiriens de souche, de père et de mère et arrière grands-parents ivoiriens, qui n’ont jamais renoncé à leur nationalité et qui ont consacré toute leur vie à bâtir ce pays. Pourquoi ne parle-t-on pas de ceux-là ?

On dit aussi qu’Alassane Ouattara fut Premier Ministre. Et que cela lui donne une légitimité pour briguer la présidence. D’abord il n’a pas été élu Premier Ministre. Et le débat actuel porte sur la présidence. Et, rappelons-le-encore, ceux qui le combattirent le plus violemment parce qu’il était Burkinabè. Mais tout ça c’était une autre époque. Celle où les ivoiriens toléraient beaucoup de choses. Il y en a une autre qui commence où les ivoiriens veulent conduire eux-mêmes leurs affaires.

Venance KONAN Fraternité Matin / Vendredi 13 Février 1998

QUE RECHERCHE LE RDR ? (Vendredi 20 Mars 1998)

A Odienné le RDR est chez lui. C’est « son territoire ». Ne dit-on pas que la mère de leur gourou vient de là-bas, dans un village qui est la frontière avec la Guinée, N’est-ce pas dans la région d’Odienné que le RDR a eu plus de voix ? Alors la région d’Odienné est son “territoire” Aussi lorsque la première dame de Côte d’Ivoire veut se rendre à Odienné, le RDR considère cela comme une violation de domicile, un casus belli ; Il ne peut l’accepter. Madame Henriette Konan BEDIE n’est-elle pas l’épouse de Monsieur Henri Konan BEDIE ? Leur ennemi, celui qui a ravi la place qui, selon eux, devait revenir à leur “Bravetchê” au nom d’on ne sait qu’elle constitution ou loi de quel pays ? Pour ce qui nous concerne en côte d’ivoire, tous les ivoiriens savent qu’en 1993, la constitution prévoyait qu’en cas de décès du Président de la République, le Président de l’Assemblée Nationale lui succèderait aussitôt.

Puisqu’ils ne peuvent empêcher Madame la Présidente de se rendre à Odienné qui est sur le territoire ivoirien, l’ineffable Mamadou Ben Soumahoro et ses comparses ont tenté, par des formules alambiquées de faire échouer cette visite. Las ! La population d’Odienné est sortie massivement pour accueillir la Dame au grand cœur. Parce que cette population savait que Madame BEDIE était venue pou la servir, comme elle le fait à travers tout le pays. Même l’envoyé spécial d’un journal proche du RDR a dû, à son corps défendant, reconnaître que la visite de Madame La Présidente avait été un succès populaire. On ne peut pas cacher la forêt avec la main. Mais le Député-maire d’Odienné, sans craindre le ridicule a tenu à dire qu’il était là. C’est comme il lui plaît. La population d’Odienné, celle que Madame BEDIE était partie rencontrer était bien présente et c’est là l’essentiel.

Mais tout ceci nous amène à nous interroger sur les objectifs de ce parti appelé RDR. On se souvient tous des propos invitant à la haine tribale tenus par Djeni Kobina lors de sa récente tournée à travers notre pays. Des propos que l’on ne saurait tenir dans un autre pays, au Ghana par exemple, sans se retrouver en prison. On se souvient aussi des propos de Mamadou Ben Soumahoro qui demandait carrément que les Baoulé soient confinés dans leur terroir d’origine. C’est à peine s’il n’a pas demandé que l’on leur interdise de se déplacer sur le territoire ivoirien. On se souvient encore de tous les efforts du RDR pour faire croire à une partie des ivoiriens qu’ils étaient des martyrs. Que veut le RDR à la Côte d’Ivoire ? Au fond, le tort de la Côte d’Ivoire est d’avoir confié de hautes responsabilités à un travailleur immigré du nom d’Alassane Ouattara. Parce que feu Houphouët Boigny, vers la fin de sa vie a nommé Premier Ministre un homme dont la nationalité voltaïque a parfaitement été établie, certaines personnes veulent aujourd’hui que cet homme devienne le Président de la côte d’ivoire. Parce qu’il n’y a pas d’ivoiriens dignes de diriger la Côte d’Ivoire ? Nous voulons bien comprendre que certaines personnes qui ont bénéficié de substantiels avantages au temps d’Alassane Ouattara le regrettent aujourd’hui. Mais les ivoiriens ne peuvent accepter que ces personnes là tente de les diviser et mettent en péril leur pays.

Les Ivoiriens qui n’ont pas la mémoire si courte se souviennent encore des moments difficiles qu’ils ont vécus sous l’ère Alassane Ouattara. Ceux qui le suivent aveuglement aujourd’hui doivent se demander objectivement ce que cet homme a apporté à ce pays et ce qu’il pourrait lui apporter si nous le lui confions de nouveau. Monsieur Ben Soumahoro qui l’insultait dans les journaux savait bien ce qu’il lui reprochait. Aujourd’hui qu’il a retourné son boubou pour devenir son sofa, il pourrait peut-être nous expliquer son programme ?

Depuis 1994, la Côte d’Ivoire a renoué avec la croissance. Les populations en attendent légitimement les retombées. Elles ont commencé à les toucher à travers les routes, les écoles que l’on construit partout dans le pays, les village que l’on électrifie chaque jour, la valorisation du prix des matières premières, les enfant que l’on vaccine contre la polio, etc. les populations attentent plus. C’est légitime.

Mais, comme nous le répète inlassablement le Président Henri Konan BEDIE, pour avoir ce plus il nous faut faire preuve de rigueur, de persévérance dans le travail et il nous faut surtout maintenir la cohésion nationale. C’est pour cela que nous ne pouvons accepter les actions des dirigeants du RDR qui ne rêvent que de voir ce pays déchiré, ensanglanté. Parce qu’ils croient que leur « Bravetchê » pourrait profiter de ce chaos.

Aujourd’hui la Banque Mondiale et le FMI viennent de nous accorder 1200 milliard de francs. Quant de telles institutions débloquent une telle somme en faveur d’un pays, cela signifie qu’elles font confiance à ses dirigeants et à leur bonne gouvernance. Nous ivoiriens devons nous montrer digne de cette confiance en continuant dans l’effort et en refusant que des étrangers sabotent les actions menées par nos dirigeant pour notre bien-être.

Y a-t-il un ivoirien qui parcourt le Ghana ou le Burkina en insultant leurs dirigeant et en suscitant la haine tribale ?

Revenons à la réalité. On les a trop longtemps menés en bateau. Et beaucoup d’entre eux ont gâché leur vie pour rien. La réalité est que le RDR ne mène nulle part. Un petit groupe de personnes entretiennent des frustrations artificielles chez des milliers d’ivoiriens pour se faire une place au soleil. C’est tout. Djéni avait espéré entrer au gouvernement grâce au RDR. Il est furieux que ce soit Adama Coulibaly qui ait été choisi. Les tribulations de Djeni Kobina Jackson lors des dernières élections législatives montrent bien qu’il n’a aucune assise dans ce pays et que de ce fait, le suivre, c’est foncer dans le vide. N’avait-il pas promis aller à Korhogo pour « dire la vérité » aux populations sur l’entrée d’Adama Coulibaly au gouvernement ? Pourquoi ne l’a-t-il pas fait ? Parce qu’il a compris que la population de Korhogo préférait suivre un de ses fils, qui est enraciné dans sa culture plutôt qu’un aventurier qui a tout le mal du monde pour dire simplement le nom de son village. Pourquoi des ivoiriens qui aimaient leur pays et sont fiers d’être ivoiriens, suivraient-ils un autre aventurier qui ne peut indiquer le village de son père, qui change de nationalité au grès de ses intérêts et qui ne montre aucun intérêt pour les problèmes des ivoiriens ? Si ADO veut croire que l’on peut faire de la politique par procuration et si Djéni veut attendre qu’un messie vienne réaliser son destin, laissons-les à leurs illusions. Mais il est temps que les ivoiriens comprennent que eux, n’ont pas deux pays et que s’ils laissent quelqu’un d’autre venir détruire celui qu’ils ont en y semant la haine, en montant des populations contre d’autres, ils seront les seuls à s’en mordre les doigts.

Venance Konan Fraternité Matin/Vendredi 20 Mars 1998

« OU EST TON VILLAGE ? » (30 Avril 1999)

Il y a quelque chose de pathétique dans les constantes références de Djéni Kobina à Alassane Dramane Ouattara. Surtout après l’entrée de Monsieur Adama Coulibaly au gouvernement. A l’entendre, ce qui lui a le plus fait mal, ce n’est pas qu’il n’ait pas été informé mais qu’ADO ne l’ait pas été. ADO, le messie, pour l’arrivée duquel il faut nettoyer les écuries, rendre droits les chemins tortueux, aplanir les collines, boucher les trous. Djéni Kobina, leader politique, chef d’un parti représenté au Parlement ne fait donc de la politique que pour préparer la voie à un homme miraculeux qui viendra guérir tous les maux de la Côte d’Ivoire, avec bien entendu lui-même à sa droite et sans doute l’impayable Ben Soumahoro à sa gauche. Et ADO, en homme providentiel qu’il est, ne parle pas. Pourquoi se fatiguerait-il ? Djeni parle pour lui. ADO est le père spirituel du RDR, disent les militants de ce parti. Le dieu de ce parti. Et en bon dieu qu’il est, il ne saurait s’adresser directement aux hommes. A-t-il jamais tenu un meeting ? A-t-il jamais montré un quelconque intérêt à l’égard de ceux qui sont prêts à mourir pour lui ? A-t-il jamais montré un quelconque intérêt pour ce pays qu’i dit être le sien avent d’être parachuté Premier Ministre, et depuis qu’il ne l’est plus ? Quant il arrive dans ce pays qu’i prétend vouloir diriger serait probablement trop salissant pour le grand fonctionnaire international qu’il est.

Ou alors, la réalité est tout autre. Il ne se sent pas chez lui ici. En Côte d’Ivoire tous les hommes politiques ont un fief. Houphouët avait Yamoussoukro, Bédié à Daoukro, Fologo à Sinématiali, Adama Coulibaly à Korhogo, Gbagbo Laurent à Ouragahio, Zadi Zaourou à Soubré, etc. Aujourd’hui, chaque ivoirien, qu’il soit en côte d’Ivoire ou à l’étranger, est fier d’avoir son village, fût-il petit ou grand, d’y aller aussi souvent que possible, de participer à son développement. C’est l’une des caractéristiques de la Côte d’Ivoire et qui a assuré son développement par rapport aux autres pays d’Afrique. Le rêve de tout cadre ivoirien est d’avoir sa maison au village. Et l’homme politique qui n’a pas usé de ses moyens personnels ou de son influence pour développer son village ou sa région est critiquée. Quiconque veut se lancer dans la politique sans avoir une maison chez lui part avec un gros handicap.

Djeni Kobina est en train de découvrir cette réalité aujourd’hui, la réalité que pour faire de la politique, il faut avoir un fief. « Djeni, où est ton village ? » lui demandent aujourd’hui ceux qui hier étaient ses plus proches compagnons. Posons aussi la question à son mentor : « ADO, où est ton village ? Si tu en as, pourquoi tu n’y vas pas ? Pourquoi restes-tu toujours à Abidjan quand tu viens en Côte d’Ivoire ? ».

Il faut que les militants du RDR, s’ils aiment ce pays

Venance Konan Fraternité matin du 30 Avril 1999

POURQUOI S’AGITE T-ON? (Vendredi 05 Juin 1998)

Où et le débat ? Nos amis du RDR crient à tous vent que leur candidat se présentera coûte que coûte en 2000. Oui, et alors ? Le PDCI sait aussi que son candidat se présentera en 2000 ? Mais a-t-il besoin de crier sur tous les toits ? le RDR dit que ADO, son champion, sera candidat. Où est le problème ? Quel Ivoirien n’empêcher un autre ivoirien remplissant les conditions exigées par le code électoral de se présenter à présidentielle ? Il y avait un code électoral. Un nouveau est en chantier. Pourquoi s’exciter avant qu’on ne le connaisse ? Le RDR veut-il nous dire qu’il est prêt à présenter un candidat qui ne remplit pas toutes les conditions exigées par le code électoral ? Et bien qu’il le fasse donc ! Nous sommes dans un pays de droit. Les structures compétentes de l’Etat examineront les différentes candidatures et décideront de celle qui sont acceptables et de celles qui ne le sont pas au regard du droit ivoirien.

C’est tout. On ne voit aucun autre parti, à part le RDR qui ait un candidat dont la nationalité pose problème. ADO est-il ivoirien ou non ? On n’a pas à s’agiter parce qu’il existe tout de même dans ce pays des structures capables de nous dire si oui ou non. Franchement il n’y a pas de quoi s’exciter. Même le FPI pour une fois est calme. Parce que son candidat potentiel n’a aucun problème avec sa nationalité. Le porte-parole du FPI n’a pas besoin de se fendre de deux pages dans un journal pour prouver que son candidat potentiel est « ivoirien à 100% » Ni celui du PDCI, ni celui du PIT, ni celui de l’USD… c’est le RDR seul qui a un problème avec la nationalité de son candidat. La girouette Ben Soumahoro a voulu nous prouver que celui qui lui donne à manger en ce moment est « ivoirien à 100% ». Il nous explique que ADO était vice-gouverneur de la BCEAO avec un passeport voltaïque parce que Houphouët l’avait envoyé en mission, avec la complicité du Président voltaïque de l’époque qu’il ne nomme pas.

On suppose qu’ Houphouët qui était visionnaire avait aussi envoyé ADO en mission lorsque la Haute Volta de l’époque lui donnait une bourse pour aller étudier aux Etats-Unis. Ou bien la Haute Volta était si généreuse en 1962 qu’elle a préféré laisser un ivoirien bénéficier de la bourse que lui offraient les Etats-Unis. Ou bien la Haute Volta était. C’est toujours parce qu’il était en mission commandée qu’ADO a étudié et commencé à travailler aux Etats-Unis sous la nationalité voltaïque. Monsieur Ben Soumahoro qui sait tout peut-il nous certifier que celui qui le nourrit n’a pas été aux Etats-Unis sous la nationalité voltaïque ? Qu’il n’était pas vice gouverneur de la BCEAO sous la nationalité Burkinabé ? Qu’ADO se soit par la suite naturalisé ivoirien, où est le problème ? La loi le permet. Sa mère n’est-elle pas ivoirienne d’après ce qu’on nous dit ? Tout le monde sait pourquoi Ben Soumahoro qui hier insultait ADO est accroché aujourd’hui à ses basques. Le ventre a ses raisons que la raison ignore. Ben Soumahoro qui n’a certainement pas la mémoire courte doit se souvenir de tout ce qu’il nous a dit, à moi-même et à ma consœur Dominique Mobioh sur Alassane, au moment où il nous raccompagnait, sur le pas de sa porte, un jour où nous avions été l’interviewer pour notre rubrique « l’Actualité vue par… ». C’était avant la mort d’Houphouët. Quand nous voyons aujourd’hui sa duplicité, sa versatilité, son avidité, ses délires tribalistes et ses mensonges nous ne pouvons qu’être tristes nous autres jeunes journaliste qui l’avions tant admiré et qui avons embrassé ce métier en partie parce que nous voulions être comme lui.

Mais le ventre de Ben Soumahoro a ses raisons que la raison ignore. Le peuple qui n’a pas la mémoire courte se souvient tout de même de l’époque très récente où il faisait tapisserie chez le Président BEDIE parce qu’il attendait une nomination. Mais en tout état de cause, que Ben Soumahoro arrête de distraire le monde. Les représentants du peuple ivoirien décideront bientôt qui peut être candidat à l’élection présidentielle et qui ne le peut pas. Et chacun prendra alors ses responsabilités. Les gens du RDR menacent à mots à peine voilés de mettre le feu à ce pays. Normal. Bon nombre d’entre eux ne sont ici que par intérêt. On a vu les Sidya Touré, Directeur de Cabinet du Premier Ministre être Premier Ministre en Guinée. Son Ministre de la Justice était enseignant et avocat ici sous la nationalité ivoirienne. Les exemples sont multiples. La Côte d’Ivoire n’a-t-elle pas toujours été le pays qui donne plus aux autres qu’à ses propres fils ? Mais que ceux qui veulent sachent qu’ils trouveront en face d’eux ceux qui n’ont que ce pays, qui n’aiment que ce pays et dont le patriotisme ne fluctue pas en fonction des intérêts.

Venance KONAN Fraternité Matin duVendredi 05 Juin 1998

GAOUSSOU NOUS ECLAIRE ENFIN ! (12 juin 1998)

Nous avons tous lu avec intérêt l’interview de Monsieur Gaoussou Ouattara, le frère aîné de Monsieur Alassane Ouattara parue dans le « le jour » du 22 Mai. Et ses propos appellent de notre part un certain nombre d’observations. Monsieur Ouattara dit qu’il ne se sent pas concerné par la balkanisation coloniale qui a partagé le royaume de ses ancêtres entre plusieurs Etats, et qu’il et autant chef traditionnel en Côte d’Ivoire qu’au Burkina Faso. Le royaume de Kong n’est pas le seul à avoir subi cet avatar de l’histoire. C’est le cas partout en Afrique, et à l’Est comme à l’Ouest de la Côte d’Ivoire, on trouve aussi des chefs traditionnels qui exercent de part et d’autre de la frontière. Niera-t-on pour autant l’existence de nos Etats actuels ?

Quoi que l’on puisse penser de la colonisation, de ses effets négatifs sur nos sociétés et leurs organisations originelles, elle nous a légué nos Etats actuels, dans les limites qu’elle nous a imposées. Et nous sommes en train de bâtir nos nations dans ces limites, en dépit des liens historiques, familiaux, tribaux ou tout autre qui lient des habitants de deux pays. C’est ainsi que le Lobi de Doropo appartient à la même nation que le Kroumen de Tabou, et n’a plus le même destin que le Lobi du Burkina ou du Ghana. Parce qu’ils vivent désormais dans des pays différents. C’est comme cela et l’on doit faire avec.

Pour l’instant, le principe que tous les pays membres de l’OUA ont adopté est celui de l’intangibilité des frontières héritées de la colonisation. Jusqu’à ce que, grâce à l’intégration que nous souhaitons tous, nous arrivions à réformer les grands ensembles d’antan, que par exemple, les pays de la CEDEAO forment un jour, un seul Etat.

Nous n’y sommes malheureusement pas encoure et aujourd’hui, malgré les liens familiaux, historiques, traditionnel, un Ouattara du Burkina Faso est Burkinabé et un Ouattara de Côte d’ivoire est Ivoirien. Monsieur Gaoussou Ouattara nous dit : « A Bobo-dioulasso il y aujourd’hui un quartier de Kombougou où il y a environ 40 à 50.000 individus qui sont en fait originaires de Kong et qui se considèrent comme tels. » Sont-ils ivoiriens pour autant ? Il y a bien en Côte d’Ivoire des millions de personnes dont l’origine se situe quelque part au Ghana ou à Djénné au Mali. Sont-ils pour autant Ghanéens ou Maliens ? Il y a bien des Baoulé en Côte d’ivoire et au Togo. Ont-ils encore le même destin national ?

La colonisation a posé les frontières sans tenir compte de nos réalités. Et de nombreuses familles se sont trouvées divisées. Les Ouattara ne sont pas les seuls. Beaucoup n’ont pas eu à choisir. Cela s’est imposé à eux avec son lot de déchirement, de drames familiaux. D’autres par contre ont eu le choix. Et c’est le cas du père de Messieurs Gaoussou Ouattara et Alassane Ouattara. Monsieur Gaoussou Ouattara nous dit de leur père : « Il avait le choix entre s’installer à Linguêkro (Côte d’Ivoire ou résider à Sindou au Burkina Faso. Il a préféré s’installer à Sindou, et en partant, il a emmené les plus jeunes d’entre nos frères, dont Alassane ». C’est clair. C’était en 1949. Deux ans auparavant, en 1947, les colonies de Haute-Volta et de Côte d’Ivoire qui formaient un même ensemble territorial s’étaient scindées en deux colonies bien distinctes. Le père Ouattara avait choisi en toute conscience entre deux territoires. Le petit Alassane n’a pas choisi. Mais nous sommes tous tributaires des choix que font nos parents à certains moments de notre existence.

En 1960, la Côte d’Ivoire et la Haute Volta sont devenus deux Etats indépendants. Alors, que l’on arrête de vouloir noyer le poisson dans beaucoup d’eau. A partir de 1960, le père Ouattara se trouvait-il en Haute Volta en tant que voltaïque ou en tant qu’émigré ivoirien ? Le petit Alassane se trouvait-il là bas en tant que petit voltaïque ou en tant que petit ivoirien ? Signalons que le code de la nationalité ivoirienne comme c’était le cas en France jusqu’aux nouvelles lois Pasqua. Puisque le grand frère Gaoussou veut éclairer notre lanterne, qu’il nous dise franchement si son père et son frère étaient en Haute-Volta en tant qu’ivoiriens ou tant que Voltaïques ? Le fait que lui soit ivoirien n’induit pas forcément que son frère soit aussi ivoirien. Surtout maintenant que l’on connaît l’histoire de la famille, tout s’éclaire.

On glose aussi beaucoup sur le fait qu’ADO ait été gouverneur de la BCEAO, un poste réservé à la Côte d’ Ivoire, puis premier Ministre de la Côte d’ Ivoire. Jusqu’à ce poste de gouverneur, il avait toujours étudié et travailler comme Voltaïque ou Burkinabé. Alors pourquoi occupe t-il le poste réservé aux ivoiriens. Son frère nous donne la réponse : c’était un geste de reconnaissance d’Houphouët envers leur père qui lui aurait rendu des services. Et cela ne saurait étonner de la part d’Houphouët.

Mais cela autorise t-il ADO à prétendre aujourd’hui être le Président des Ivoiriens ? En tout état de cause, que Monsieur ADO sache ceci : lorsqu’on veut diriger un peuple, on vit avec lui, on apprend à la connaître, à le comprendre, à l’aimer. On ne prend pas un peuple comme on va prendre une prostituée, simplement en payant. On ne prend pas par la force, comme on viole une femme. Un peuple, on l’aime, on le courtise. Autant que nous sachions, Monsieur ADO n’a commencé à vivre avec nous qu’à partir de 1990, quand Houphouët l’a nommé Premier Ministre. Trois ans après, n’étant plus à ce poste, il est parti chercher mieux ailleurs. Aujourd’hui il veut revenir pour être notre Président. En nous proposant quel programme ? Quel rêve ? Simplement parce qu’il a de l’argent et qu’il peut acheter certaines personnes ? N’est-ce pas se moquer un peu de ce pays où il n’est même pas capable d’indiquer son village ? Son frère nous dit que le village où leur père a choisi de vivre à partir de 1949 avec ADO, le village où leur père est mort et enterré, le village avec lequel ADO entretient des relations mystiques se trouve au Burkina Faso. Et il veut que les ivoiriens se reconnaissent en lui ! Soyons sérieux de temps en temps.

Mr Gaoussou Ouattara dit qu’il ne se sent pas concerné par la balkanisation de l’Afrique. Nous si. Et nous ne pouvons pas accepter que le village de notre président se trouve au Burkina Faso.

Venance KONAN Fraternité Matin du 12 Juin 1998

NOTRE BIEN A TOUS (03 Juillet 1998)

Le débat sur l’origine de Monsieur Alassane Ouattara est désormais clos, puisque son frère aîné nous a expliqué qu’en 1949, lorsque la Côte d’Ivoire et la haute volta sont devenues deux colonies bien distinctes, leur père a choisi de retourner chez lui à Sindou, dans l’actuel Burkina Faso pour ne plus revenir en Côte d’Ivoire. On ne voit pas pourquoi il serait retourné à Sindou pour y être chef si ce n’était pas chez lui.

Le choix du père Ouattara était clair. Jusqu’en 1947, la Côte d’Ivoire et la Haute-Volta formaient une seule colonie. Les fonctionnaires de l’époque étaient indistinctement affectés dans les localités de cette colonie. Nous connaissons beaucoup d’ivoiriens qui sont nés sur le territoire de l’actuel Burkina Faso parce que leur père y était fonctionnaire. Beaucoup de personnes sont descendues de la Haute-Volta pour travailler dans ce que l’on appelait la Basse côte. Lorsque le territoire a été scindé en deux colonies distinctes, et que l’indépendance n’apparaissait plus comme un simple rêve depuis le discours du Général De Gaulle de Brazzaville, chacun est retourné chez lui, pour aider à la construction du futur Etat. Certains d’entre eux ont activement participé à la lutte pour l’indépendance de la Côte d’Ivoire, à la lutte pour le développement de la Côte d’Ivoire. Ils sont tous connus. Et il ne viendra à l’idée de personne de leur nier leur qualité d’ivoiriens. L’histoire de la Côte d’Ivoire indépendante est récente et il reste encore beaucoup de témoins de la lutte émancipatrice encore vivants.

Le père Ouattara a choisi dès 1949 de rentrer en Haute-Volta. Au moment de l’indépendance, il n’est pas revenu en Côte d’ivoire pour se réclamer ivoirien. D’où vient-il qu’aujourd’hui son fils qui a vécu avec lui en Haute-Volta prétende vouloir régner sur les ivoiriens,

De 1960 à 1980, la Côte d’ivoire a connu une période de croissance qui a attiré beaucoup de ressortissants de pays voisins ou lointains. Tous les acteurs de cette période faste aux divers échelons de notre administration ou sur l’échiquier politique sont tous connus. Et nulle part n’apparaît le nom d’un certain Alassane Dramane Ouattara.

De 1980 à 1990, ça a été ce que l’on appelait la « conjoncture ». Comme partout sur le continent. Les ivoiriens se sont battus pour sortir de cette crise. Ils ont fait des sacrifices. Et personne ne se souvient avoir vu un certain Alassane Dramane Ouattara à cette époque. En 1990, le vent d’Est crée une nouvelle crise. C’est à ce moment qu’apparaît Alassane Dramane Ouattara. Houphouët lui fait appel pour une mission ponctuelle. Parce que Houphouët reste toujours à la barre. Ne jugeons pas les trois années de Monsieur Alassane Ouattara. Mais les ivoiriens se souviennent que peu de temps avant le décès d’ Houphouët, tous les clignotants étaient au rouge et que la menace d’une réduction des salaires était réapparue.

Fin 93. Houphouët meurt. Monsieur Alassane Ouattara part monnayer ses talents ailleurs. L’histoire de la Côte d’Ivoire continue, avec ses débats, parfois houleux, avec ses problèmes comme par exemple ceux de l’école, du code foncier, de la reforme des Institutions, de la négociation de la dette, de l’insécurité etc. A aucun moment Monsieur Alassane Ouattara ne participe à ces débats. A aucun moment il ne participe à la vie de la Côte d’Ivoire. A aucun moment on ne voit de quelle façon il apporte une pierre si petite soit-elle à la construction de la Côte d’Ivoire. Se refugiant derrière le très commode « droit de réserve », il ne se donne même pas la peine de donner ne serait-ce qu’un conseil, lui que l’on dit si brillant, pour la bonne marche de ce pays qu’il dit être le sien. D’où vient-il donc qu’il prétende aujourd’hui vouloir diriger ce pays ? Trois années. Trois petites années qu’il a passées dans ce pays qu’il veut diriger. Peut-il objectivement dire qu’il connaît ce pays, ce peuple ? Peut-il dire objectivement qu’il aime ce peuple ?

Que des ivoiriens qui soutienne Monsieur Alassane Ouattara se ressaisissent et comprennent que leur pays n’est pas une entreprise sur laquelle on fait une OPA (Offre Publique d’Achat) comme cela se fait dans le monde des affaires, où l’on achète des entreprises où on n’a jamais mis les pieds. Que ces ivoiriens-là se ressaisissent et comprennent que malgré nos différends, malgré ce que l’on peut reprocher aux uns et aux autres, notre pays est notre bien à tous, nous ivoiriens.

Que Monsieur Alassane Ouattara vienne, deux ans avant les élections créé des associations caritatives, distribuer de l’argent, critiquer ce que les autres ont fait ou n’ont pas fait, ne doit pas nous faire perdre de vue d’essentiel : cet homme n’a jamais été avec nous.

Venance KONAN Fraternité Matin du 03 Juillet 1998

PRINCIPES REFONDATEURS (Vendredi 27 août 1999)

L’article 49 du Code électoral qui avait fait couler tant de salive, d’encre et de sang en 1995 ressurgit. Cette fois sous une autre forme. Il est désormais incorporé dans la Constitution. Que dit-il ? Il dit pour l’essentiel, que pour être candidat à la présidence la Côte d’Ivoire il faut être ivoirien de père et de mère. Le débat récent avait porté sur la nécessité ou non de ne retenir que la nationalité d’un seul parent, et lequel. Les députés ont décidé que ce soit les deux. Et déjà l’on entend les mêmes mots qu’en 1995 : exclusion, xénophobie, affrontement. Qui est exclu par cette disposition ? L’Ivoirien dont un parent n’est pas Ivoirien. Exclu de quoi ? Du seul poste de Président de la République.

Certains en font un cheval de bataille, comme si la destinée normale de tout Ivoirien était de finir un jour Président de la République, Combien de Président y a-t-il à chaque fois dans un pays de plusieurs dizaines, voire de centaines de millions d’habitants ? Combien d’entre nous, Ivoiriens d’aujourd’hui, peuvent prétendre raisonnablement accéder au poste de Président de la République dans deux ans, dix ans, vingt ans, cinquante ans ?

Si c’est pour une question de principe que certains veulent affronter d’autres, eh bien parlons-en ! Qu’y a-t-il d’anormal à ce qu’un Ivoirien ayant un parent non Ivoirien ne puisse pas être Président des Ivoiriens ? Quel Ivoirien ne peut-il pas comprendre que celui qui a un parent ivoirien et un non-ivoirien a nécessairement une autre nationalité ou peut se prévaloir d’une autre nationalité ? Comment peut-on ne pas comprendre qu’un responsable ne peut se confier à un homme ou une femme qui a une autre nationalité, une autre allégeance, un autre patriotisme, d’autres obligations, sentimentales ou d’autres envers un autre pays ? Savez-vous qu’aux Etats-Unis, le simple fait de naître, même accidentellement dans un autre pays vous disqualifie automatiquement pour être Président de la République ? Quel que soit l’enracinement de votre famille dans le pays ? La raison est que les Etats-Unis ne veulent pas être dirigés par quelqu’un qui peut se réclamer d’une autre nationalité. Parce qu’il y a des pays, comme la France par exemple qui applique ce qu’on appelle le droit du sol c’est-à-dire que le simple fait de naître en France, même accidentellement, vous confère automatiquement la nationalité française. Ainsi de nombreux jeunes ivoiriens qui sont nés en France mais qui ont toujours vécu en Côte d’Ivoire ont-ils eu la désagréable surprise d’être convoqués pour le service militaire.

Je crois qu’au delà des passions, qui naissent parfois de la mauvaise compréhension des choses et des calculs politiciens, il faut regarder notre pays, et le situer dans son environnement. Pourquoi cette disposition soulève-t-elle tant de passions chez nous alors qu’elle existe dans tous les pays qui nous entourent sans que cela fasse l’objet d’un débat ? Lorsque nous discutons avec nos amis de ces pays, leur étonnement vient justement de l’absence d’une telle disposition dans notre constitution. Cela leur semble tellement surréaliste que nous nous affrontions sur une telle disposition !

On entend certains dire, « par le passé il y a eu ceci, ou cela, ils ont fait ceci, ou cela » si par le passé certaines erreurs ont été commises, sommes-nous tenus ad vitam aeternam de perpétuer ces erreurs ? Dans l’histoire de tout pays, de toute nation, il est des moments où il faut s’arrêter pour voir le chemin parcouru, celui qui reste à parcourir et se dire : « avons-nous raison de continuer sur cette voie ? ». N’est-il pas plus judicieux de changer de voie ? Aujourd’hui la France est en plein débat pour savoir s’il faut maintenir ou supprimer le droit de sol, ce droit vieux de plusieurs siècles. Dans les années soixante dix la même France importait par cargos des Maliens, des Sénégalais, des arabes. Aujourd’hui cette même France les renvoie par cargos entier et les Africains résidant illégalement en France vivent dans la terreur. L’ancien candidat à la présidence, Edouard Balladur, ancien Premier Ministre vient de proposer un débat sur la préférence nationale. Aux Etats Unis on construit des murs à la frontière pour empêcher les Mexicains d’entrer.

Pourquoi nous ivoiriens, au nom d’on ne sait quel principe nous voulons fermer les yeux sur nos réalités ? Pourquoi nous ivoiriens de naissance, ou d’adoption, pouvons-nous nos affronter sur la question de savoir si celui qui doit nous diriger doit être totalement de chez nous ? Certains partent du principe que ce pays n’appartient à personne et que par conséquent il appartient à tout le monde. Nous disons, nous que ce pays appartient aux ivoiriens. Et qu’il doit fonctionner sur un minimum de principes. Si ce pays s’est beaucoup donné aux autres, aujourd’hui il dit qu’il ne veut plus être la prostituée qui s’offre au plus offrant.

Si c’est aujourd’hui que les principes refondateurs doivent être arrêtés nous disons qu’il n’est jamais trop tard pour bien faire. Pour peu que nous respections nous-mêmes nos principes, et que nous appliquions les lois et les décisions que nous prenons.

Par Venance Konan Fraternité Matin duVendredi 27 août 1999

C’EST QUEL IVOIRIEN CA ? (04 Septembre 1998)

Monsieur Alassane Ouattara est donc candidat à l’élection présidentielle de l’an 2000. Parce qu’il est ivoirien et éligible. Contrairement à 1995 où il avait reconnu ne pas être éligible. Qu’est-ce qui s’est donc passé ? Pour ce que nous savons, rien n’a changé au niveau des conditions d’éligibilité.

C’est donc au niveau de Monsieur Ouattara que quelque chose a changé. Lors du congrès de son parti, il a affirmé haut et fort qu’il est ivoirien. Et Balla Keïta l’a confirmé. Il a déclare dans « le jour » que Monsieur Ouattara est bien ivoirien, originaire de Kong. D’ailleurs, au moment ou Monsieur Ouattara devait être nommé Premier Ministre, le Président Félix Houphouët-Boigny l’avait envoyé, lui Balla Kéïta, annoncer aux habitants de Kong que Monsieur Ouattara était originaire de chez eux. Un bien drôle d’ivoirien que cet Ouattara, que Balla Keïta est obligé d’aller présenter aux gens de son village pour qu’ils sachent qu’il est effectivement de chez eux.

Et seulement au moment où, il va être nommé Premier Ministre. Il n’avait donc jamais mis les pieds dans son village auparavant ? Monsieur James Cenach, le grand journaliste que nous connaissons, est devenu grand enquêteur ès Ouattara. Il a annoncé sur RFI le 04 Août dernier qu’Alassane Ouattara était bien ivoirien puisque Kong était le foyer des Ouattara. Et il a précisé que les limites des royaumes traditionnels ne coïncident pas forcément avec les frontières, héritées de la colonisation. Mais Monsieur James Cenach, oublie sans doute que ce dont il est question actuellement n’est pas l’élection du roi ou de l’empereur ou du chef traditionnel de Kong, mais du Président de la République de Côte d’Ivoire. Et la Côte d’Ivoire ne va pas au-delà de Ouangolodougou.

Nous avons tous accepté les frontières héritées de la colonisation. Et c’est à partir de ce découpage que depuis l’indépendance le Ouatttara de Kong partage la même nationalité que le Ehui d’Adiaké, le Kipré de Gagnoa, le Tra Bi de Bouaflé, le Konan de Bocanda, le Kambiré de Bouna, le Beugré de Sassandra, mais pas avec le Ouattara de Bobo Dioulasso. C’est comme çà. Et nous l’avons accepté. Monsieur Gaoussou Ouattara, qui est depuis à l’Assemblée Nationale de Côte d’Ivoire sait que les lois qu’il vote ne concernent pas les Ouattara du Burkina Faso ou du Mali, même s’il est par ailleurs le chef traditionnel de tous les Ouattara. Le Kouamé dont le foyer originel se trouve quelque part vers Kumassi ne va pas pour autant avoir des prétentions au Ghana, même s’il y retrouve des parents.

Alors, arrêtons de jouer avec les mots, les formules, l’histoire. Monsieur Gaoussou Ouattara a bien déclaré dans « le jour » qu’en 1948 au moment où la Côte d’Ivoire et la Haute volta se séparaient pour devenir deux colonies distinctes, leur père est rentré en haute Volta avec les plus jeunes de ses frères, dont Alassane Ouattara, pour être chef traditionnel à Sindou ; c’est Sindou le village du père d’Alassane Ouattara et non Kong, si Kong était chez lui ? Pourquoi ne reconnaîtrions-nous pas simplement qu’en 1990, Houphouët-Boigny voulant le nommer Premier Ministre, il fallait absolument lui trouver une attache en Côte d’Ivoire ? Pourquoi ce « digne fils » de Kong, qui a exercé les plus hautes fonctions dans les institutions internationales, qui a été Premier Ministre de la Côte d’ivoire, n’a commencé que maintenant à construire une maison dans « son village » ? C’est quel ivoirien ça ? Lors du congrès de son parti, Monsieur Alassane Ouattara a exhibé sa carte d’identité ivoirienne et celle de sa mère. Et l’on s’est aperçu que la sienne n’a été établie qu’en 1982, alors qu’il avait déjà 40 ans. Sous quelle identité avait-il donc vécu jusque là ?

Que l’on ne dise pas qu’il s’agit d’un renouvellement. Parce que lorsque l’on renouvelle sa carte d’identité, elle garde toujours le numéro de l’année où elle a été établie pour la première fois. Et le numéro de la carte d’identité de Monsieur Alassane Ouattara indique bien qu’elle a été établie pour la première fois en 1982.

L’on s’est aperçu également que sur sa carte d’identité sa mère s’appelle Nabintou Ouattara. Et pourquoi, celle qu’il a présentée et dont il a montré les papiers s’appelle Nabintou cissé, née à Dabou. D’autre part, sur sa demande de carte d’identité formulée en 1990, il est précisé que son père est à Kong et sa mère à Odienné. Et pourtant sur leurs cartes d’identité ils sont nés respectivement à Dimbokro et Dabou. Que signifie tout cela ? Aujourd’hui, ce qui est en question est l’avenir de la Côte d’ivoire. Et cet avenir, personne n’a le droit de jouer avec. Surtout pas pour une question d’orgueil ou d’ambition personnelle. Puisque Monsieur Alassane Ouattara veut diriger les ivoiriens, dans la transparence, il leur doit des éclaircissements sur un certain nombre points.

A-t-il jamais porté la nationalité voltaïque ou Burkinabé ? Il a déclaré qu’il a servi la Haute Volta. A quel titre ? En tant que Voltaïque ou en tant que coopérant ivoirien. Après l’indépendance de la Haute Volta en 1960, est-il resté dans ce pays en tant que Voltaïque ou en tant qu’émigré ivoirien ?

Est-il vrai que sa vraie mère, Nabintou Ouattara, venue de sa Haute Volta natale rejoindre son mari est morte et qu’il a été élevé par la seconde épouse de son père, Nabintou Cissé ? Etait-il ou non le Président des cadres Burkinabé travaillant à Dakar, pourquoi est-ce seulement en 1982 qu’il a établi sa première carte d’identité ivoirienne ? Et pourquoi toutes ces confusions sur le nom de sa mère, sur les lieux de naissance de ses parents ?

Si Monsieur Alassane Ouattara veut vraiment être le Président des ivoiriens, il leur doit des réponses claires à toutes ces questions, et surtout à celle-ci : pourquoi, alors qu’il avait refusé de se présenter en 1995 à cause du code électoral, il décide de le faire maintenant sans que ce code n’ait changé ?

Aujourd’hui nous entendons ici et là des menaces à peine voilées du genre « si ADO n’est pas candidat on va voir ». « Nettoyez vos fusils, aiguisez vos machettes ». Certains se disent prêts à mettre ce pays à feu et à sang si la candidature d’ADO n’est pas retenue. C’est entendu. Ceux qui mourront, mourront. Et ceux qui doivent perdre leurs biens les perdront. Mais ce qui est sûr, ils se font peur à eux mêmes.

Il ne faut jamais forcer le destin. Et nous pensons que Monsieur Alassane Ouattara a eu un destin formidable. Il a été gouverneur de la BCEAO, Premier Ministre de la Côte d’Ivoire sous Houphouët-Boigny dont il assurait parfois l’intérim (comme il se plait à le répéter) et Directeur Général adjoint du FMI. Pourquoi veut-il à tout prix la seule chose qu’il sait qu’il ne peut obtenir ?

Par Venance KonanFraternité Matin /04 Septembre 1998

HOSPITALITE ET STUPIDITE

A propos du conflit Agnis-bozos à ayamé, un confrère du « Libéral » le journal qui soutient ADO, écrit ces lignes dans l’édition du Jeudi 3 Septembre : « pour nombre d’observateurs avertis et des moins privilégiés des dégâts causés, le conflit qui a opposé Agnis et Bozos à Ayamé trouve sa source dans la mauvaise interprétation par les autochtones de la nouvelle loi sur l’immigration et le projet de loi portant code foncier rural. L’un et l’autre de ces textes de loi soutiennent qu’une « certaine préférence » soit accordée aux seuls nationaux tout en préconisant que les ressources des terres et des eaux sur le territoire appartiennent en premier lieu aux nationaux. Mais à bien y réfléchir on en vient à déduire que le conflit Agnis-Bozo est la résultante directe des lois stupides et impopulaires aux conséquences imprévisibles votées récemment par la majorité parlementaire PDCI »

Plus loin notre confrère poursuit : « Il apparaît que les autochtones Agni ont délibérément voulu adopter une position d’auto-défense face au monopole de fait que détenaient les pêcheurs maliens sur les activités de pêche dans la région »

La première question qui nous vient en tête est de savoir si un Ivoirien peut écrire cela. Un ivoirien peut-il trouver stupides des lois ivoiriennes qui accordent une « certaine préférence » aux ivoiriens en Côte d’Ivoire ? Un ivoirien peut-il trouver stupides des lois ivoiriennes qui préconisent que les ressources des terres et des eaux sur le territoire ivoirien appartiennent en premier lieu aux Ivoiriens ?

Assurément non. Car l’Ivoirien, quelle que soit sa tendance politique, quelle que soit sa stupidité, aime son pays et veut s’y sentir chez lui. Dans quel autre pays l’Ivoirien peut-il jouir d’une « certaine préférence » ? Dans quel autre pays, l’Ivoirien pourra t-il posséder les ressources des terres et des eaux ?

L’hymne national ivoirien parle de « pays de l’hospitalité ». Et le comportement des Ivoiriens depuis l’indépendance a démontré que ces lignes de notre hymne national n’étaient pas que des mots, mais un comportement. Quel est le pays en Afrique, ou même dans le monde où le tiers de la population est composé d’étrangers, ou des étrangers ont le monopole sur les plus importants secteurs de l’économie. Dans quel pays d’Afrique des Ivoiriens pourront prétendre avoir le monopole sur les activités de pêche d’une région, au point de prétendre interdire cette activité aux natifs de la région ?

La Côte d’Ivoire est pionnière dans l’intégration de la sous-région. Elle est le pays qui offre le plus aux autres, quand ailleurs tout lui est refusé. Nous avons eu l’occasion de visiter tous les pays de la sous-région. De nombreux autres Ivoiriens également. Aussi nous savons de quoi nous parlons lorsque nous disons : « Allez essayer d’ouvrir un magasin ou un maquis au Ghana ou en Mauritanie et vous verrez ! » La première recommandation que nos diplomates donnent aux Ivoiriens en voyage dans les pays voisins est de se faire petits et d’éviter d’avoir des histoires avec les nationaux. Parce qu’ils en ressortiraient perdants.

Que se passe t-il en Côte d’Ivoire ? On traite nos lois (par conséquent ceux qui les ont votées) de stupides parce qu’elles accordent une « certaine préférence » aux Ivoiriens en Côte d’Ivoire. Dire que l’on est ivoirien et que ce pays appartient aux Ivoiriens c’est être xénophobe. Pendant combien de temps les ivoiriens vont assister passivement à leur spoliation accompagnée d’injures ? Pendant combien de temps les ivoiriens vont supporter que l’on insulte leurs institutions, leur chef d’Etat, leurs représentants et eux-mêmes au nom de la liberté d’expression, de la tolérance et de l’hospitalité ?

La Côte d’Ivoire a offert ce qu’elle pouvait à ses frères venus chercher le bonheur et la sécurité. Mais comme le disait feu Félix-Houphouët-Boigny : « la plus belle fille ne peut offrir que ce qu’elle a ». Nous avons donné ce que nous avons aux frères. Mais nous ne pouvons pas leur donner notre pays. Désolés ! Que l’on nous traite de xénophobes. Mais nous ne pouvons jouir d’une certaine préférence dans notre pays. La France, pays des droits de l’homme, de la fraternité et de l’égalité expulse chaque jour des centaines d’étrangers. Le Premier Ministre a dit récemment qu’il ne peut pas régulariser tous les étrangers en situation irrégulière dans son pays. Par conséquent, il faudra les expulser. C’est ce que la Côte d’ivoire indépendante n’a jamais fait. Et c’est probablement ce que l’on lui reproche.

Le Président BEDIE avait dit dans son premier discours de Chef d’Etat qu’il était intolérable que le commerce ivoirien soit entièrement aux mains des étrangers. Il nous appartient désormais, à nous ivoiriens de faire en sorte qu’il nous revienne.

Dimanche 8 Mai 2011
La Dépêche D’Abidjan

TV5 MONDE Afrique presse: Vers un 3ème mandat pour le Président OUATTARA?

http://www.ivoirebusiness.net/videos/tv5-monde-afrique-presse-vers-un-3%C3%A8me-mandat-pour-le-pr%C3%A9sident-ouattara

Arts of the Deal

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Obama Officials Spied on Trump Campaign Using at Least Five Methods, By Jasper Fakkert

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During the heat of the 2016 presidential elections, officials within the Obama administration, including cabinet-level officials who answered to Obama directly, extensively spied on the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump.

Both the Department of Justice inspector general and the House intelligence committee are currently probing the actions of the Obama officials and their motivations.

So far, at least five different ways that the officials spied on the Trump campaign have been uncovered.

These include the use of national security letters, a FISA warrant, an undercover informant, the unmasking of identities in intelligence reports, and spying conducted by foreign intelligence agencies.

Each of these methods provided the officials with sensitive information on the Trump campaign that could have been used for political purposes.

Private communications between FBI officials involved in the agency’s investigation on the Trump campaign, reveal its links to the White House.

In one of the text messages obtained by the DOJ inspector general, and since released publicly, the lead FBI agent on the case, Peter Strzok, wrote in a Sept. 2, 2016, message to FBI lawyer Lisa Page that “potus [president of the United States] wants to know everything we’re doing.” Page was serving as counsel to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

There have also been direct ties between the spying and the campaign of then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The FBI and DOJ relied heavily on unverified allegations contained in the so-called Trump dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

1. National Security Letters

The FBI, which at the time was headed by FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director McCabe, used counterintelligence tools known as national security letters to spy on the Trump campaign.

Marc Ruskin, a 27-year veteran of the FBI, told The Epoch Times that the agency has strict guidelines regulating the use of different types of investigations, such as national security, criminal, and terrorism investigations. Launching a foreign counterintelligence investigation (FCI), which falls under the FBI’s national security guidelines, must meet a lower bar of probable cause than do criminal investigations.

Using an FCI to investigate the Trump campaign, the FBI was able to gather intelligence—not necessarily evidence—which it would likely not have been able to do using a criminal investigation, given the lack of probable cause.

However, the FBI appears to have used the FCI tools—potentially illegally—to launch a subsequent criminal investigation.

Comey told Congress under oath in June 2017 that the investigation did not target Trump, even though it had spied on his campaign.

Similarly, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, said in April that Trump is not a target of Mueller’s investigation.

2. FISA Warrant

The FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA spy warrant on Carter Page, a volunteer adviser to the Trump campaign, on Oct. 21, 2016. Under the so-called “two-hop” rule, the FISA warrant could have been used to spy on anyone with two layers of separation from Page himself. This means that both of the people Page was in contact with himself at the campaign could have had their communications surveilled, which is the first hop, as well as anyone who was in contact with the campaign officials, the second hop.

This means that even though Carter Page never talked to Trump himself, as said by Page in a Feb. 6 ABC News interview, Trump could still be spied on, because Page had contact with one of his campaign officials.

Because Page is a U.S. citizen, the application had to be certified by the FBI director or deputy director. Comey signed off on three of the applications, which include renewals, and McCabe signed one.

Deputy attorney generals Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rosenstein each signed one or more applications on behalf of the DOJ.

A FISA warrant is among the most intrusive ways to spy on an individual. It includes access to data collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

This data includes all digital communications—such as internet browsing histories, phone conversations, emails, chat logs, personal images, and GPS locations—that are transferred over the internet and captured by the NSA using so-called upstream data, which is all internet data traveling through key internet backbone carriers.

The FBI itself has access to 702 collected data collected by the NSA. A declassified top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) report released in April 2017 detailed numerous violations by the FBI in handling this data.

Among the violations were the FBI’s providing of access to raw FISA data to private contractors, in violation of policies intended to safeguard the data. The contractors were also found to have maintained access to the sensitive data, which includes communications of Americans, after the contractors’ work for the FBI was concluded.

The FBI also provided 702 data to a private entity that did not have the legal right to it. According to the FISC, the FBI also did not give oversight or supervision on how the data was used. It is unclear which private entity the FBI provided the information to.

It is unclear at this point in time whether the communications of Trump and his campaign were provided to outside private entities.

In addition to the FBI’s mishandling of Section 702-acquired data, the declassified FISC report shows numerous violations under the Obama administration of procedures intended to safeguard Americans’ personal data and communications. For example, the NSA had an 85 percent noncompliance rate with guidelines for when it came to searches involving American citizens.

3. Unmasking

Top Obama officials made hundreds of so-called unmasking requests for the identities of members of the Trump campaign in intelligence reports.

Unmasking refers to the practice of requesting that an intelligence agency, in most cases the NSA, unmask the name of an American citizen, which by default is concealed in intelligence reports to protect identities.

Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, and CIA Director John Brennan have so far been identified by the House intelligence committee as having filed such requests.

Power testified before the House oversight committee in October last year that even though unmasking requests were made in her name, they were in fact made by another undisclosed official.

The communications obtained by Rice and Brennan could have been provided to Obama during the daily intelligence briefings he received from them.

4. Undercover Informant

The FBI used an undercover agent to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor with ties to the CIA and British intelligence agency MI6, reached out to Carter Page; George Papadopoulos, a volunteer foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign; and Sam Clovis, a senior Trump campaign official.

Halper received over $1 million from a Defense Department think tank between 2012 and 2017.

In the same month that Halper reached out to Papadopoulos, in September 2016, the Office of Net Assessment—a strategy think thank that falls directly under the Defense Secretary, exercised an option to extend Halper’s contract for nearly $412,000. Government records show Halper’s work was marked as “special studies/analysis – foreign/national security policy.”

According to media reports, Halper met with Carter Page as early as July 2016, the same month the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

On May 20, the DOJ, under the direction of Trump, ordered its inspector general to look into the actions of the FBI informant.

“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

It expands the scope of the investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, whose office is already investigating the FBI’s use of a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.

5. Foreign Intelligence

British Intelligence agency GCHQ provided officials within the CIA, both members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, information on the Trump campaign as early as late 2015, The Guardian reported.

According to the publication, then-head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan provided then-CIA Director John Brennan with sensitive information on the Trump campaign on a “director level” in the summer of 2016.

Brennan subsequently prepared an “eyes only” report for Obama and three senior aides. Brennan also provided briefings to the members of the “Gang of Eight” (the House and Senate majority and minority leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members on the House and Senate intelligence committees).

That GCHQ’s Hannigan provided Brennan with the information on the Trump campaign is highly unusual, as the House Intelligence Committee has found that no official Five Eyes intelligence product exists.

“We are not supposed to spy on each other’s citizens, and it’s worked well. And it continues to work well. And we know it’s working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government,” Chairman of the House intelligence committee Devin Nunes told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures on April 22.

The Five Eyes alliance uses strict guidelines to make sure that participating intelligence agencies in the United States, UK Canada, Australia, and New Zealand don’t spy on each other’s citizens. The guidelines aim to prevent, for example, the U.S. government from using intelligence obtained by the Five Eyes to gain communications of Americans­—which the government is not allowed to monitor without a warrant.

However, Hannigan and Brennan appear to have done exactly that by circumventing official channels, thus explaining why no official intelligence product exists.

The fact that no official intelligence exists that was used to open the investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia means that those involved went around the official system.

Hannigan unexpectedly announced he was resigning from his post just three days after Trump was inaugurated.

Source: https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-five-methods-obama-officials-used-to-spy-on-the-trump-campaign_2544292.html

 

Comment Dramane Ouattara peut-il tant voyager et demeurer paradoxalement sur place ?

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Au cours de conférences mondiales, dans les salles de classes internationales, sur les réseaux sociaux, dans leurs conversations privées, nombreux sont ceux qui s’étonnent de ce qu’Alassane Dramane Ouattara, ancien étudiant des universités américaines, ancien fonctionnaire des institutions financières internationales, mais surtout, témoin des divers systèmes démocratiques des pays qu’il a visités, se soit révélé un si piètre économiste, et essentiellement, un si piètre ingénieur social, voire même un despote indécrottable, une fois projeté à la magistrature suprême de la Côte d’Ivoire.

En effet, sous le régime dictatorial de Dramane Ouattara, et selon les chiffres avancés par la Banque africaine de développement par la voix de sa directrice générale adjointe chargée de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, madame Akin Olugbadé, « La part cumulée des emplois vulnérables et des chômeurs dans la population active en Côte d’Ivoire se situe entre 70 et 90% ». Voici qui résume de façon très lapidaire l’aptitude économique de Dramane Ouattara, « l’économiste » célébré par les clameurs griotiques. En d’autres termes, un gestionnaire de cabine téléphonique à Anoumambo administrerait mieux la Côte d’Ivoire et y produirait plus d’emplois que ne le fait Dramane Ouattara présentement.

De même, la politique querelleuse, fourbe, anémiante, et meurtrière de Dramane Ouattara, qui a transformé la Côte d’Ivoire en une prison à ciel ouvert et un champ de misère, cette politique dont les Ivoiriens font les frais depuis 7 ans, et que les « alliés » RHDP de Dramane Ouattara, d’abord la bouche trop pleine pour parler, dénoncent, enfin, au fil des jours, parce que la pitance s’amenuisant et borborygmes s’intensifiant, est loin d’être inspirée des pays qui fascinent tant Dramane Ouattara. Tout se passe comme si, de tous ses voyages, Dramane Ouattara erre mais ne bouge guère, regarde mais ne voit rien. D’où cette question : Comment un tel homme, qui a tant voyagé et probablement tant vu, peut-il être aussi obtus à toute intensité égalitariste et progressiste ? La réponse à cette interrogation est très simple : n’apprend pas nécessairement quiconque voyage.

En effet, Dramane Ouattara est l’évidence même qu’un simple voyage dans l’espace de l’autre ne nous ouvre pas nécessairement l’esprit, ne nous permet pas nécessairement de comprendre le monde autrement qu’à travers une perspective étroite. Le plus grand des voyageurs peut demeurer plus obtus que le plus endurci des sédentaires. Joseph Conrad, Albert Schweitzer et Léo Frobénius n’étaient-ils pas tous des voyageurs ? Mais Chinua Achebe ne nous rappelle-t-il pas que ces voyageurs-là ont plus de choses à nous révéler sur leur étroitesse d’esprit que sur les terres étrangères qu’ils ont visitées ? Dramane Ouattara, en dépit des nombreuses années passées dans les universités étrangères, semble être retourné en Afrique plus autoritaire et plus aveugle aux changements du monde qu’il ne l’était au moment où il décrochait son baccalauréat dans un lycée de Ouagadougou.

Il n’est pas suffisant de voyager, mais plutôt de s’enrichir de ses voyages, de se laisser pénétrer – que l’on soit physiquement sédentaire ou pas – d’intensités nouvelles, de vibrations étrangères ; le vrai voyage n’implique pas, comme nous le rappellent Deleuze et Guattari, « nécessairement de grands mouvements en extension, [il peut se faire] immobile dans une chambre et sur un corps sans organes ». Le voyage qui forme et qui enrichit est un mouvement de l’intelligence qui s’ouvre à des flux étrangers ; car l’intelligence peut, dans un corps sédentaire, s’ouvrir à des connexions nouvelles ; elle peut aussi, dans un corps nomade, se fermer sur elle-même. Alassane Dramane Ouattara est certainement un grand voyageur en extension ; mais ses voyages l’ont très peu enrichi d’intensités formatrices. Il a vu des pays et du monde, mais n’en a pas plus appris sur la compassion et la négociation que le sédentaire qui n’est jamais sorti de son hameau. Le président Abraham Lincoln disait ceci : « Si vous voulez tester la capacité d’une personne, donnez-lui le pouvoir ». Dramane Ouattara « prit » le pouvoir et se révéla un cruel incapable recroquevillé dans un solipsisme désespérant.

TV5: « Le risque pour la CI est de garder Gbagbo à La Haye en dépit du vide du dossier »

Vincent Bolloré, digne héritier de Jules Ferry, Martial Frindéthié

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Soupçonné de pratiques mafieuses en Afrique, Le milliardaire français Vincent Bolloré se défend en reproduisant un rabâchage hérité des premiers spéculateurs racistes venus d’Occident : « faut-il laisser l’Afrique à l’abandon ? » Telle est la parade de Bolloré ! En d’autres termes, L’Afrique n’a que deux choix : accepter les spéculateurs malhonnêtes ou périr. En d’autres termes, plutôt que de geindre, les Africains devraient dire « merci » au Grand Blanc dont les méthodes commerciales frauduleuses les ont sortis des ténèbres.

Cette rengaine, nous l’avons déjà entendue de Léopold II, qui après avoir réduit le Congo en un vaste champ d’esclaves travaillant à son compte, lorsque vint l’heure de rendre compte au monde de ses excès, se défendit que sans ses « investissements philanthropiques », le Congo serait demeuré sans civilisation. Et l’’on voit bien aujourd’hui l’héritage de civilisation que Léopold et ses héritiers ont légué au Congo.

Cette rengaine, nous l’avons aussi entendue de Jules Ferry, qui, le 28 juillet 1885, dans un plaidoyer pour l’expansion coloniale française, ânonnait devant les députés français que l’Afrique, le cœur des ténèbres habitée de « races inférieures », n’attendait que le messie français pour se civiliser : « Je répète qu’il y a pour les races supérieures un droit, parce qu’il y a un devoir pour elles. Elles ont le devoir de civiliser les races inférieures … Je dis que les races supérieures ont des devoirs … Est-ce que vous pouvez nier, est-ce que quelqu’un peut nier qu’il y a plus de justice, plus d’ordre matériel et moral, plus d’équité, plus de vertus sociales dans l’Afrique du Nord depuis que la France a fait sa conquête ? Est-ce qu’il est possible de nier que ce soit une bonne fortune pour ces malheureuses populations de l’Afrique équatoriale de tomber sous le protectorat de la nation française ou de la nation anglaise ? ».

Ainsi donc, la question que posait Jules Ferry en 1885 est celle que pose en 2018 Vincent Bolloré : « faut-il laisser l’Afrique à l’abandon ? Les races supérieures ont-elles le droit de laisser les races inférieures à l’abandon ?». Certains de nos « grands penseurs » nous conseilleraient plutôt de dire merci au Grand Blanc qui vient nous soutenir lorsque nous refusons de nous tenir debout, et ces mêmes « penseurs », dégoutés de notre « ingratitude » envers le Grand Blanc, lui conseilleraient ceci : « si l’Afrique refuse de se tenir debout, laissez-la tomber ». Ce que ne diront jamais ces pseudo-penseurs qui émargent chez les dictateurs qu’ils servent, c’est qu’en réalité, l’Afrique n’a pas besoin de prédateurs de la trempe des Bolloré ; que l’Afrique peut se tenir debout sans ces nuisibles exterminateurs occidentaux ; et que ce sont les dictateurs qu’ils servent, ces esclaves mentaux qui ne se sont jamais consolés d’être faits à la couleur du diable, et qui ne voient leur salut que dans l’Occidental – fût-il un prédateur – qui minent les efforts d’honnêtes investisseurs africains, préférant livrer l’Afrique à des fossoyeurs comme Bolloré.

« Faut-il laisser l’Afrique à l’abandon ? » Quelle malhonnêteté ! Mais surtout, quel mépris pour les Africains dans cette question. Comme s’il n’y avait pas d’investisseurs en Afrique ! N’est-ce pas ce même Bolloré, qui de concert avec le pouvoir corrompu d’Abidjan, et dans les conditions les plus déloyales, se démena pour arracher à Jean-Louis Billon, un Africain, un Ivoirien, le deuxième terminal à conteneurs d’Abidjan ? Et lorsque cet Africain-là, décidé à ne pas « laisser l’Afrique à l’abandon », fit un procès à Bolloré, qui vint à la rescousse du Grand Blanc déplacer le débat sur la vente du sucre en Côte d’Ivoire ? Sinon qu’un autre Africain, en la personne d’Ahmed Bakayoko, qui s’employa de tout son magma pachydermique à humilier Billon, l’invitant à sortir du gouvernement de Dramane Ouattara ? Comme si la condition sine qua non pour servir dans un gouvernement de Dramane Ouattara était d’abandonner sa cervelle aux vestiaires et de se vêtir du boubou de corrupteur et de corrompu !

Les Africains complexés, disposés à rationaliser les pratiques mafieuses des prédateurs occidentaux en Afrique, il y en aura toujours. De même qu’il eut dans le passé d’indignes « dignitaires » africains qui vendirent leurs frères et sœurs en esclavage aux négriers pour quelques miroiteries, il y a encore aujourd’hui, d’indignes « gouvernants africains » disposés à vendre l’Afrique à des « hommes d’affaires » véreux pour quelques privilèges personnels. Et c’est grâce à ces Africains complexés-là que des Bolloré pourront continuer à s’improviser les messies de l’Afrique.

 

 

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, n’acceptez pas les semences GN (génétiquement modifiées) que l’on vous distribue si « généreusement ». C’est le cadeau du « drug dealer » à ses victimes, M. Frindéthié (20 décembre 2014)

OGMIvoiriennes du vivriers, depuis des mois j’entends dire que « la bienfaitrice » d’Abidjan vous distribue gratuitement des semences. Cela peut paraître philanthropique, n’est-ce pas ? Mais un cœur qui a supporté l’embargo sur les médicaments, un cœur qui a soutenu, impassible, le massacre des Ivoiriens afin que son mari accède au pouvoir peut-il vraiment avoir des gestes désintéressés envers les Ivoiriens ? Un cœur qui a pillé et continue de piller les ressources ivoiriennes, et dont les aspirations les plus profondes ne sont motivées que par l’accumulation illégale de richesses peut-il vraiment être charitable ?

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, n’acceptez pas les semences génétiquement modifiées qui vous sont offertes par cette « démarcheuse de mort » sous le manteau de la charité. N’acceptez pas le premier cadeau du « dealer » de drogue. Ce qu’elle recherche vraiment, c’est de créer en vous une dépendance qui vous amarrera à jamais aux multinationales vendeuses de semences qui, à défaut d’avoir vos terres, ont juré d’avoir le contrôle entier de ce que vous y plantez et le contrôle du prix de ce que vous y plantez.

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, n’abandonnez pas vos semences biologiques que vous avez toujours replantées l’année d’après pour des semences qui ne se reproduisent pas. Les semences OGM (organismes génétiquement modifiés) ont ceci de particulier qu’elles ne se reproduisent pas et qu’il faut chaque année aller les acheter à la firme biotechnique qui les fabrique. Attention donc à ces distributions « généreuses » de la vendeuse de mort, qui en réalité ne sont que la dernière trouvaille pour vous dépouiller de vos terres.

Lorsque vous aurez abandonné vos semences biologiques qui ont ce grand avantage de se replanter chaque année, et lorsque vous vous serez accrochées à ces semences GN qui ne se reproduisent pas, lorsque vous aurez remplacé vos semences biologiques par ces semences qu’il faut acheter chaque année chez le spécialiste, et qui, en plus d’être génétiquement formulées, manipulées pour s’autodétruire après la première récolte, requièrent aussi une quantité immesurable d’engrais pour s’activer, alors vous serez à jamais intoxiquées. Vous serez, grâce à la « bienfaitrice » d’Abidjan, les junkies des compagnies semences pour lesquelles elle manœuvre.

Ivoiriennes du vivrier, méfiez-vous de ces semences que vous offre si « généreusement » la marchande de mort. Mais surtout, Ivoiriens et Ivoiriennes, éduquez-vous sur les OGM pour mieux éduquer vos parents planteurs sur les dangers de cette autre grande escroquerie.

Côte d’Ivoire : Attention ! Poudrière Identitaire (publié pour la première fois le 21 janvier 2012), M. Frindéthié

Depuis l’installation martiale d’Alassane Dramane Ouattara au Palais Présidentiel d’Abidjan par les troupes françaises, nous n’avons pas cessé d’interpeller le monde sur les dérives identitaires de son régime. Convaincu qu’il jouit d’une immunité internationale, Alassane Dramane Ouattara encourage personnellement une politique d’épurement ethnique qu’il théorise sans apologie aucune comme « politique de rattrapage ethnique ». Cette politique hitlérienne de purification déguisée en des termes si peu adroits – devrait-on s’en étonner ? – Ouattara la justifie de ce que, de tous les temps, les Nordistes auraient été mis en marge de la société ivoirienne. Ah ! Si mensonge avariait bouche !

Dans son application la moins monstrueuse, la « politique de rattrapage ethnique » de Ouattara consiste à épurer aussi bien les entreprises de l’Etat que les entreprises privées, les associations culturelles, les associations sportives et les organisations non gouvernementales des ressortissants des régions où le président Gbagbo a enregistré une majorité de votes pendant les dernières élections présidentielles, afin de les remplacer par des ressortissants du Nord, où Ouattara a enregistré des scores suspicieusement immesurés. Ainsi, des milliers de travailleurs sudistes sont-ils allés augmenter la pléthore de chômeurs occasionnée par la guerre importée de Ouattara, alors que des milliers de Nordistes les remplaçaient ou décrochaient des contrats publics sans en démontrer les compétences nécessaires.

Dans son application la plus barbare, la « politique de rattrapage ethnique » consiste à laisser faire l’escadron de la mort et les milices armées de Ouattara, de tourner le dos de l’indifférence pendant qu’ils assassinent et commettent des horreurs de toutes sortes sur les populations du Sud. Ainsi, ne se passe-t-il pas un seul jour sans que des civils non armés soient criblés  de balles dans le silence de l’impunité.

Aujourd’hui, la politique d’épurement ethnique de Ouattara semble avoir réussi à pousser la colère des souffre-douleurs à son paroxysme. Les nombreux foyers de tensions qui ont surgi ces derniers mois sont l’évidence que les populations du Sud ont décidé de ne plus se résigner à la mort que leur offre Ouattara. La Côte d’Ivoire est d’autant plus assise sur une poudrière identitaire que Ouattara n’a aucune intention de réviser sa politique ethnocentrique.

Pendant l’épuration nazie, alors que montaient des hauts fourneaux d’Auschwitz les fumées chargées d’effluves de souffrance, de nombreuses populations des villages environnants prétendaient ne rien sentir ni ne rien voir. Aujourd’hui aussi, en Côte d’Ivoire, nombreux sont ceux qui, bénéficiaires de la politique d’épuration ethnique de Ouattara, prétendent ne rien voir ni ne rien entendre … jusqu’au moment inévitable.