- West Africa
- Ivory Coast
- Conflicts - Politics
Ivory Coast: A Genocide Alert?
Ivory Coast has been placed under red alert following reports that houses have been marked according to the residents’ tribal background, and after the group, Young Patriots- supporters of democracy-resisting Ivory Coast President Mr. Laurent Gbagbo threatened to march into the hotel of President Elect Mr. Alassane Ouattara.
According to reports, the leader of the Young Patriots, Charles Ble Goude, who is also Mr. Gbagbo’s youth minister threatened to lunch an attack on Mr. Ouattara and his supporters, warning ECOWAS not to send troops to intervene.
"They should prepare themselves very well because we are thinking about totally liberating our country, and soon I will launch the final assault," Goude was quoted by reporters.
In regard to this threat, Ivory Coast’s newly appointed ambassador to the UN has warned the country is "on the brink of genocide."
Mr. Bamba addressing the tensions in a TV interview said some houses had been marked according to the residents’ tribal background, and that he was concerned about what could happen next. He added said something ought to be done immediately.
Experts say the inflammatory language by the Young Patriots could help push the nation back into civil war.
Conversely, the UN has Ivory Coast on red alert as Mr. Gbagbo continues to incite hatred and lies against the UN; instigating anti-ONUCI propaganda, ordering the UN to leave Ivory Coast, and accusing them of interfering in Ivorian affairs.
"The declarations I hear on the RTI [State TV] are concerning us and shocking us, because they clearly instigate the population to turn against ONUCI [UN mission in Ivory Coast]," UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said about Gbagbo-controlled state TV.
With the threats of military force, a talk of genocide and rising tensions between Mr. Gbagbo’s controlled government army and Mr. Outattara’s controlled former rebel forces, almost 20,000 people - mostly women and children - have fled Ivory Coast for neighboring Liberia, fearing further unrest.
Mr. Ouattara was declared the winner of the elections by the electoral commission but Constitutional Council awarded the election victory to Mr. Gbagbo.
A decade ago, Ivory Coast was divided between a rebel-run north and government-controlled south meshed in conflict.
9,500 UN peacekeepers remain alert in the country.