Texts by Denis Maugenest

Speech on the Ivorian crisis for the FASV (June 18, 2011, Embassy of Côte d’Ivoire in France)

Excellency Ambassador, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends of the Saint Viateur Fund,

I do not think I am in the best position to talk about the long crisis that Côte d’Ivoire is going through in general, since everyone here has probably had experience of it longer than I have, by nationality for some and by long-standing cooperation for others. As far as I am concerned, after an initial relatively brief but instructive passage in 1975 and a few others after that, I have only been there a little more continuously since October 2002, but I will have been there full time for those nine years – which were, to tell the truth, particularly delicate – of Ivorian history: from the division of the country at the end of September 2002 until the collapse, last April and in appalling conditions, of the regime that had been set up at the end of 2000 in calamitous conditions.

If Pierre Frégeac has asked me to say a few words about this, it is perhaps because of the information I have been able to send daily since 1 December to several Friends like him, ensuring as I could and felt it, the follow-up of a situation that, dramatically set in motion following the 28 November elections, was going to lead to the appalling tragedy we experienced on the ground. In my mind, the word, EFFROYABLE, means what it means etymologically: “that fills with fear and terror” those, certainly, who live the events; those, perhaps, and more or less, who observe them from some distance; those, surely I believe, who try to analyse them and interpret their meaning, their significance.

I do not want to pretend here to make any synthesis whatsoever of this slice of history as our friend Pierre suggested I do: twelve years of crisis, four months of war – assessment and prospects. A balance sheet can only be drawn up at the end of a financial year, and we can clearly see that the financial year of the last ten years is not over, that its extensions in various unfortunate forms seriously hamper the start of the next financial year: that of the reconstruction of Côte d’Ivoire, that of, I would say for my part, the construction of a New Côte d’Ivoire, to use an expression used by President Ouattara.

I shall confine myself to sharing with you, more modestly, my impressions of the present moment, of what I think it is possible to decipher from “what has happened”, which has nevertheless greatly “astonished” the Ivorians themselves, who find it difficult to return from it, astonished to have gone so far, ‘too far’ (as Paul N’Dré said) in a country that passed for a country of fraternity and peace… and that astonished all his friends who had become accustomed to consider it the place of some kind of miracle – including, Did they believe, or did they still want to believe at the end of November, in the successful transition to a genuine democracy through an indisputable ballot… I confess that I myself was one of those who wanted to believe, for some time (until December 18), in this last miracle, with, it seems to me, the French ambassador, President Ouattara… probably not Prime Minister Guillaume Soro…!

I was talking about EFFROI? The Robert dictionary gives the following definition: Great fear, often mixed with horror, that freezes, that seizes… panic, fear, horror, horror, fear and terror… This fear is of course the one that the people of Abobo and Yopougon have known and experienced, after two of Douékoué and many other places in the west in particular… It leaves the impression of a nightmare, of a painful and lasting dream, of obsession and torment… Has this feeling of fear already passed? Must it pass? I do not think so, and it would probably be neither right nor good if it were to pass too quickly, because in this feeling of fear, truths are revealed that could constitute tomorrow – and today, as soon as possible – the genuinely lasting foundation of the society to be rebuilt and, even more radically, to be founded, built and raised on new foundations.

1) The experience of truly appalling events… In cauda venenum!

It is the terminal phase of this long crisis which in fact reveals most clearly all that made the chiaroscuro vitality, seductive for some, evil for others, of the “regime” at work during the last ten years. In cauda venenum: the venom is in the tail! The tail of a very long body that for a long time may not have been as venomous as it turned out to be in the end. How long is the tail of this body? Does the crisis date back to 2002…? 2000… 1999… 1993… 1963… before… colonization? It is permissible to wonder – and this is what many people who intend to contribute to the work of truth, justice and reconciliation decided by the new regime are doing at the present time… with all the risks that this undertaking entails….

In any case, the events, because of the very fear they created, led to two feelings:

  • that of the slow, long, progressive awareness of the failures of Ivorian society, which can already be described as profound;
  • that of the importance of the challenges to be taken up for the construction of a new Ivorian society, not taking these shortcomings on board but with the ambition to do things anew!

What appeared to me personally ‘immediately appalling’ were the very first days, at the end of November and the beginning of December, certain public acts: from a member of the IEC interrupting the proclamation of results in front of the world’s cameras; then from the president of the FPI invading the television studio from morning to night to deceitfully persuade public opinion of serious fraud here and there; and again of the president of a constitutional council perjuring national and international law, whose mission it is his duty to remind people that it is the law of peace for the whole of society; and finally the pittance of an outgoing president being solemnly invested in haste before his faithful alone as depositary and representative of the Authority over all citizens and foreigners residing in the city! Yes, for me it was indeed Frightening and the impression of an active demonic diablery… The following was only the progressive, systematic development of the effects of this venom whose pocket had just torn at the end of the tail of I don’t know what snake, It was to last and grow stronger every day, with the ballet of all the angels of the devil and the good god succeeding one another at the bedside to the rhythms of dances that were alternately quiet and serene, feverish and frenzied mediators coming from far away, or meeting in Addis Ababa, Abuja, Bamako… as well as from both competing and competing governments, travelling across West, Central and Southern Africa, Europe or North America… Not to mention the atmosphere that was to reign at the Golf Hotel on the one hand, and at the Presidential Palace on the other hand… Not to mention all the acts of violence and barbarism that are committed and multiplying in some remote areas of the country, and neighborhoods of Abidjan…

In my opinion, at the end of the chain of events, among all the gestures of allegiance to the new President, were also appalling the reversal of the jackets of many actors of the former regime, for example the hardly believable confession of Paul N’Dré, on April 20, acknowledging before Alassane Ouatara that he had finally agreed to come and greet him from Accra: “We went too far, the Ivorians… We are all responsible for what happened: the current president, the party president, (Laurent) Gbagbo, the citizens, the media, everyone is responsible, that’s it… “

The journalists noticed that the president of this highest institution of society, the Constitutional Council, had nevertheless a visibly tense face, aware of having to receive soon and willing to take the oath of Alassane Ouattara after having imposed that of Laurent Gbagbo.

Appalling, but perfectly representative of the present state of savagery of the Ivorian public spirit at the end of six months of tragic ordeal: murders and assassinations … reprisals … threats … fear and terror leading to hide, go underground in his own country, go into exile … Going through, following the articles I read in Abidjan.Net, the comments of some and others, I remain seized with dread in front of the radicalization of their expression… The dialogue is difficult, the extent of the stain is colossal indeed! On Tuesday last week, Mr Ambassador, you pleaded before French business leaders for the restoration of confidence between New Côte d’Ivoire and its economic partners, but you will have noted, as I did, the remark by a participant at the end of that meeting that the problem was less one of restoring international confidence between Côte d’Ivoire and its partners than one of building national confidence, between Ivorians… And it is on this point that I should like to offer you a few more personal reflections.

2) Reread, in a second step, these ‘events’ – wanted, suffered…- and their consequences…

I do not wish to dwell on all the facts of the present situation, which is of course evolving day by day and which everyone can follow: enthusiasm on the part of the latter, rallying on the part of some, resistance on the part of others, perhaps conspiracy on the part of the latter… The crisis does not cease to produce its effects, in particular with the reclassification of all the organised forces: political forces first of all, within the former presidential majority (CNRD, FPI, auxiliary formations…), but also within the new one (RHDP, PDCI, secondary formations…); religious forces then, none of them having been virgin in the events that took place, and you know the moral sufferings that resulted for many faithful Catholics, Protestants, Muslims … whose hierarchies are disunited … But I think we must also know how to count the positive effects as well as the negative effects of these reclassifications at various levels:

— at the political level: as much as it may obviously seem shocking that the same President of the Constitutional Council organizes the swearing-in of Laurent Gbagbo and then that, six months later, of Alassane Ouattara, it is paradoxically pleasing that these two acts are inscribed in the same sign: that of the continuity of the State and not of its historical break-up! One can even discern, on the part of the new President, a major act of high politics for the writing of the history of Côte d’Ivoire, instead of a revolutionary action interrupting the continuity of its course! The State, it is said, does not die – which, as a positivist jurist, Paul N’Dré was kind enough to concede in the higher interest of the Nation. At the heart of all the difficulties currently experienced in these post-crisis times, there is of course also the consecration of the regularity of a ballot authenticated by a national electoral commission and validated by the international community (which sees the contribution that, from this point of view, Côte d’Ivoire has probably made to the regularity of future polls on the African continent). There is also the inauguration of a true democratic alternation regime, with observable consequences: the formation of an opposition that wants to be recognized and republican, claiming its roles of critic in the respect of the present legality and candidate in the competition for access to the exercise of power in subsequent elections – thus abandoning the idea of integrating a government of national unity. Finally, there is the recognition by all of the need, now obvious, to work towards genuine conciliation and cohesion of the ‘nation’, which remains, fifty years after independence, the great affair of all African societies, and it is obviously significant that relations are being forged between Gagnoa, Yamoussoukro, Korhogo and the other chief towns of ethnic regions … If politics is the art and science of managing public violence beyond precisely the confrontation of all private violence, it is not impossible that the Ivorian crisis is finally a success: without a real civil war and with almost tangible results of economic reconstruction but, even more so, of political construction! Yet let us have no illusions; does the State still exist, already, in Côte d’Ivoire?

It was Mamadou Coulibaly who said just a few days ago that he had simply disappeared?

Moreover, the State exists only as much as it is thought to exist, at least by those who represent it. It is to be hoped that it will at least be so again… But can the political level or plan alone suffice?

— on the moral, ethical level: we know that one of the major objectives of the new President is to set up a Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission. When asked what he thought of it, a vice-president of the CNRD, who is not a member of the FPI, replied last Monday: “The idea is very good, it would undoubtedly allow Ivorians to clear up their disputes on this occasion. But what intrigues me is the haste with which this commission was created, on the hot ashes of bloody violence. What is urgent in relation to security, the looting of homes, the various abuses, the freedom of movement of men? With whom should we dialogue, fear in our stomachs? To tell the truth in what area of freedom, without being worried? How can we be reconciled over the burning embers of anger, resentment and the spirit of revenge? In my humble opinion, the creation of this commission resembles the pictorial expression of “putting the cart before the horse”. It is a very important institution for establishing lasting peace in our country. Many recitals should be the subject of in-depth reflection in order to define its contours before its creation, namely, its mode of operation, its composition with well-defined criteria for the appointment of men, the field of action or the content of its mission in relation to judicial action. It must benefit from a dose of neutrality, which is a guarantee of its credibility. As created, I am very much afraid that it already contains the seeds of its failure. In any case, with my love for my country, I sincerely hope that reality will triumph over my fear and that this Commission will bring us lasting peace. “The ethical way out of the crisis will take longer than the political way out of the crisis, because politics, in the healthiest sense of the word, is only the result of a self-interested reflex: it is better to live together in spite of everything than to kill each other all together. But politics says nothing about the deeper feelings that make up the daily lives of the members of the city thus called to live together, and politics can turn out to be ‘hypocrisy’, that is to say, according to the little Robert, “a vice consisting in disguising true character, in feigning opinions and feelings, leading to dissimulation, duplicity, falsity, deceit”. Hypocrisy is, of course, a common thing in politics, but politics does not benefit from it for long: it is necessary to tell the truth without any blotch to truly build a common city where it is good to live as citizens. Yet this is the most difficult thing to establish at present and publicly in Côte d’Ivoire, and when Bishop Lezoutié says: “What I wrote was written because it was Alassane Ouattara who won the elections. I wrote it not to defend a man but to defend the truth. “, he replies to his priests who accuse him of political complicity! It is undoubtedly urgent to do everything possible to promote a minimum of ethics in Ivorian society, and it is to be welcomed that a draft Ethics Charter is being drawn up first and foremost for members of the government – including already the respect of punctuality! Morality concerns morals, the way of behaving in society, and much remains to be done to establish in ethical truth the foundations of an authentically political society (cf. absenteeism, racketeering, corruption…). The ethical quest for the ‘Truth’ does not consist only in denouncing the opposite, the error, and in punishing it in justice. But aiming at establishing the truth of the word, it works skillfully to establish its credibility and social trust!

— on the spiritual and cultural level: the title of your address to business leaders on 8 June, Mr Ambassador, included words that catch my attention: How to restore confidence? This already means that trust has actually been lost for at least a moment. But what are the reasons for this? It is certain that trust is a very fragile thing, and that if it is possible to gain it, slowly, gradually, it is even more possible to lose it very quickly, and then it becomes very difficult to regain it from the partners: a scalded cat fears cold water! Confidence is not played, like in the lottery. It is based on the qualities of the interlocutors who trust each other, or not! And from this point of view, the New Ivory Coast will certainly have a lot to do to establish between all its members this climate of confidence so difficult to establish, to develop, but so precious for the trade of men between them. The image of Côte d’Ivoire has suffered over the last fifteen years from the image of the art of baking, I need not specify more … But does it not suffer, for longer still, the appreciation of inveterate cunning that has taken place in previous years and having instilled in the social body as a culture of cunning? Is trust, moreover, at the ordinary and banal rendezvous of social relations when witchcraft beliefs and practices are not the last to regulate them? I hasten to say that the Ivory Coast certainly does not have a monopoly on it, in Africa, of course, but everywhere in the world – whether in its traditional forms as in my Berry or in Brittany, or in its modern forms observable even in Parisian political circles! We are undoubtedly touching here, beyond the rather superficial political and ethical levels, which are more essential, on the purely spiritual level of the forces, energies and spirits which work in their own way in humanity, in the relations of men among themselves, in the relations of each human being, of each man with himself and with his ‘gods’, of good and evil, playing somewhat together like God and Satan around the poor Job of the Bible… How can trust be restored? How can we make the Word credible? Doing the truth will set you free: The whole truth? Is it always good to tell or even only to establish? Is it necessary to know how to forget many things? … from the point of view of the general interest, of the common good, for example? The mayor of the commune of Koumassy said it a few days ago: “Today, we are at a crucial stage in our lives and there is a real need for people to forget what has happened and come together to rebuild the country…We are at a time of reconciliation, forgetting and forgiveness. “But fortunately the same one wants to invite everyone to the necessary humility. We have to question ourselves, recognize at whatever level, our responsibility in the serious crisis we have experienced and ask for forgiveness. “It is necessary to know without taboos all the episodes in the history of a country, it is unhealthy to want to pass them over in silence, it is normal to debate them. …History is what it is, we must know it, assume it, pursue it by going beyond it, keeping ourselves from the expiatory posture as well as from self-censorship. Antidote to the catechism of the duty to remember: History. Do not conceal anything about it. Teach everything. Transmit everything. Drawing lessons from it for the future, constantly updating it.


I wanted to speak about the experience of fear that I have felt since December 1st in particular, and of which I keep the memory alive: it seems to me to be the beginning of Wisdom to build a New Ivory Coast, educated by the ordeal, and knowing itself better no doubt than it has ever known itself! It is not true, I believe, that it will rebuild itself only by forgetting, by turning the page… It would begin again as before, as it has been until now… To all things misfortune is good, in truth! It is on man’s capacity to know and to go through the ordeal that his ability not only to survive, but to live and to dominate the world entrusted to him depends! Was the ordeal humiliating? So much the better if it has also become a school of humility… the first step of wisdom!

It is much more difficult to bring people up to the technical level: how can we train them, how can we be sure of their loyalty? Especially in a highly ethnicized system.

Nb. Educating the feeling and awareness of the dignity of the human person: CERAP’s mission.

Today we are at a crucial stage in our lives and we really need people to forget what happened and come together to rebuild the country?      

Today, everyone in Côte d’Ivoire has become a part of us, we have regained our place on the international scene… Everyone must assume their responsibility.

We are at a time of reconciliation, forgetting and forgiveness.

I want to invite everyone to the necessary humility.

We must question ourselves, recognize at whatever level our responsibility in the serious crisis we have experienced and ask for forgiveness.

I do this every time I go out. I ask for forgiveness because I am the mayor of a commune that has been bruised. I cannot say that I am above all and that I am whiter than snow. Perhaps in the reports we have here, we have not sufficiently reassured each other as chief magistrate. I apologise for that and I would like to invite everyone to do the same, to question themselves so that our faults can be forgiven, so that we can work together to rebuild the country.

Raymond Yapi N’dohi, mayor of the commune of Koumassi / L’Inter

Excerpt “Continuing the story” (p. 127), by Hubert Védrine, former French EI Minister.

– written on January 1, 2007.

It is necessary to know without taboos all the episodes in the history of a country, it is unhealthy to want to pass them over in silence, it is normal to debate them. But this is not what has happened in recent years in France. The evocation of the past has often taken a masochistic turn. Tragic moments have been ‘rediscovered’, on several occasions, as if they had been hidden, which was generally not the case: St. Bartholomew’s Day, slavery, colonization, the mutinies of 14-18, the Vichy regime, the Algerian war. In each case, it is not so much a question of knowing better, of learning more useful lessons and passing them on … as of accusing in order to obtain expiation, pardon, reparations, of creating new legal obligations for the community and for the benefit of a particular group. This poses multiple ethical, political and legal problems. What does it mean to ask for forgiveness for acts committed by others in the past? How are we responsible for acts committed by our ancestors? Is there, contrary to the principles of our law, a collective responsibility, and is it transmissible?

The legal bases of these approaches are extremely questionable; all the more so as they are politically instrumentalized, as electoral ulterior motives and claims to power are obvious. As are the unilateral glorifications of our past, which have been attempted to give, again wrongly, a legislative form – for example, on the benefits of colonization. In this conception, memory, which should go without saying, becomes a duty – and soon a pensum – and one feels that failure to do so will soon be seen and denounced as a crime. The Gayssot law prohibits and punishes the denial of the Shoah, a historical truth established moreover by the Nuremberg Tribunal, and intends to nip in the bud any revisionism and any resurgence of anti-Semitism. These intentions could not be more praiseworthy. But, from then on, other laws of remembrance were established at the request of this or that group, to the great displeasure of the best historians who fear the establishment of an official historical truth, prohibiting all research and punishing heresy as a Church does a breach of dogma. These historians claim “freedom for History”. Some of them even think that the Gayssot law should be repealed or, in any case, reformulated. The current drift may even go so far as to have the French National Assembly pronounce a law on a chapter of the history of the Ottoman Empire! It is as if the Turkish Parliament was meddling in legislating on the massacres committed by France during the conquest of Algeria! And when will there be a vote on the extermination of the American Indians? Which Parliament will stand as a candidate?

This instrumentalization of history is hardly cause for a smile, and yet I would point out that in Darwin’s time, his contemporaries rejected with horror the idea of ‘descending’ from the monkey (we didn’t speak of ‘cousins’ at the time). Today, many Europeans would like to avoid descending from their own ancestors and make up their own ideal history. Or, failing that, to atone and repent on behalf of their ancestors. All this is absurd and reflects a nation that is not happy in its own skin, obsessed with settling scores with itself. History is what it is, we must know it, assume it, pursue it by surpassing it, by keeping ourselves from the expiatory posture as well as from self-incense. An antidote to the catechism of the duty to remember: History. Do not conceal anything about it. Teach everything. Transmit everything. Drawing lessons from it for the future, constantly updating it.


In the face of false prophecies: The evangelicals ask forgiveness from the Ivorians…

Published Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Inter CECI wants to be involved in national reconciliation

As Côte d’Ivoire begins to turn the corner of national reconciliation, Apostle Janvier Kouko Bouabré, national president of the executive board of the Evangelical Council of Côte d’Ivoire (CECI), wants to make history. On Monday, June 13, during a press conference at the headquarters of the said federation in La Riviéra, the man of God who has just returned from a trip to the United States recognized the responsibility of evangelical Christians in the Ivorian crisis by accepting false prophecies without any biblical foundation, before asking forgiveness from the nation. “If Christians had told the truth when it had to be told, where it had to be told, to whom it had to be told, we would not be where we are today. There are three political forces in Ivory Coast, when two come together, automatically the third is put in a minority. We don’t need prophecy for that.” The president of the Evangelical Council of Ivory Coast, the apostle Janvier Bouabré, blamed the church for the failure. And this, at all levels: shepherds, pastors, priests … ” We are guilty of murder, killing and other abuses. Humbly before God, I kneel in the name of the whole body of Christ to ask forgiveness from the Ivorians. We betrayed to satisfy personal needs; had it not been for the hand of God, the Ivory Coast would have fallen into chaos,” he regretted. Continuing, President Bouabré called on all evangelical Christians in Côte d’Ivoire to put themselves at the disposal of the new Ivorian authorities who, by his own admission, are the choice of God. This conviction, he said he drew from the Scriptures through Romans 13, verses 1-2. “Let every person be subject to the higher authorities, for there is no authority that does not come from God. And the authorities that exist were instituted of God. Therefore, he who opposes the authority resists the order that God has established, and those who resist will bring condemnation on themselves.” he called back. To remain in this dynamic, the speaker said that his federation plans to meet the Head of State, HEM Alassane Ouattara, in the coming days to bring him a strong message. But in the meantime, the evangelical church wants to play its full role in the process of national reconciliation. Given that in II Corinthians 5, verses 18-19, according to the apostle Janvier Bouabré, the Bible clearly indicates that Christians have received the ministry of reconciliation. “It is we who preach in mosques, temples, churches …” he is convinced. But to write the new pages of the Ivory Coast reconciled with the Ivorian evangelicals, the man of God pleads for a church now free of all defilement, greed, all occult practices to go to a church of holiness and sanctification. “The authorities should help us to put order in the churches. From now on, no one will be able to speak on our behalf in the media. Churches must be regulated and black sheep must be removed from our ranks,” he said. The Evangelical Council of Côte d’Ivoire claims more than 4,000 churches in Côte d’Ivoire and is represented in France, Switzerland, the USA, South Africa, Italy, Togo, Burkina Faso and other countries.



National Reconciliation / Bishop Lézoutié receiving a delegation of the Frci: ‘I was not defending a man but the truth’ Published Saturday, June 4, 2011 / The Intelligent of Abidjan

The Catholic Church of Saint Marc de Yopougon Toits Rouges suffered no material damage during the recent post-election events. Elements of the Frci protected the premises. As a token of gratitude, the leaders of the said parish invited Commander Berthé Mamadou dit “Tonnerre” and his men to a lunch on Thursday, May 2. It was an opportunity for Monsignor Lézoutié to clarify his writings during the post-electoral crisis. The message I am preaching these days is to make the faithful understand that nothing happens without God’s permission. If there has been a change in the Ivory Coast, it must be put under the account of God’s will. And we must not take the risk of going against God’s will. What I wrote was written because it was Alassane Ouattara who won the elections. I wrote it not to defend a man but to defend the truth. I would have done the same for anyone. We must tell the truth and our protection is God’s business. Alassane Ouattara might not have been able to exercise effective power but I would have told my share of the truth,” said the prelate of Yopougon. The latter, we remember, had taken the opposite side of the Episcopal Conference of Côte d’Ivoire. Which called for the application of the constitution. ”I wrote regularly. ”On the Marcoussis agreement, on the debate over the ”and” and ”or”. I wasn’t doing it for anybody, I was doing it for the love of God. I was expecting to be attacked but I received encouraging reactions”, added Monsignor Salomon Lézoutié before congratulating the Frci elements. Thank you for the risk you took to defend our premises,” he said to the men of Commander “Tonnerre”. The latter did not remain indifferent to the behavior of the priest during the crisis. Commander Thunder encouraged the man of God to continue sowing the seeds of love for a sincere reconciliation.

Alassane Ouattara has given us a mission and we have no ethnic, political or religious preference. He was elected for all Ivorians and we are here for the security of everyone without distinction,” he said at the outset. Not without asking forgiveness for all the shortcomings of his elements in their mission of security. He implored the help of the priest to support the momentum of reconciliation in the commune of Yopougon. ”We are aware that reconciliation begins with the church and the mosque. We need your advice for this reconciliation,” he told the man of God. In addition to the 30th arrondissement’s Commander Tonnerre, Commander Samassi of Adjamé’s 7th arrondissement was invited to the lunch.


Revelations / FPI-LMP-CNRD: How Gbagbo and Blé Goudé want to liquidate Mamadou Koulibaly – Published on Saturday, June 4, 2011 | L’intelligent d’Abidjan

The statements by Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé, made on the eve of the formation of the government, put forward a posture of attack, continued resistance and struggle against the Ouattara regime. Even if Laurent Gbagbo, via Bernard Houdin, welcomed the decision of the central committee without however referring to the interim of Mamadou Koulibaly, the simultaneity of the two statements made during the debates on the government is perceived by FPI officials as an action against Mamadou Koulibaly. It was the acting president of the FPI who pleaded for the party’s non-entry into government. And this in the name of the principles of democracy and the requirements of a new form of governance in Côte d’Ivoire. However, Laurent Gbagbo and Blé Goudé intervened, according to several party officials, in a timely manner to remove the benefit of this option from Mamadou Koulibaly. While for these cadres, Charles Blé Goudé remains independent of the party and is free to make statements, the fact that statements are being made on behalf of Laurent Gbagbo at the very moment when his party is repositioning itself, may suggest that the FPI and its founder are no longer in tune. “If we are in phase, the party should be able to endorse such a declaration. If it is Bernard Houdin or Alain Toussaint, speaking on behalf of Laurent Gbagbo, while the FPI is resuming its activities, there is a problem between the FPI and Laurent Gbagbo. Either Laurent Gbagbo is being let go by his party, or Laurent Gbagbo does not want Koulibaly at the head of the FPI. We can also think that President Gbagbo wants to protect us and prevent us from being arrested like Affi Nguessan, but we must be able to discuss it, especially during our central committee, the fate of Laurent Gbagbo and other comrades was discussed,” said a member of the leadership, who added that Bernard Houdin and the lawyers of the former head of state, must clarify the type of relationship to have with the FPI, to avoid disrupting the militants. The lawyers of the former head of state were the only ones who had contact with Laurent Gbagbo, and were able to pass on messages from him to executives, relatives and activists, who in turn received news. “Through some of the reports resulting from the exchanges with the lawyers, we got the feeling that Laurent Gbagbo is not happy with Mamadou Koulibaly. He was led to believe that Mamadou had betrayed him and was collaborating with his brother in the North, Alassane Ouattara. And to think that it was President Koulibaly who guided the position of the refusal to enter the FPI government. But those who are called the KATANGAIS in the FPI, that is to say the ultra and radicals do not want to acknowledge it, while in the RHDP, the officials blame the acting president of the party, for wanting to revive the FPI, which will reject him as soon as possible. According to RHDP officials, the FPI could die a painful death if Mamadou Koulibaly abandons the party, because there is no high-profile leader on the spot, and above all no credible leader in the eyes of the Ouattara regime for the repositioning. All of them have taken radical positions in the past which are not likely to encourage good collaboration with the current authorities, with a view to promoting normalization,” concluded our interlocutor.


Truth meeting yesterday in Yamoussoukro: What Gbagbo’s parents said to Banny yesterday – Published on Saturday, June 4, 2011 | L’Inter

“The chimpanzee, no matter how ugly his son is, no matter how much his son has done wrong, never throws his baby on the floor. It is with this Bété proverb that Minister Louis-André Dakoury Tabley set the scene for the meeting held yesterday, Friday, June 3, 2011 at the village hall of the Town Hall of Yamoussoukro. It brought together Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny, Chairman of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (DVR) and a large delegation of village and canton chiefs from the department of Gagnoa, the native region of former President Laurent Gbagbo. Leading this large delegation of 165 traditional chiefs, the President of the Council of Chiefs of the Department of Gagnoa, Gbizié Lambert, took up the proverb on his own behalf, explaining that Laurent Gbagbo is their son and brother. “Even if he is arrested and imprisoned, he will always remain our son, our brother. We do not have the right to deny him,” he stressed, adding that as much as it is said that democracy must triumph in Côte d’Ivoire, as far as they are concerned they are part of an impartial, credible, transparent and fair justice. “If those imprisoned since 11 April 2011 were to be tried, then we would wish for Laurent Gbagbo and all the detainees, respect for international conventions and national laws for a true reconciliation of Ivorians,” he said on behalf of the chiefs. The chief who gave the reasons for their presence in Yamoussoukro did not fail to mention the difficult times experienced by Côte d’Ivoire and especially the difficulties that the indigenous people of Gagnoa are experiencing with the FRCI, simply because they are of the Bété ethnic group.

He pointed out in passing that there had been no Baoulé or Yacouba problem after one of theirs had taken over as head of the country. That is why, he said, “the reasons to hope in a reconciled and conquering Côte d’Ivoire are palpable and real. “First of all, the Bété people of Gagnoa recognize Alassane Dramane Ouattara as the President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and send him their warm congratulations and unreserved support for his policy,” he said, adding that this recognition explains the main reason for their visit today. They said they had also come to congratulate their brother, Charles Konan Banny, appointed head of the DVR Commission, and expressed their readiness to accompany him in this delicate mission. The Bété chiefs, who therefore described their presence in Yamoussoukro as the foundation for reconciliation and peace among children in Côte d’Ivoire, asked President Banny to contribute effectively to reducing social tension among indigenous people, villages and camps in the department of Gagnoa, and to sensitize the new authorities on the need to reassure the local populations of Gagnoa. Still in a spirit of trust among Ivorians, they called on President Ouattara to make his first visit to Gagnoa. President Banny, who welcomed this step, reassured his hosts that everything will be done to ensure that the sons and daughters of Côte d’Ivoire live again together as in the time of President Houphouët. He explained President Ouattara’s determination to achieve this by setting up, immediately after taking office, the Commission which he has the heavy responsibility of leading. He therefore invited his hosts, the village and canton chiefs of Gagnoa, to take ownership of this mission entrusted to him. Request immediately exalted by the Bété chiefs. For Mr. Abel Christian Djohoré, executive of Gagnoa and linchpin of this meeting with his elder Dakoury Tabley, this augurs for a real successful reconciliation betwbetween all the sons and daughters of Côte d’Ivoire.


How the government works, punctuality, ethics of ministers Guillaume Soro: “Everything is going to change” – Published on Saturday, June 4, 2011 | Le Patriote

After the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro held a press conference. He spoke about the burning issues of the day and reassured Ivorians of the President’s willingness to put the country back to work. The speaker, on this issue, was clear: “Everything is going to change”. We are offering you all of his exchanges with journalists.

“The first point was reconciliation. We must work towards reconciliation between the sons and daughters of Côte d’Ivoire. The second point was the reconstruction of the country after the long desert crossing. The third point is security for all. The President referred to the emergency programme, he also referred to a charter of ethics and professional conduct for members of the government. The President also asked the government to get to work immediately. He called for action rather than rhetoric. The Speaker expressed the hope that the government would move quickly to address the day to day concerns of all citizens.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the President of the Republic gave the government team as guidance. Of course, the members of the government are pleased to have the privilege of sitting in this government, which must open a new page in the history of our country, which must be concerned and work to ensure that Côte d’Ivoire once again becomes the great Côte d’Ivoire that we knew at the time. A Côte d’Ivoire that is turning its back on quarrels and palaver. A Côte d’Ivoire resolutely committed to development.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I can do to you as an account of this council. In any case, as far as we are concerned, the ministers are invited immediately to get down to work. I believe that in the next few days you will see the concrete manifestation of this commitment by the government team.

Q: Mr. Prime Minister, what is going to change with this new government that has just been formed? – Everything is going to change. As I told you, the President of the Republic has insisted that there will be a charter of ethics and deontology for ministers. This clearly shows that things are already going to change in this area, the behaviour of ministers, the responsibility of the government team, not only towards the public good, but also towards the citizen. Many things will change. The President insisted that the government should get to work to change Côte d’Ivoire. We know that the expectations of the Ivorians are many and we also know that they are impatient to see things change for the better. We are fully aware of our responsibility. We will work and we will make sure that in a concrete, visible way you can see the change that is taking place. Just to let you know, the board started at 10 a.m., punctuality. It may be a detail, but it’s important.

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