White House renews virus briefings: Many more still will die    Emigration minister calls on Egyptian expats to participate in rehabilitating poorest villages under Decent Life initiative    In Photos: 5,000 stolen artefacts returned to Egypt    Oil slips as COVID-19 and demand concerns weigh ahead of supply report    Egypt FM, EU Special Representative discuss efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace process    Egypt's stocks end higher, benchmark EGX 30 gains 0.45% on Wednesday    UNCTAD: Egypt remains Africa's top destination for FDI despite pandemic    Egypt contracts French RATP to manage Cairo's new electric train line    Mali army and French forces kill 100 extremists this month    Arsenal signs midfielder Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid    Egypt's TAQA Arabia IPO may be delayed to beyond Q1-2022    Tunisian press syndicate criticise police over night arrest    EU meeting with Astra on vaccine supplies canceled after firm pulls out: EU official    Asian Champions League holders Ulsan to face debutants in group phase    Tennis: Nadal, Serena support strict COVID-19 protocols in Australia    Egypt reports 643 new coronavirus cases, 55 deaths on Tuesday    Cabinet under fire    Rana Haggag's jazz concert at Room Art Space & Café is a must go    Scheherazade retold    Cabinet building    Egypt announces resumption of maritime navigation with Qatar    Egyptian FM to deliver statement on foreign policy before parliament Tuesday    Egypt confirms 669 new coronavirus cases, 53 deaths on Monday    Egypt launches website for vaccination registration    Egypt joins Netherlands, Malawi in supporting UK-led scheme to fight against climate change    New daily Coronavirus cases continued to fall over the weekend    BREAKING: Egypt resumes diplomatic relations with Qatar ending 4-year boycott    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Ivory Coast: Calls for reconciliation, vengeance
Published in Almasry Alyoum on 18 - 04 - 2011

Abidjan -- With tears welling in her eyes, the 16-year-old recounted how both her brothers were killed by troops fighting for strongman Laurent Gbagbo. Then rage contorted her face as she ranted against the arrested former president: "They must kill him. He's a savage."
Gbagbo was finally arrested and forced from power on 11 April, more than four months after he lost elections. Calls for reconciliation and healing have come from all sides since then.
"We beg forgiveness for the bad things that have happened. But nothing can be gained by seeking vengeance," said warlord Ibrahim "IB" Coulibaly, who had thrown his forces against Gbagbo. "Hatred and vengeance are our weaknesses."
President Alassane Ouattara himself has called for reconciliation, but says there also must be justice. He wants Gbagbo tried by national and international courts.
Justice Minister Jeannot Ahoussou said he is drawing up a list of ministers, generals and journalists to be charged with blood crimes, corruption and hate speech.
But despite calls for healing in Ivory Coast, some say they cannot forgive.
At an Abidjan church where Gbagbo partisans have sought refuge, people still were talking of the need for the West African nation to be run by "real Ivorians" -- a reference to Gbagbo's divisionist tactic of questioning the nationality even of Ouattara, who was born in Ivory Coast but whose father is from neighboring Burkina Faso. Gbagbo also attempted to raise Western opposition to Ouattara by harping on his Muslim religion and suggesting he would turn Ivory Coast into a refuge for Islamist radicals.
Gbagbo, who came to power in 2000 promising to unite the country, had resorted to inciting old tribal and religious rivalries to create dissension and prolong his stay in power.
Coulibaly, whose "Invisible Commandos" began the fight in the commercial city of Abidjan to wrest power from Gbagbo troops who fired mortars and rockets at civilians, said Ivory Coast needs reconciliation and pointed to South Africa as an example. But Coulibaly himself has been a divisive force among those fighting for Ouattara, raising fears that old rivalries put aside while different armed groups joined forces to topple Gbagbo could now re-emerge.
Coulibaly has denied there was infighting between his fighters and other pro-Ouattara forces. But witnesses said there was, costing lives and delaying Gbagbo's capture for 10 days. The witnesses said Coulibaly wanted to announce on TV that he was heading a new transitional military government. Coulibaly denies it.
Another possible obstacle is Gbagbo's rabble-rousing youth minister Charles Ble Goude, who is in hiding. He is wanted by the Ivory Coast government for crimes including inciting his Young Patriot thugs to attack foreigners and people from tribes loyal to Ouattara. He also allegedly used them as a human shield around the presidential residence where Gbagbo had sheltered in a fortified underground bunker.
Before Gbagbo was finally ousted, there were barbarities on both sides.
Gbagbo fighters slaughtered at least four Muslim imams during the fighting in Abidjan and set ablaze at least 10 mosques.
Pro-Ouattara fighters attacked the Catholic cathedral in the southwestern cocoa port of San Pedro, firing into 5000 residents from tribes opposed to Gbagbo who had sought refuge there. One man was killed and many wounded.
At the weekend two pillars of Gbagbo's power -- his Ivorian Popular Front party and the powerful Students' and Scholars' Federation of Ivory Coast -- urged die-hard militants to lay down their arms and called for national reconciliation.
Student leader Augustin Mian on Sunday said federation members should "engage fully" in the reconciliation.
On Saturday, Gbagbo party leader Pascal Affi N'Guessan said "The war is over" and asked Ivorians to "give a chance to the restoration of peace" and halt the "revenge killings, the looting."
He expressed the party's sympathies to the families of all those who died.
But that is not enough for Fatoumata Zhama Diaby, the 16-year-old. She was at a weekend march, dancing and singing along with other women and shouting their support for Ouattara. After she lashed out at Gbagbo, a reporter asked if she heard Ouattara's call for reconciliation.
"They killed both of my brothers. We are six left now, only girls. My brothers were very dear to me," she said, putting a hand over her heart.
She said Fohmad Diaby, 24, and Comaba Blo Diaby, 17, died the day of the election, 28 November, when soldiers attacked people protesting Gbagbo's refusal to step down. The elder brother was hit by a grenade she said, showing shrapnel wounds on her arms from the same blast. The younger brother was disabled and could not run with others. He was shot.
"I can never, never forgive them," Diaby said. "Gbagbo is inhuman. If I saw him today, I wouldn't just kill him, I would cut him into pieces."

Clic here to read the story from its source.