March 21, 2019

UN backed Ouattara rebel forces take Ivory Coast capital

One thing is certain in West Africa - There will always be governments and rebels. They just swap places every few years.

Rebel forces loyal United Nations backed President-elect Alassane Ouattara have captured Ivory Coast’s capital, Yamoussoukro.

The capital is more symbolic than strategic as most of the government administration is still located in the former capitaly city Abidjan.

It is intersting though, that Yamoussoukro was garrisoned by significant forces loyal to President Gbagbo and they seem to have retreated without much resistance.

The rebel forces are reported to be pressing on with their advance south and are now only three hours from Abijan.

If they take Abijan, then the Ouattara forces will now become the ‘government’ forces and Gbagbo’s lot will find themselves labeled ‘rebels’.

President Laurent Gbagbo has been calling for a ceasefire but no one seems to be listening – except his own troops.

The port of San Pedro is expected to fall pro-Ouattara forces in the next couple of days. San Pedro is a major cocoa exporting centre. It’s fall will deal another blow to the regime of President Gbagbo, who the United Nations says lost the Presidential elections held in Novemebr 2010.

The United Nations has been monitoring the increasing violence over the last few months. They estimate that hundreds have been killed – many of them civilians. There are also an estimated one million refugees who have fled to escape the violence.

Many of them have swamped camps set up in neighbouring Liberia.

A spokesman for President Gbagbo said the army had adopted a strategy of tactical withdrawal but warned it could use its “legitimate right of defence”.

Newswarped translates that as “we are buggered”. Tactical withdrawls are fine, but when you are fast running out of real estate it is time to throw in the towel.

The sad part about the whole ongoing saga in the Cote D’Ivoire is that the civilains are suffering immensely, and Gbagbo is drafting children and teenagers into the army to replace adult soldiers who have stopped showing up for work.

Time to move on we think Laurent.