Last week, on March 31st, the International Criminal Court justice court appeals judges finally upheld the acquittal of former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo and his minister Charles Blé Goudé (How long shall they kill our prophets…?). They were acquitted 2 years ago in January 2019, but the prosecution stalled, keeping them in Europe, trying to find ways to overturn the decision, and blocking all their movements. Now the ICC judges upheld their acquittal, and technically Gbagbo and Blé Goudé should be free to go home to Ivory Coast! After this witch hunt which has lasted over 10 years, and his arrest and detention in the Hague, Laurent Gbagbo is now free to go home! Can you imagine? Did the ICC apologize for all the years of hurt? the tarnished image? And of course mainstream media, which yesterday published those images of Gbagbo and his wife Simone in their room surrounded by the rebels, now publish one line if at all anything! Unbelievable! They should be sued for playing such major roles in destroying countries, obliterating people’s images, and causing wars! I live you here with excerpts from an article from the BBC. All these tough years of claiming their innocence, all these years of constant support, and people’s prayers, dedication, love, and determination have born fruits. Truth always wins! It may take years… but it prevails! Now it is said that the government of Ouattara, the one installed with French war chars and cannons will try to have Gbagbo go through another trial once he lands in Cote d’Ivoire… Oh, he does not know that even then, like Thomas Sankara said, “La Patrie ou la mort, nous vaincrons!” We will keep fighting to the last drop! As Agostinho Neto said: “La luta continua e la victoria e certa!”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has upheld the acquittal of Ivory Coast’s ex-President Laurent Gbagbo on charges of crimes against humanity.
It paves the way for his return to Ivory Coast, where he remains an influential figure.
… The former president was in court alongside ally and former youth leader Charles Blé Goudé, who was accused of leading a militia backing him.
They were both acquitted in 2019, but the prosecution had appealed what was seen as the shock decision to clear them. It argued that there were procedural errors in how the original verdict was delivered and insisted that thousands of documents and 96 witnesses presented during the trial had proved their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
But presiding Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji said: “The appeals chamber, by majority, has found no error that could have materially affected the decision of the trial chamber.
“The appeals chamber hereby revokes all remaining conditions on the release of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Blé Goudé as a result of this judgement.”
… Whenever a case collapses at the ICC, it damages the perception of the court as a credible tool of international justice, our reporter says.
The appeals judges agreed that the evidence in this case was extremely weak, raising questions about how this trial went as far as it did, she says. It is not the first case that has collapsed at the ICC.
5. Cameroon’s opposition leader Maurice Kamto was freed after almost 10 months of unjust arrest. This has helped us all uncover yet another scandal: Cameroon and the Double Standard of the ‘International Community’. Kamto had been locked up with over 200 of his supporters at the capital’s maximum security prison for a peaceful march. He has now been freed, and all charges dropped, while the situation in Cameroon keeps disintegrating under the leadership of France’s puppet Paul Biya and his croonies.
6. Rwanda announced the opening of the first mobile phone manufacturing plant in Africa. The mobile phones will be entirely made in Rwanda… for Rwandans. Rwanda opens first entirely homemade smartphone factory. The Mara Group, a pan-African business headquartered in Dubai, says the factory will deliver “high quality smartphones at an affordable price.” Volkswagen will also open its first ever car assembly factory in Africa in Rwanda.
7. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran a sub-2 hour marathon to become the first person in recorded history to run a marathon in such times.
8. The Fennecs of Algeria won the African Cup of Nations 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. The Fennecs of Algeria defeated the Lions of the Teranga of Senegal1-0 to become Africa’s new champions. This was their second title since 1990. They were clearly the tournament’s best team. The revelation of CAN 2019 tournament was the Barea of Madagascar which for their first participation ever to the African Cup of Nations, performed extremely well, and went as far as the quarter finals.
9. This year also saw several fans attempt the journey from Cape to Cairo: Trekking 10,000 km for the African Cup of Nations. One of them finished: Alvin Zhakata, of Zimbabwe, trekked 10,000 km to cheer for the Zimbabwean warriors at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo. Even though he arrived late, after his team had been eliminated, he was offered a VIP ticket to the final. What Zhakata did was no easy feat: he traveled from Cape Town to Cairo by foot enduring visa delays, internet blackouts and revolutionary protests all for the love of football. This was also a bold political statement to all African leaders: we need roads to connect each other; we need better visa system for Africans, safer travel, and increased trade among each other: we need a united Africa. Zhakata’s statement is one of Unity, … African Unity
Namibia’s Founding President Sam Nujoma has described the late Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe as one of the continent’s most iconic leaders who fought for the liberation of his countryand that of Africa at large. “He will be remembered as one who stood firm when others wavered. He was an iconic Pan-Africanist,” Nujoma said.
Robert Mugabe’s contribution to the freedom of Namibia, and all of Southern Africa and Central Africa is so immense that there are streets named after him throughout the region; for instance, an avenue bears his name in downtown Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. He worked tirelessly for the liberation of most of Southern Africa, including his very own country of Zimbabwe. Many countries such as Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa (with the fall of the Apartheid regime), Angola, owe their freedom to his unwavering support. Even in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, (DRC), his support, sending troops there, helped avert total chaos. Joseph Kabila, former president of the DRC said, “We will forever remember the worthy son of Africa, who came to our rescue when our country was victim of a foreign aggressor. The continent has lost one of its pan-African leaders, a hero of independence.”
Don’t agree with everything you read online, in the Western newspapers. When an African leader stands for his people and is fighting for their freedom, the western press calls him a dictator, a heretic: Laurent Gbagbo, Muammar Kadhafi, Kwame Nkrumah at the end of his life, Sekou Touré, Patrice Lumumba, … When he serves western interests in pillaging his country, he is a democrat and a friend: Paul Biya, Omar Bongo, Alassane Ouattara, Mobutu Sese Seko, and countless others. Pay attention and you will see… and since the media are controlled by the west, we get a different version, very far from reality.
Everybody is stricken by some amnesia and forgets that the economic problems of Zimbabwe stemmed from economic sanctions imposed on them by Western powers such as the UK, US, and Europe. Before Mugabe fought for land restoration, he was knighted by the Queen of England, when he asked for the land of his forefathers to be returned to their rightful owners, he became a dictator. Go figure!
No wonder, Julius Malema of the EFF said “We must not allow our enemies to tell us how to remember [Robert Mugabe]; we know our heroes.”
During the last elections held on 30 December 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi was pronounced winner . He defeated another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, as well as Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who was supported by term-limited outgoing president Joseph Kabila. Immediately, the ‘international community (I.C.)’ pounced on Tshisekedi claiming that he could not have won, and that it was but Martin Fayulu the second who had won. There were even threats by the ‘international community’ via the French government through her Ambassador to the Congolese government. Tshisekedi’s victory has since then been upheld by the constitutional court of the DRC, and he was installed as president on 24 January 2019.
In Cameroon, the story is a fair tale. After the 7 October 2018 presidential elections, opposition candidate Maurice Kamto, from all indications, came out winner of the elections against outgoing president, Paul Biya, who has been in power for the past 37 years… It was total silence by the I.C., in the case of Cameroon, who saw nothing wrong with a man who had been in power 37 years! They clapped and called those elections a standard of democracy! In the western media, there was no mention of Maurice Kamto, and the international community saw nothing wrong with the results of a presidential election being read 2 weeks after polling took place! This is the same international community that was so eager to get the results out in a timely manner in other countries such as the DRC, Madagascar, etc. Yet, Maurice Kamto won the elections and no mention of what happened to him took place. For Kabila in the DRC, the international community, via its medias, spent long time telling the world how Kabila had been in power for 18 years, and how anti-democratic that was. Yet in Cameroon, Paul Biya has been in power for 37 years, and they are clapping and calling the electoral hold-up democratic!
Since then, Cameroon has further descended into the abyss that it slipped into 37 years ago. Not only is the Cameroon territorial integrity in question: Boko Haram in the North has cut off the 2 northernmost regions from the rest of the country, the 2 English-speaking regions are cut off from the country ; in the East of the country, armed bands coming from the Central African Republic (CAR) are terrorizing the population, and in the Adamawa Region, armed groups coming from CAR are kidnapping people for ransom including traditional chiefs and stealing cattle; there are refugees both inside and outside the country, and post-electoral violence has ushered in a profound exacerbation of tribalism leading to the politics of divide-and-conquer. It looks like the ultimate objective is dividing Cameroon, like in Sudan, with an exacerbation of ethnic differences with a further push toward chaos for better exploitation of the country’s resources and emptying it of its youths.
If the I.C. can scream for DRC, and publish articles about Martin Fayulu being the winner in its media the day after publication of results, with the catholic church complaining about results, why does it not show any indignation or some concern for Cameroon? How can a 37-year-old rulein Cameroon be applauded and referred to as being democratic by the I.C., while an 18-year rule in DRC is called a dictatorship? Why is 85-year-old Paul Biya’s 37-year rule being applauded when Mugabe in Zimbabwe was vilified? How can Biya, with nothing to show for his stewardship, not even the integrity of his territory, not even roads, but total chaos and backwardness, be applauded by BBC, RFI, The Guardian, and France 24? How can a president purposely destroy its country including its resources and be applauded by this so-called democratic I.C.? Well, because he serves the interests of the I.C., and has been a good student and puppet in helping the I.C. pillage the resources of his country. Cameroon is so rich in natural resources: oil, cocoa (6th producer), coffee, natural gas, gold, diamond, etc. In the robbery that is so synonymous with France’s predatory behavior in Africa (particularly in its so called “pré-carré”), why should this be a surprise? France’s nature in Africa, and the I.C.’s in general, has been and remain predatory.
In Cameroon today, there is a strong dictatorship. The mafia that is synonymous with this regime has been repressing in blood all peaceful demonstrations and marches for the upholding of the genuine electoral results. All protest marches calling for the electoral records to be published are either banned or have seen the winner of the elections Maurice Kamto and his team arrested, including many innocents who have been screaming for a change, for a chance to have better life, roads, jobs, better healthcare, etc. People in the English-speaking provinces have been, hurt, beaten or killed, for simple claims which are basic human rights. A lot of them are currently displaced… people in the north provinces have been displaced, and hurt by Boko Haram… yet BBC, RFI, and the likes of them say nothing! Instead they applaud a government which refuses to negotiate with its own people. We do not ask them to intervene, but if those medias are supposed to be impartial, then they should be impartial, otherwise they should clearly state their agenda: portrayal of Africa as poor and in need of help, pillaging of African resources, promotion of wars on the African continent to help their cronies those western multinationals destroy and get all resources for nothing.
We, Africans, should recognize that we are not, and never were independent. We should protest and fight pacifically like this is our last fight.A mother sending her child to school, a father being able to feed his family, university graduates finding jobs in countries where everything is yet to be built, roads, water, electricity, basic human rights to respect, all of that are rights… and it looks like we will have to earn them ourselves. Like Thomas Sankara said, “the slave who is not capable of assuming his rebellion does not deserve that we feel sorry for him. This slave will respond only to his misfortune if he is deluding himself about the suspect condescension of a master who claims to free him. Only struggle liberates…[ …l’esclave qui n’est pas capable d’assumer sa révolte ne mérite pas que l’on s’apitoie sur son sort.Cet esclave répondra seul de son malheur s’il se fait des illusions sur la condescendance suspecte d’un maître qui prétend l’affranchir.Seule la lutte libère …(Discours de Sankara à l’ONU le 4 octobre 1984 (texte intégral) Speech delivered on October 4, 1984 during the UN general Assembly)].” DO NOT trust this condescending I.C., DO NOT trust their media that is very partial, and were all against Laurent Gbagbo, who today has been acquitted from crimes invented by this I.C. and its cronies. We have to fight for our own rights, our own freedom, acknowledge that we are in charge of our own destinies, and never expect some partial Western media to report on the truth!
Joy is in our hearts! It has taken us 8 years but we have overcome, or rather Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé (How long shall they kill our prophets…?)have overcome. The hour is to joy, and gratitude, because truly perseverance has been their motto for the past few years. All these tough years of claiming their innocence, all these years of constant support and people’s prayers, dedication, love, and determination have born fruits. Yesterday, January 15th 2019, Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé were acquitted of war crimes at the ICC. I rejoice in this step forward. I live you with snippets of the article from the NPR below. In latest news, the prosecution is trying to bar Gbagbo and Blé Goudé from returning to their home country of Côte d’Ivoire, and instead wants to keep them roaming through in Europe: this is another case of Deportation of African Heads of States. We will keep fighting to the last drop! As Agostinho Neto said: “La luta continua e la victoria e certa!”
A panel of judges at the International Criminal Court has dismissedcharges of war crimesagainst former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, the first former head of state to stand trial at the ICC. Charges against his former youth minister, Charles Blé Goudé, also were dropped.
[…] A majority of the three-judge panel concluded that prosecutors had failed to show that there was a “common plan” to keep Gbagbo in power, nor “the existence of patterns of violence from which it could be inferred that there was a ‘policy to attack a civilian population,’ ” the court said in a press release.
Public speeches by Gbagbo and Blé Goudé did not constitute ordering, soliciting or inducing the alleged crimes, the judges said – adding that they needed no further evidence from the defense.
[…] After refusing to hand over power, Gbagbo was pulled from an underground bunker at the presidential residence in Abidjan in April 2011, and thenwhisked to The Haguein November 2011. He was held in custody for more than seven years.
Yesterday, on 08/08/2018, the former first lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Simone Ehivet Gbagbo, was freed from imprisonment. It has taken 7 years for Simone Gbagbo to be free! 7 years of humiliation, 7 years of pain, 7 years of Lord knows what, for Simone Gbagbo to finally be free! And why was she imprisoned? For her deep love for her country, a country she believed needed to be respected, and whose people needed their dignity restored. She did not fit in the world’s agenda to let her country be pillaged, and so she paid the price when Ouattara, the infamous, made its way to the presidency of Côte d’Ivoire via the war planes and military forces of France and the UN led by the infamous Sarkozy and Ban-Ki Moon. Well, 7 years later, Ouattara the infamous, has granted amnesty to 800 people in the country, 800 political prisoners, 800 who were a ‘threat’ to his system. The amnesty comes as a way to reconcile the country, but it probably comes because of the political climate which makes it so that Ouattara needs some sort of an opposition to break the rank of his current opponent Konan Bedié: this is the politic of ‘divide and conquer’. Whatever the political scheme, we are grateful for it. We salute this step toward reconciliation, and we do hope that more will follow, and that Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé will be free at last. We thank all the people around the globe for their tireless prayers, and wish the land of Côte d’Ivoire peace in dignity and harmony forever. A luta continua e la vitoria e certa.
History repeats itself! Over 100 years ago, African Heads of states, Emperors and Kings, were deported by European colonizers for defending their people, lives, independence, land, livelihood, and themselves. Some were killed, and others were exiled. In those days, they were deported to other territories in Africa, far from their lands. Today, 100 years later, they are being deported to the Hague or to some other African lands again. Here are a few, and I am sure you know others.
Prempeh I, Asantehene of Ashanti Kingdom deported to Seychelles in 1896 by British forces. His throne is still displayed at the Royal Signals Museum in Blandford, England. He was allowed to return after 24 years in exile.
I have to do a recap of the year 2014. You already know that the number one person we said goodbye to was the dictator and murderer Blaise Compaoré, who was booted out of office the tail between his legs.
4. Nadine Gordimer, South Africa’s first Nobel prize of literature, passed away at the age of 90, on 13 July 2014. She was called the one of the great “guerilla of imagination” by poet Seamus Heaney.
5. Lapiro de Mbanga, the voice of the voiceless, the great Cameroonian musician, and activist, left us this year, in March. Lapiro sang for the people, talked about the youth’s shattered dreams, the division, the tribalism, the corruption, the decadence, and the ills of the country. So long Ndinga Man!
6. Abel Eyinga and Charles Ateba Eyene, both of Cameroon, passed away. These were strong outspoken voices of Cameroon, and will forever be remembered.
7. King Kester Emeneya, the king ofla Rumba, passed away on 13 February 2014. I had just recently gotten reacquainted with his music, and danced to Nzinziagain. So long King.
8. Mama Gbagbo, the mother of Laurent Gbagbo, passed away this year. Gbagbo who is currently detained by the CPI at the Hague was refused the opportunity to bury his mother. She was over 90 years old.
9. The world said goodbye to Maya Angelou in May of this year. Dr. Maya Angelou was one of the world’s best poets. My two favorite poems by Dr. Angelou are ‘Phenomenal Woman‘ and ‘Still I Rise.’ Her African roots are very deep as she was a journalist in Egypt and Ghana. Her life was an embodiment of Truth, and passion.
10. More than 160 immigrants were feared dead after a boat carrying about 200 African immigrants sank off the coast of Libya. How many Lampedusa shipwrecks are we going to have until the world realizes that feeding and destabilizing countries does not help global equilibrium?
After walking on the sandy beaches of Abidjan, I have often romanticized the name of such a beautiful place, and no matter how much intellectual gymnastics I did, I could never decipher its meaning. After all, I do not speak the local language, but I somehow thought that it could have been a French name with some local texture to it; but which one?
Well, according to oral tradition of the Ébrié people as reported in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Côte d’Ivoire, the name “Abidjan” results from a misunderstanding. Legend states that an old man carrying branches to repair the roof of his house met a European explorer who asked him the name of the nearest village. The old man who did not speak the language of the explorer, thought that he was being asked to justify his presence in that place. Terrified by this unexpected meeting, he fled shouting “min-chan m’bidjan“, which means in the Ébrié language: “I return from cutting leaves.” The explorer, thinking that his question had been answered, recorded the name of the locale as Abidjan.
A slightly different and less elaborate version of the legend is as such: When the first colonists asked native women the name of the place, the women misunderstood and replied “T’chan m’bi djan“: “I’ve just been cutting leaves“. Thus the name Abidjan.
Originally a fishing village, Abidjan was made the capital city of the French colony after a deadly epidemic of yellow fever decimated the French colonists in 1896 in Bassam. In 1934, Abidjan became the third capital of Côte d’Ivoire after Grand-Bassam and Bingerville. It offered more opportunities for trade expansion, particularly with its greater wharf. In 1983, the capital was moved to Yamoussoukro, the village of then-president Félix Houphouët-Boigny. However, Abidjan has remained the political and economic heart of the country.
Today, Abidjan is Côte d’Ivoire’s largest city, and the third largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris and Kinshasa. The city is located in the Ébrié Lagoon on several converging peninsulas and islands connected by bridges. Abidjan is considered a cultural hub for most of West Africa, and Francophone Africa in particular. It has the biggest port in West Africa, and second largest port of Africa after the Lagos port in Nigeria. With the political unrest of the past decade which reached its paroxysm in 2011 with the French army bombing strategic places in Abidjan in order to impeach President Laurent Gbagbo (including the presidential palace), the city has been destroyed, and is today going through a rebuilding phase.
Affectionately nicknamed the “Manhattan of the tropics“, “Small Manhattan“, or “Pearl of Lagoons“, because of its impressiveness, Abidjan is a unique city perfect for business tourism. The place is so beautiful, that the French once considered making Côte d’Ivoire an overseas department of France; it is not so far from it today, but that will be the subject for another day. The video below is on Côte d’Ivoire as a whole. Enjoy!
In memory of the victims of the post-electoral crisis of 2011 in Côte d’Ivoire, I selected this movie titled “A minute of silence from Côte d’Ivoire” for you. Everyone remembers those days in early April 2011, and in particular 11 April, when the planes of the ONUCI and the French army bombed all strategic sites in Abidjan including the military camps, the TV station, and the presidential palace, killing thousands, and dragging the president out like a mere bandit. Now, to have just one side of the post-electoral crisis present at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is simply a farce! To have Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé at the Hague is a farce, when we all know that the violence grew out of a contentious presidential election between two parties. Where are Alassane Ouattara and Guillaume Soro? It is also sad to note that only Africans are being judged at The Hague, when crimes were also committed in Irak, Afghanistan, Syria, etc. This video is to all the victims of the post-electoral crisis of Côte d’Ivoire, to all those who stood for their convictions, to all those who believed in casting a peaceful vote, and to all those who believed in their beautiful country, peace to all.