Saturday, August 9, 2014

Libya's Ambiguous Role in the Rwandan Drama--Chpt 7 of Charles Onana's "La France dans la Terreur Rwandaise" (adapted by CM/P)

{Hoping to clarify just why some public intellectuals with understandable loyalties to the Libyan Revolution might be playing fast and loose with details of the recent history of Rwanda (e.g., the exact origin or President Habyarimana's ill-fated final flight [i.e., Dar es Salaam rather than Arusha]; the clear responsibility for the assassination of two duly-elected African heads-of-State, which has been definitively determined by the investigations of French anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere and Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles to belong to Paul Kagame and his cohort): we're reposting this piece by Luc Marchal, the Belgian Colonel in charge of UN forces in Kigali during the troubles.  Details matter--even in non-military situations.}

[Being a staunch defender of the Rwandan and Libyan Revolutions, the MRND and the Jamahiriya govts., it has always been very difficult to maintain our annoying 'know-most-all-of-it-but-can-guess-the-rest' attitude when it came to uderstanding Libya's support of Paul Kagame's RPF, a backing that dated back to even before the October 1990 invasison by the bunk-ass Rwandan Tutsi refugees* from Uganda.  One is supposed to lose one's refugee status when one takes a commission in another country's military or government.

In his latest and greatest book so far on the dramas of Central Africa (this one's so great, in a panic, I actually sleep-ordered a second copy), Charles Onana has quickly and concisely straightened out this particular piece of cable and, by including the work of our other Africa-hand préféré, Pierre Péan, has brought us a good way toward understanding how the events in Rwanda were of similar origins and nature to the goings-on in all the other independent democratic countries plagued by the Global Counter-Revolution of late-stage Privatized Waste Capital.

Ironically (or not), in the end, the Libyan Guide and the Rwandan president suffered the same grotesque fate at the hands of Western-salaried barbarians. --mc

*Once you have served in the Administration or the Military of your 'host' country (Rwigema was M7's Defense Minister and Kagame was an official in Ugandan Military Intelligence), you effectively lose your 'refugee' status in the country from which you fled 25 years before.]

Libya’s Ambiguous Role in the Rwandan Drama
(from Chapter 7 of Charles Onana’s “La France dans la terreur rwandaise”[1])

From the first attack by the ‘Tutsi rebels’ in October 1990, their support from Uganda has been acknowledged and remained plainly visible on the ground until the end of the war.  But another source of support, less overt and more difficult to measure, appeared over the course of the conflict:  that of Libya.

In his 16 October 1990 note to French president François Mitterrand, his son and representative in Central Africa, Jean-Christophe, indicated that members of the Libyan secret services had been seen with the Tutsi rebels and were “taking part in a very organized and tough corps.”  This information was also confirmed by the French secret services, particularly the DGSE.  But what was the connection between the Tutsi rebels, supported by Washington, and Col. Khaddafi’s Libya, and what were Libyan Special Forces doing on the rebels’ side while Khaddafi seemed to be carrying on friendly relations with Rwandan President Habyarimana?

Gradually, as the destabilization of Rwanda took shape, things became more and more complex, especially in the realm of the geopolitical.  The connection between Libya and the Tutsi rebels was first seen as a function of another cordial relationship, that between Ugandan president Museveni and Col. Khaddafi, but even more the result of problems that the Libyan Guide had with France, which had been backing the side of the Rwandan head-of-State, Juvénal Habyarimana.

To better understand the origins of this disagreement, it’s necessary to go back a few years.  In 1983, several units of the Libyan army crossed over their northern border into Chad to support the Chadian rebels in their plan to overthrown then-president Hissèn Habré. Neither the US nor France approved of this initiative, and President Mitterrand even sent French troops into Chad under the banner of “Operation Manta” (1983-84) to stop this attempted regime change.  Within two months, France and the US ordered military aid (arms and ammunition) be sent to President Habré to help him deal with the Libyan threat.  The Chadian government was stabilized and the Libya did not achieve its objective.

Libya gave it another try in 1986 when it crossed the 16th parallel, which had been established as the boundary of a non-aggression zone (with Libya in the North and Chad in the South).  Once again France came to the rescue of the Chadian regime and sent in its troops: this time it was christened “Operation Epervier”.  In August 1987, Hissèn Habré’s troops, along with some elements of the Chadian intelligence services, supported by the French from the DGSE, the Americans from the CIA and the Israelis from the Mossad, seized the Libyan airbase at Ouadi Doum, occupied by 5,000 troops of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

In September 1987, Hissène Habré took back some of his territory while delivering a crushing defeat to the Libyan forces, this time without Western help.  Nearly 1,000 Libyan troops were killed and some 300 captured by the Chadians.  For Col. Khaddafi this was an unforgivable affront!  He could not bear this defeat or the humiliation inflicted on his troops, but the ferocity with which the Chadians defended their territory forced him finally to accept a ceasefire in March 1988.  This episode, which profoundly shocked Col. Khaddafi, gave birth to his deep desire for revenge against France.  And it was in the Tutsi rebellion that he saw a way and the means to make France pay for its support of Chad.

Early on the nature of the support given to the Tutsi rebels by Libya remained pretty vague.  But as the rebel attacks inside Rwanda began to multiply, verifiable information that Libyan arms or arms destined for Libya were being used by Paul Kagame’s troops began to accumulate.

It was first President Habyarimana, in his 16 October 1990 conversation with the French ambassador, who made it known that, according to information from is own intelligence services, three Libyan aircraft were spotted at the airport in Kampala and that they were carrying arms for the Tutsi rebellion in his country.  As the suppositions about Libyan involvement were beginning to be fleshed out, Col. Khaddafi was welcomed on 23 October in Kampala by President Museveni.  This troubled President Habyarimana, and he brought up the subject again with French ambassador Georges Martres in their meeting of 25 October.  He noted that The Guide had arrived with several cargo planes that were still parked at the airport in Entebbe.  “What do you make of Col. Khaddafi’s visit and all these Libyan planes in Kampala?” Habyarimana asked the French ambassador.  Martres replied that France was paying very close attention to all this, and if it seemed that Libya was trying to get more involved in the Rwandan conflict, France would have to reevaluate its commitment with regard to these new parameters.

In Tripoli, Col. Khaddafi avoided saying anything about the crisis in Rwanda, but Libyan media regularly reported on the prevailing situation on the ground.  Officially, Libya did not want to appear as Rwanda’s adversary because President Habyarimana had never expressed any hostility toward the Libyan leader.  Moreover, the Rwandan president had been welcomed in Tripoli for the official inauguration of the Great Man-Made River on the completion of this project initiated by Col. Khaddafi.

And then there was the time The Guide had asked President Habyarimana to intervene on his behalf with Zairian president Mobutu and Kenyan president Moi to speed negotiations on the release of Libyan prisoners held by Chad since the 1978-1988 war described above.  Col. Khaddafi had also asked the Rwandan president to go to bat for him with French authorities in the matter of the 17 March 1989 downing over Ténéré (Niger) of a DC10, UTA flight 772, en route from Brazzaville (Rep. of Congo) to Paris. At the time, Khaddafi was accused of this terrorist act even though, in reality, he was not at all responsible for it.[2]  So Habyarimana had good personal relations with the Libyan leader, and the Rwandan Chief of Presidential Security, Col. Elie Sagatwa, was a regular visitor to Tripoli.

But on the great political and diplomatic Chess Board, it looked like the Libyan Guide was running a double or even a triple cross by maintaining normal, cordial relations with the Rwandan government, while at the same time carrying out secret actions against this same government by furnishing guns and ammunition to those Tutsi rebels working from Uganda to overthrow Habyarimana.

Apparently, Libya started very early to support the Tutsi rebellion out of Uganda, even before the 1990 invasion.  It was the Belgian ambassador to Ottawa (Canada) who revealed this to the authorities in Brussels in a highly detailed report from 16 July 1987, three years before the RPF/RPA’s attack against the Habyarimana regime.

“Without prejudice and for your information,” the Belgian diplomat stated, “I’m sending you here below intelligence recently received by my colleague and which I have shared with our military attaché in Washington.  An Anglophone Canadian visitor, with a troubling appearance, claiming to be called Capt. Sheldon Zack, came of his own accord to tell us that he had been personally hired by the Ugandan president to recruit 300 experience Canadian and American mercenaries to train groups of Tutsis with a view toward an invasion of Rwanda.  This person claimed he had to return to Uganda in about three months to present his first report on the recruiting.  Zack said his reason for bringing this information to the Belgian embassy in Ottawa was that after having accepted the mission, he came to find out that the intention of the “Muslim Tutsi invaders” was to kill not only the Christian Hutus but also the Belgian nationals in Rwanda because the Tutsi consider that the Belgian government helped the Hutu overthrow of them [ca. 1959].  They expressed a determined will to massacre our fellow citizens.”

According to Sheldon Zack, as the Belgian ambassador related it, Col. Khaddafi and the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, will be the sponsors of this operation with an eye toward creating a vast Islamic State uniting Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.  A plane, a C-130 or an Antonov, was to leave Tripoli in February or March of 1986, flying at very low altitude over Libya and Sudan, finally landing in Uganda where it would off-load the arms.  Zack took part in unloading munitions from the planes.  There were specifically:  10 huge cases of materiel, five of which bore writing in Arabic.  These cases supposedly contained AK47s, RPGs, grenades, Kalishnikovs [sic], etc.  All these weapons were to be stored underground in Kampala awaiting the date of the invasion.

The Belgian ambassador said:  “This information seems to me to be worth passing along because of the atmosphere of radical anti-clericalism being fomented by Libya in Burundi these days, but it raises serious reservations for the following reason:  the inexact dates of the arms deliveries.”

The only real reason for Libya’s standing with the Americans in support of the Tutsi rebellion was its fierce opposition to France and its intention to take part in weakening the French geopolitical position in Central Africa. Yet, especially shocked by the 6 April 1994 attack that claimed the life of President Habyarimana, Col. Khaddafi put an end to his support of the Tutsis at that moment.

[1] Published as yet in French only, this is our unauthorized translation of Charles Onana’s “La France dans la terreur Rwandaise”, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2014, pp 167-172.

[2] Our friend Pierre Péan has a great book on this incident (sadly, still only in French) that clears the Libyan government of this terrorist act, a job of work that forced PP to come down pretty hard on French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière who was determined to hang it on Khaddafi.  So, when years later the same magistrate produced a report totally damning Paul Kagame and the RPF for the terrorist murders of the three-man French crew of President Habyarimana’s executive jet, which was shot down on 6 April 1994, killing all aboard, including two African heads-of-State, Habyarimana and Burundi’s Cyprien Ntaryamira, as well their entourages and the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff Déogratias Nsabimana, the (left) defenders of Libya--and secondarily of the RPF (like Thierry Meyssan and his Reseau Voltaire)--did all they could to invalidate the Bruguière Report.  Here’s Péan’s book:
“Manipulations africaines: Qui sont les vrais coupables de l’attenat du vol UTA 772?”  Paris, Plon, 2001.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Côte d'Ivoire, The Coup d'État - by Charles Onana (trans. CM/P)--The Preface by Thabo Mbeki

[More than a year ago we translated this very important book by Charles Onana in what we hoped would be the opening of a new window through which the English-speaking public could, with this fresh flow of hitherto suppressed géopolitical information, gain a cleaner Historical outlook on  what has become  a modern global plague of ‘regime change’ carried out in the name of Humanity but serving only the strict interests of late-stage Waste Capital.

Since the end of WWII, and in a more accelerated and widespread fashion since the fin-de-siècle Privatization of the Eastern bloc, the foreclosure on once-‘non-aligned’ nations has been breathtaking.  With Rwanda and Yugoslavia in the beginning of the 1990s, a template was developed for seizing control of previously-nationalized resources and industries of the target-nations, nations whose popular governments struggled mightily to defend their societies from the wastage being inflicted by a rapacious, rampaging, deregulated Private Capital.  Often the popular leaders of these countries, usually hard-line socialists demonized at virulent nationalists, were eliminated—with extreme prejudice—and the wealth of the countries was sold off for a pittance and the peoples were immiserated.  

In this book on Côte d'Ivoire—our translation of which,  if all goes well, will be serialized one chapter a week here at CM/P—Charles Onana, the prolific Cameroonian investigative journalist, with his authentic, comprehensive and intricately detailed understanding on all things French-African,  has described how this ‘géostrategic template’ was applied to Côte d'Ivoire at the beginning of the 21st Century.   

For some reason we have not been able to discover,  this, the only English language version of the book, has completely disappeared from the global library.  But the information contained has never been more pertinent or more necessary—with regard to Gaza or Eastern Ukraine—for coming to grips with a US foreign policy—too fine a term for what is little more than militarized terror—gone hatter mad or madder in its insatiable concupiscence to lay claim to the ash heap it is rendering our planet. –mc] 

Christopher Black

{In the Scheveningen prison, used in the 1940’s by the Gestapo, sits an African head-of-State: President Laurent Gbagbo: duly elected by the people of Ivory Coast in 2000; in 2011, after his November 2010 re-election was contested by opponent Alassane Outtara, he was overthrown in a coup arranged by the West, particularly by France and the USA; and, in April of that year, he was placed under arrest by French troops. He now languishes in the concrete cells of the International Criminal Court [ICC] in The Hague. First dragged before the ICC in November 2011, he has not yet gone to trial. In keeping with the Kafkaesque legal procedures at the ICC, the hearing to confirm that there was sufficient evidence to charge him and proceed to trial was not held until March 2013.  No surprise to those who know the facts, the judges at the ICC found the prosecutor had failed to present sufficient evidence to establish the charges.

But, instead of immediately releasing President Gbagbo, the judges ordered that his detention continue while the prosecutor tried to come up with some kind of evidence. Such a ruling in any common law or civil law system in the world would be seen as blatantly political—its purpose, to keep Laurent Gbagbo out of Ivory Coast politics for as long as possible.

Finally, more than a year later, on June 12, 2014, the ICC, based solely on hearsay evidence, confirmed the charges and ordered the Ivorian President to stand trial. In their decision, the judges did not once mention the principal role of French forces in the violence that took place.  However, one honest judge, Hon. Christine Van den Wyngaert, in her dissent, stated emphatically, "I am unable to join my colleagues in their decision to confirm the charges.... I am of the view that the evidence is still insufficient…. There is a considerable quantitative increase in the evidence submitted by the Prosecutor.... However, the previously identified problem regarding reliance on anonymous hearsay remains." She then found that, even taken at its highest, the prosecution had failed to meet the standard required, and that the evidence they had presented could not reasonably result in a conviction at trial.

The Prosecutor of the ICC is a former prosecutor at the Rwandan War Crimes Tribunal [ICTR] in Arusha, Tanzania, where it was standard practice to charge first and then concoct evidence later. We can see that these same extra-legal methods are being used at the ICC, and that in actuality we are observing the criminalization of International Justice. For those who wish to know why Laurent Gbagbo, Simone Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé are being held in the ICC prison, Charles Onana's comprehensive and dramatic account of the events in Ivory Coast is essential reading.  One can only hope that people around the world will wake up and stand up to call for justice for these political prisoners before their leaders, too, fall victim to what can only be described as “judicial fascism."

—Christopher Black, International Defense Counsel}

Côte d’Ivoire
The Coup d’État

Charles Onana

[translated from the French by CM/P]

From the same writer:

Bokassa. Ascension et chute d'un empereur, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 1998.

Crime d'Etat contre un journaliste, Editions Minsi, Paris, 1999.

Les secrets du génocide rwandais. Enquête sur les mystères d'un président, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2002.

La France et ses tirailleurs, enquête sur les combattants de la République, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2003.

Les secrets de la justice internationale, enquêtes truquées sur le génocide rwandais, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2005.

Noirs Blancs Beurs, libérateurs de la France, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2005.

Joséphine Baker contre Hitler, la star noire de la France libre, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2006.

René Maran, le premier Goncourt noir, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2007.

Les voyous de l'Arche de Zoé, enquête sur un kidnapping d'enfants, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2008.

Ces tueurs tutsi, au cœur de la tragédie congolaise, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2009.

Al-Bashir & Darfour, la contre-enquête, Editions Duboiris, Paris, 2010.

Côte d’Ivoire

The Coup d’État

Preface by President Thabo Mbeki 

Editions Duboiris|

Copyright © Editions Duboiris, 2011.
Editions Duboiris, 67 rue Saint Jacques 75005 Paris.

Preface by Thabo Mbeki
Former President of the Republic of South Africa
and mediator for the Ivorian crisis

The second round of the Nov. 28, 2010, presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire pitted two long-standing political opponents, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. For this reason, and of strategic importance, it was inevitable that this electoral contest would decide the long-term future of the country. Everybody concerned should have probed very seriously the critical question: Would the 2010 elections create the conditions that would establish the basis for the best possible future for the Ivorian people?
This was not done.
Rather, the international community insisted that what Côte d'Ivoire required to end its crisis was to hold democratic elections, even though the conditions did not exist to conduct such elections. Though they knew that this proposition was fundamentally wrong, the Ivorians could not withstand the international pressure to hold the elections.
However, the objective reality is that the Ivorian presidential elections should not have been held when they were held. It was perfectly foreseeable that they would further entrench the very conflict it was suggested they would end.
The 2002 rebellion in Côte d'Ivoire divided the country into two parts, with the north controlled by the rebel Forces Nouvelles, which supported Alassane Ouattara, and the south in the hands of the Gbagbo-led government. Since then, Côte d'Ivoire has had two governments, administrations, armies, and "national" leaders.
Any elections held under these circumstances would inevitably entrench the divisions and animosities represented and exacerbated by the 2002 rebellion.
The structural faults that lay at the base of the 2002 rebellion include such inflammable issues as trans-national tensions affecting especially Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, Ivorian ethnic and religious antagonisms, sharing of political power, and access to economic and social power and opportunities.
In this regard, the international community has assiduously suppressed proper appreciation of various explosive allegations that, rightly or wrongly, have informed and will continue to inform the views of the Gbagbo-supporting population in southern Côte d'Ivoire -- and much of Francophone Africa!
These are that Ouattara is a foreigner born in Burkina Faso, that together with Burkinabè President Blaise Compaoré he was responsible for the 2002 rebellion, that his accession to power would result in the takeover of the country especially by Burkinabè foreigners, and that historically, to date, he has been ready to advance French interests in Côte d'Ivoire.
Taking all this into account, the African Union understood that a lasting solution of the Ivorian crisis necessitated a negotiated agreement between the two belligerent Ivorian factions, focused on the interdependent issues of democracy, peace, national reconciliation and unity.
In protracted negotiations from 2002, the Ivorians agreed that the presidential elections would not be held until various conditions had been met. These included the reunification of the country, the restoration of the national administration to all parts of the Ivorian territory, and the disarmament of the rebels and all militia and their integration in the national security machinery, with the latter process completed at least two months ahead of any presidential elections. Despite the fact that none of this was honored, the presidential elections were allowed to proceed.
In the end, Ouattara was installed as president of Côte d'Ivoire. Gbagbo, and his wife Simone, ended up as humiliated prisoners. Many Ivorians have died and have been displaced, much infrastructure has been destroyed, and historic animosities have been exacerbated in the lead up to this outcome.
Many things have gone radically wrong along the road to this result.
Agreements relating to what needed to be done to create conditions for free and fair elections were willfully and contemptuously ignored. The Ivorian Constitutional Council (CC) is the only body constitutionally empowered to determine the winner in any presidential election and to install the president, with the Electoral Commission (IEC) mandated to forward its provisional results to the CC. However, the very people who insist on the sanctity of the rule of law as fundamental to all democratic practice, elected illegally to recognize the provisional result announced by the chairperson of the IEC on his own, as the authentic outcome of the presidential election.

As provided by the law, Gbagbo contested the fairness of the elections in certain parts of the country, especially the north. The CC, rightly or wrongly, accepted the majority of the complaints made by Gbagbo, identified other "irregularities," annulled the votes in some districts, and declared Gbagbo the victor. The chairperson of the IEC did not take these alleged irregularities into account and decided that Ouattara had won.
The envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, his fellow South Korean, SRSG Young-jin Choi, also determined that Ouattara had won, but on the basis of fewer votes than those announced by the IEC, having determined that some of the complaints made by Gbagbo were legitimate. In terms of the votes cast for the two candidates, the IEC, the CC, and the U.N. SRSG made three different determinations.
Gbagbo proposed that to resolve this matter, which bears on the important issue of the will of the Ivorian people, an international commission should be established to verify the election results, with the important pre-condition that both he and Ouattara should accept the determination of the commission.
This proposal was rejected by the international community -- despite the fact that it would have resolved the electoral dispute without resort to war, and despite the fact that some election observers questioned the fairness of the elections, especially in northern Côte d'Ivoire.
For instance, reporting on the elections in the north, the election observer mission of the AU led by Joseph Kokou Kofigoh, former prime minister of Togo, the independent civil society Societé Civile Africaine pour la Democratie et l'Assistance Electoral led by Seynabou Indieguene of Senegal, and the Coordination of African Election Experts (CAEE) from Cameroon, Senegal, Benin, Mali, Morocco, Gabon, and Togo led by Jean-Marie Ongjibangte of Cameroon, all sounded the alarm about the elections in the north.
For instance, the CAEE said: "After sharing information with other national and international election observers, we hereby state that the second round of the presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire was held amidst major problems in (various northern) regions...
"These problems were stealing of ballot boxes, arresting of candidates' representatives, multiple voting, refusal to admit international observers to witness counting of ballots, and the murder of representatives of candidates. To that effect, we hereby declare that the second round of voting was not free, fair and transparent in these (northern) localities."
For its part, to this day, the ECOWAS election observer mission has not issued its report on the second round of the presidential election! Why?
Clearly the independent international commission proposed by Laurent Gbagbo could have been established and empowered to make a definitive and binding determination about what had happened. Time will tell why this was not done!
Further, the U.N. SRSG took the extraordinary decision to exceed his mandate by declaring who had won the presidential election, contrary to his tasks as detailed by the Security Council. This positioned the U.N. Mission in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) as a partisan in the Ivorian conflict, rather than a neutral peacemaker, equidistant from the belligerent parties.
From this point onwards, UNOCI had no choice but actively to work for the installation of Ouattara as president of the country and the removal of Gbagbo. Ultimately, this found expression in the blatant use of its military capacities to open the way for the Forces Nouvelles to defeat the Gbagbo forces and capture Gbagbo, under the shameless pretence that it was acting to protect civilians.

While obliged to respect its peacekeeping mandate, which included keeping the belligerent forces apart, UNOCI did nothing to stop the advance of the Forces Nouvelles from the north to the south, including and up to Abidjan. Nor did UNOCI or the French Licorne forces, as mandated by the United Nations, act to protect civilians in the area of Duékoué, where, evidently, the most concentrated murder of civilians took place! This recalls the United Nations' failure to end the more catastrophic murder and abuse of civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo!
The Ivorian reality points to a number of incontrovertible conclusions.
The agreed conditions for the holding of democratic elections in Côte d'Ivoire were not created. Despite strong allegations of electoral fraud, the international community decided against conducting any verification of the process and the announced results. This left unanswered the vitally important question of who actually had won the elections, which Ouattara might have done.
The United Nations elected to abandon its neutrality as a peacemaker, deciding to be a partisan belligerent in the Ivorian conflict.
France used its privileged place in the Security Council to position itself to play an important role in determining the future of Côte d'Ivoire, its former colony in which, inter alia, it has significant economic interests. It joined the United Nations to ensure that Ouattara emerged as the victor in the Ivorian conflict.
This addressed the national interests of France, consistent with its Françafrique policies, which aim to perpetuate a particular relationship with its former African colonies. This is in keeping with remarks made by former French President François Mitterand when he said, "Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century," which former French foreign minister Jacques Godfrain confirmed when he said: "A little country [France], with a small amount of strength, we can move a planet because [of our]...relations with 15 or 20 African countries..."
The AU is also not without blame, as it failed to assert itself to persuade everybody to work to achieve reconciliation among the Ivorians, and therefore durable peace. Tragically, the outcome that has been achieved in Côte d'Ivoire further entrenches the endemic conflict in this country. This is because it has placed in the exclusive hands of the failed rebellion of 2002 the ability to determine the future of the country, whereas the objective situation dictated and dictates that the people of Côte d'Ivoire should engage one another as equals to determine their shared destiny.
During the decade he served as president of Côte d'Ivoire, Gbagbo had no possibility to act on his own to reunify the country and achieve reconciliation among its diverse people, despite the existence of negotiated agreements in this regard. As he serves as president of the country, Ouattara will not succeed to realise these objectives, acting on his own, outside the context of honest agreement with the sections of the Ivorian population represented by Gbagbo.
What was to come was foreseen by the then U.S. ambassador in Côte d'Ivoire, Wanda L. Nesbitt. In July 2009, she advised the U.S. government:
"It now appears that the Ouaga IV agreement, [the fourth agreement to the Ouagadougou Political Agreement which prescribed that disarmament should precede the elections], is fundamentally an agreement between Blaise Compaoré [President of Burkina Faso] and Laurent Gbagbo to share control of the north until after the presidential election, despite the fact that the text calls for the Forces Nouvelles to return control of the north to the government and complete disarmament two months before the election...
"But the 5,000 Forces Nouvelles soldiers who are to be "disarmed" and regrouped into barracks in four key cities in the north and west until a new national army is created, represent a serious military capability that the FAFN [Forces Nouvelles] intends to keep well-trained and in reserve until after the election. The hand-over of administrative power from the FAFN to civilian government authorities is a pre-requisite for elections but, as travelers to the north (including Embassy personnel) confirm: the FAFN retain de-facto control of the region especially when it comes to finances."

The failure to address the "pre-requisite for elections" predetermined their outcome. The rebel "control" of the north, mentioned by Ambassador Nesbitt, prescribed the outcome of the 2010 presidential election. Similarly, it was the "military capability" of the rebellion, which Ambassador Nesbitt mentioned, that was used to ensure that Ouattara became president of Côte d'Ivoire.
It is little wonder that as the post-election crisis deepened, Laurent Gbagbo would cry out: I was betrayed!
At the end of it all, there are many casualties.
One of these is the African Union. The tragic events in Côte d'Ivoire have confirmed the marginalization of the union in its ability to resolve the most important African challenges.
Instead, the AU has asserted the ability of the major powers to intervene to resolve these challenges by using their various capacities to legitimize their actions by persuading the United Nations to authorize their self-serving interventions.
The United Nations is yet another casualty. It has severely undermined its acceptability as a neutral force in the resolution of internal conflicts, such as the one in Côte d'Ivoire. It will now be difficult for the United Nations to convince Africa and the rest of the developing world that it is not a mere instrument in the hands of the world's major powers. This has confirmed the urgency of the need to restructure the organization, based on the view that as presently structured the United Nations has no ability to act as a truly democratic representative of its member states.
Thus, in various ways, the events in Côte d'Ivoire could serve as a defining moment in terms of the urgent need to reengineer the system of international relations. They have exposed the reality of the balance and abuse of power in the post-Cold War era, and put paid to the fiction that the major powers respect the rule of law in the conduct of international relations, even as defined by the U.N. Charter, and that, as democrats, they respect the views of the peoples of the world.
We can only hope that Laurent and Simone Gbagbo and the Ivorian people do not continue to suffer as abused and humiliated victims of a global system which, in its interests, while shouting loudly about universal human rights, only seeks to perpetuate the domination of the many by the few who dispose of preponderant political, economic, military and media power.
The perverse and poisonous proceedings that have afflicted Côte d'Ivoire pose the urgent question: How many blatant abuses of power will Africa and the rest of the developing world experience before the vision of a democratic system of global governance is realised? 

*Our sincere thanks to President Mbeki for accepting to preface this book and to Foreign Policy for authorizing the reproduction of the above text.

{to be continued . . .}