It was on 11 April 2011, exactly 2 years ago, that Côte d’Ivoire, the land of the elephants, was defaced! Yes… I remember the tears streaming down my cheeks as I watched an African country being bombed by a foreign country (France) for … frauds during elections. Before then, I had heard the term ‘francafrique‘, but always thought that it belonged to the past, and never for once thought that in this day and age, after African nations had just celebrated “50 years of independence”, we could be bombed. See the irony of everything? How could our people celebrate 50 years of independence in 2010, and then be bombed in 2011, because of internal affairs? Whether anybody likes it or not, what happened in Côte d’Ivoire was an internal affair: fraud during elections, and international observers sent in to monitor elections all said that there were frauds in the northern part perpetrated by the armed rebels of Alassane Dramane Ouattara (ADO). Since Gbagbo was the man to take down, we then heard that the ‘international community’ was summoning Gbagbo to step down. Who remembers this nice ‘international community’ summoning Bush to let Al Gore take power after election fraud in the US in 2000?
And ever since, France and the ‘developed’ nations have not stopped bombing us: they even ganged up to bomb Libya, now Mali, Central African Republic, … it’s like “who is going to be next?” Yes… centuries and years before, Africa was raped… but it never just stared you in the face like this… or rather they did not openly bomb us? Is it true? the Napalm bombs dropped in Cameroon during the independence war, or the bombs used in Algeria during the Algerian war, or in Madagascar claim otherwise. … I guess in 50 years of independence, our history books had always been written by others, and we willingly let ourselves be brainwashed.
Some may ask “why are you writing this now? what good will it do? ADO is in power, Gbagbo is in prison, so there is nothing else to do.” Well… my friends, you sound like losers. We owe it to future generations to write “our” story ourselves, tell “our” side of history. Everybody, or at least … nobody should spend 50 years thinking that they were independent like we did for the past 50. We all need to know that Gbagbo stood for a higher fight, and bravely stood for his country. Because of him we all openly saw what happened in Côte d’Ivoire: how the head of the electoral commission was ‘bribed’ by the French and American ambassadors in Côte d’Ivoire, how Africa was bribed with stupid temporary seats on the UN security council (South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon), how the Nigerian president was called 11 times in a day by the French one (Sarkozy) to force the CEDEAO and ECOMOG to military intervene in Côte d’Ivoire, how Jacob Zuma (the president of South Africa) abandoned Gbagbo (like he later did with Kadhafi, in a 360-degree turn), how the African Union was full of stupid cowards who all sided with the European union, how the international community declared an embargo on medicine (drugs), and refused to deliver any drugs as the country was being bombed, how they blocked cocoa from Côte d’Ivoire (the number one producer of Cocoa in the world) until after ADO took over, how the African intelligentsia just crucified Gbagbo and 50% of Ivorians in a go (without ever voicing a word of reason), how Gbagbo was betrayed by his main generals (Mangou and Kassaraté), and finally how France bombed the presidency of Côte d’Ivoire, murdering thousands on its way. The list is so long… and Yes… we all saw it… and today some are silent… we have to write… it is our duty to our children.
Our celebrated writer, Chinua Achebe said: “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” … “It’s not one man’s job. It’s not one person’s job. But it is something we have to do, so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.”