The UN, Africa, and the Elections: Just Get a Bucket of Popcorn and Grab a Seat! M. Frindéthié

Mba Obame

Living up to its ugly reputation, the United Nations has opened a Pandora’s Box in Africa. Last December, the French and American ambassadors in Cote d’Ivoire and the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, pressured Ban Ki-Moon’s special envoy to Cote d’Ivoire, Choi Young-Jin, to rush and declare Dramane Ouattara the winner of the Ivorian presidential election in utter disregard of any ethical or constitutional propriety. Determined to see President Sarkozy and Ambassador Rice’s personal friend in the presidential palace of Cote d’Ivoire, Choi bypassed the authority of the country’s constitutional council, dismissed election observers’ reports of massive frauds and intimidations in the rebel-held parts of the country, and, inaugurating himself the President of the Constitutional Council, Choi certified a sham result in favor of Ouattara, which was announced on French TV and at Ouattara’s campaign headquarter. Since then, Cote d’Ivoire has been engulfed into a protracted post-electoral crisis, as the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, whom Constitutional Council has declared the winner, remains inflexible to the French- and US-led “international community’s” multiple injunctions to cede power to rebel-chief Ouattara. In a surrealist scenario, Ouattara, whose rebels forces had attacked Gbagbo’s legal government in 2002 and committed immeasurable atrocities in the country without causing the slightest quiver in the “international community,” is being protected by UN forces in the hotel where he has exiled himself, is having his errands (grocery shopping, dry cleaning, etc.) run by UN helicopters, and is having his image polished by the UN, while President Gbagbo is now being indexed as the villain under investigation by the international tribunal. So, drawing upon the United Nations’ politics of the absurd, which, in Cote d’Ivoire has turned the victimizer into the victim, the loser into the winner, and wrong into right, Gabonese opposition leader Mba Obame declared himself the winner of the 2009 Gabonese presidential elections, formed his own government and sought refuge in the compound of the United Nations in Libreville more than 17 months after the contested election that was called in favor of  Ali Bongo, son of late President Omar Bongo. By its ubuism, the United Nations Organization has opened a Pandora’s Box that promises out of the ordinary scenes on an African continent that faces more than a dozen elections in 2011. Who will be the next presidential candidate to proclaim himself/herself legitimate president, flee to a hotel, and seek the protection of the United nations and the “international Community”? Just get a bucket of popcorn and grab a seat!


One Response to The UN, Africa, and the Elections: Just Get a Bucket of Popcorn and Grab a Seat! M. Frindéthié

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