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Côte d’Ivoire : Terror in Abidjan

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011

Even before the outbreak of guerilla warfare which has been raging for several days [Fr], Abidjan experienced a series of previously unheard of conflicts, attacks on the private homes of Laurent Gbagbo's political adversaries.

Thiery Latt has drawn up a non-exhaustive list of the RHDP (Rally of Houphouëtistes for Democracy and Peace) officers whose homes have been ransacked and burned down [Fr]:

Amichia François, mayor of Treichville and his father, Adama Toungara, mayor of Abobo and Minister of Mines and Energy, Charles Koffi Diby, Minister of Economy and Finance, Albert Mabri Toikeusse, Minister of Planning and Develpoment, Adama Bictogo, Amadou Koné, Zemogo Fofana, Sidy Diallo, Sidiki Konaté, Meité Sindou, Mrs Constance Yaï, General François Konan Banny, Jean-Baptiste Ekra's family home,

And in the same article [Fr], he adds:

During a phonecall with ONUCI FM [Fr], the minister Albert Mabri Toikeusse explains that over two hundred youths armed with clubs broke into his house last Thusrday morning [March 3rd].  According to him, these youths ransacked his house in broad daylight before being dispersed by CeCOS [Fr] (Command Center for
Security Operations).

On the website Abidjan.net, the article entitled Houses of ministers and Ouattara allies looted [Fr] gives more details :

Amadou Coulibaly,  Alassane Ouattara's high counselor, has accused the police of recruiting youths to participate in these raids, which began on Thursday.  “They are trying to instill an atmosphere of terror,” he said.  “But they can't do more than they have already done, firing at unarmed women [Fr], …”

One witness reported having seen a truck transporting members of paramilitary police force CeCOS [Fr] (Command Center for Security Operations) leaving the house belonging to Alassane Ouattara's Minister of Finances, Charles Koffi Diby, on Saturday.  According to this witness, a fridge was loaded onto the truck, which returned and left once again, this time carrying a coffin.

Before leaving, dozens of young adolescents smashed the doors and windows of the house wearing suits and jackets and carrying dishes and other belongings, added another witness who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

But C.K. wonders how relevant the looted and vandalized houses of these pro-Ouattara officers really are [Fr]

When people die, when lives are devastated, why brood over material goods?  Is it really necessary to mention houses that have been ransacked and destroyed?  How important are looted houses . . . when confronted with the women killed in Abobo, the Treichville clashes, injured youths and children, the victims of Daoukro, Duekoué and elsewhere? [Fr]… Even in September 2002 or November 2004 [Fr], the Côte d’Ivoire crisis had not yet reached such a high degree of destruction and self-destruction.  We shouldn't mourn the loss of material goods.  We should lament the deceased, the victims, the injured, the permanently disabled.

According to Sindou Cissé, who wrote an article entitled “Young Patriots” raid Touré Ahmed Bouah's house – One child killed, two more kidnapped [Fr], these lootings did produce victims:

The pro-Gbagbo youths, who have been looting houses in Abidjan for several days, arrived at Touré Ahmed Bouah's home on Monday.  The report is tragic… After destroying the house and making off with some belongings, they kidnapped two children… and slaughtered a third who put up a struggle to avoid getting kidnapped.  According to the father, the murdered child was one of a pair of 12-year old twins.  His name was Touré Losséni.  His twin brother, Touré Lacina, and their younger brother of 8, Touré Seydou, were the kidnap victims.  A supervised visit to the scene allowed journalists to observe the damage caused by these hoodlums who, according to witnesses, arrived at about 5pm in a fleet of twenty-odd 4X4's.

Anzoumana Cissé proceeds with his article After the raid of Touré Ahmed Bouah's house : His 12-year old son murdered by pro-Gbagbo militia members and FESCI (Student Federation of Cote d’Ivoire) [Fr] and the kidnapping of his twin boys:

…the raiders are alledgedly at the Cité Rouge (a student hostel in Abidjan). They are demanding a ransom of 250 million CFA francs…

Y.DOUMBIA claims to have received a statement from the father, Monsieur Hamed Bouah [Fr]

” …,  I have never been a prominent figure in the political sphere.  I am an economic operator and I am surprised that I am the victim today” deplored Touré Hamed Bouah.

The “rebels“[Fr] In Abidjan were also necklaced, a lynching nicknamed “ARTICLE 125,” in other words 100 CFA francs for the petrol splashed on the victim and 25 for the matches used to ignite him.

On March 8th @StevenJambot sent this message [Fr]:

Burnt alive in Côte d’Ivoire, watch the unbearable video here http://on.fb.me/gGruhv.  We can't say we didn't know. #civ2010.

On March 14th, the site Koaci.com [Fr] uploaded a video showing the stoning of a young man in Yopougon who was taken for a rebel [Fr] whilst on his way to see a friend in the neighbourhood Millionnaire (where Blé Goudé [Fr] lives) just behind the “land grouping” in front of  Dosso garage.  He was  alledgedly shot in the leg by the CeCOS [Fr] to prevent him from fleeing and then stoned to death by pro-Gbagbo forces.

The murderers don't even try to hide  http://yfrog.com/h7188dp http://yfrog.com/gyhbpep http://yfrog.com/h82z8vp http://yfrog.com/h75kzsp

lynchage youpogon

Alledged murderers in Yopougon. Image by @N2_language

In light of the following situation, it's clear that kidnappings do take place:

Where is Colonel Major DOSSO Adama, Houphouët-Boigny's ex-pilot, who was kidnapped at a roadblock near the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan? [Fr]

asks @diabymohamed.  A press release which relates the facts: Colonel Dosso's kidnapping and it's deeper meanings [Fr] appeared on Facebook on Saturday March 12th.

This post is part of our special coverage Côte d'Ivoire Unrest 2011

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