The ICC really has plumbed new depths in the current trial of ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. I do urge you to read the analysis I wrote at the time of his overthrow. Gbagbo certainly was guilty of crimes, but much more killing and violence was done by current Ivory Coast President, and former Deputy MD of the IMF, Alassane Ouattara. My article was written at the time to counter an extremely misleading one written by Thalia Griffiths, editor of African Energy, and published in the Guardian. I have since discovered more about the role of Trafigura in funding Ouattara’s forces, and the picture becomes ever clearer.
Ouattara killed more than Gbagbo but now sits in the Presidential palace, secure with his French and CIA backers, and confines Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court. That institution shames itself by making itself a simple instrument of victor’s justice, or of prosecuting the side that the major western powers were fighting against. To underline the hypocrisy of this, yesterday Ouattara granted Ivorian citizenship to his ally Blaise Compaore, former President of Burkina Faso, to help him avoid an international arrest warrant for crimes including the murder of his predecessor. Compaore had helped Ouattara fix his election.
Please note, it is very important to avoid the fallacy of “goodies” and “baddies” in African politics. The Ivorien election was extremely unsafe and characterised by cheating on all sides. I am in no sense defending Gbagbo as an innocent.
Yesterday I met with a Western diplomat who told me they are in fact well aware that Campaore’s hand was behind the attacks in Ougadougou a month ago that were blamed on Al Qaida. It would be unfair to say that any Western security service planned or even approved of it. But it benefits their narrative in a number of ways to go along with it. Re-establishing Compaore in Burkina Faso remains a French objective, and the CIA are happy to play ball.
I am in West Africa until Saturday.