I've mentioned before I condemn any violence. I have friends in Cote d'Ivoire who are strong Gbagbo supporters, others who are behind Ouattara and many who were with Bedie but have gone towards Ouattara. Never mind their political allegiances, many of them are in danger, without money & unable to escape the violence in Abidjan ... Their blood is cheap, not even the media wants to expose the situation to assist.
So I find it difficult when I'm chatting online or by phone to Cote d'Ivoire trying to assist them, when the question of politics comes up. I had one such encounter this afternoon. A friend was telling me that the press reviews were depressing & I agreed. 'So much of it is anti-Gbagbo and people don't know the real truth when it's Ouattara's mercenaries doing the killing' - I thought for a moment and was surprised by this comment from someone who usually sticks in the middle & wants peace for Cote d'Ivoire.
I shot back; 'well never mind the press, the videos must be true surely?' It all went very quiet ...
My friend knew that I was referring to the horrific video with a Pro-Gbagbo military vehicle in it, where people were being thrown onto a bonfire, still alive. I've heard of many accounts of pro-Gbagbo attacks, I am also aware that Ouattara's 'Forces Nouvelles' - renamed this week as the 'Republican Army' aren't choirboys either. But it has to be said that the photographic & video evidence shows much more pro-Gbagbo violence. I was shocked to hear a Gbagbo aide talk on AlJazeera about a week ago in a debate saying that the 7 women killed & video of it was a fake. He has the full video which apparently shows these women getting up afterwards & walking away. Well if that's true why isn't it all over the internet or on YouTube???
Show the world the truth on both sides ... but stop the violence!
This conflict is creating many problems between people, friends & even family. Those who are 'with' one of the Presidents and those who aren't but supporting the other one. I'm loyal to my friends & treat them all with the same respect no matter their creed, colour, religion or political views but fear that I will lose friends who cannot see both sides of the situation. Rumours are abound, another friend told me that Ouattara had made a bad choice of bringing in 2,000 Burkinabe UN troops. I asked around about this and it seems to be completely unfounded ...
It's gone past the 'election debate' which votes should be counted, which were fraudulent; dependant on the camp you belong to. The problem is now the violence, escaping Abidjan and towns in the west and sheer survival. The 'Ivoriete' problem seems to have returned with a vengence; but look at any country in the world, we're all a cosmopolitan melting pot!