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Côte d'Ivoire: Brutality Continues After Gbagbo's Capture

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

Since their capture on April 11, 2011, pictures of former Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo [fr], his wife, and their entourage [fr] have spread on the web and via international newspapers.

One picture in particular provoked a strong reaction: journalist Israël Yoroba, currently correspondant for TV5 in the Ivorian city of Abidjan, posted [fr] on Facebook the following image of Simone Gbagbo on the day Laurent Gbagbo was arrested along with his wife:

Simone Gbagbo surrounded by Republican Forces at Hotel du Golf in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Posted by Israël Yoroba on Facebook.

Simone Gbagbo surrounded by Republican Forces at Hotel du Golf in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Posted by Israël Yoroba on Facebook.

So far, over 360 Facebook users have commented on this strong image, showing the former first lady in a humiliating position.

Treatment reserved for a former president

Sob Edry Brice Agbo [fr] compares this treatment to the one reserved for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein:

[…] Regardes comment on traite de façon indigne un president et la premiere dame (ou ex selon certains), ça n'augure pas de meilleur lendemain. La situation actuelle est comparable a celle qui a prevalu en Irak avec Saddam Hussein, sans comparer Laurent Gbagbo à Saddam. Nous connaissons la suite.

[…] Look at the undignified way in which we treat a president and first lady (or former according to some), it does not bode well for a better tomorrow. The current situation is comparable to that which prevailed in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, without comparing Laurent Gbagbo to Saddam. We know what happened.

Arsène Pro-Dally [fr] referring to the first adress of Alassane Ouattara after Gbagbo's arrest, writes:

Prions qu'on ne tombe pas encore à plus bas que la poussière. Bonjour la réconciliation!

Pray that we will not fall still lower than dust. Hello reconciliation!

Zon Guiriekpe Michel [fr] writes:

MAMAN SIMONE PARDONNE à TOUS CES MéCRéANTS. LE PEUPLE EST MEUTRIE DANS SA CHAIR PAR LES AGGISEMENTS DE CES DERNIERS QUI NE CONNAISSENT PAS LA VALEUR D UNE FEMME ET SURTOUT D'UNE PREMIERE DAME

Mother Simone forgive all these miscreants. The [Ivorian] people are wounded by the doings of those who do not know the value of a woman, moreover a first lady

Other netizens believe the treatment the Gbagbos are receiving is well-deserved for all the atrocities they were involved with during their reign.

Reacting to an article published by blogger Guy Kouassi [fr] entitled ‘I cried’ (J'ai pleuré), Roma comments:

[…] Il mérite ce qu'il mérite…arrêtez de nous distraire en jouant les sentimentalistes. Ces milliers de morts inutiles ne reviendront plus jamais. Par contre, lui il a la chance de vivre. Je le préfère humilié mais en vie au lieu de la tuerie atroce de Guéi Robert lorsque Koudou a pris le pouvoir en 2000.

[…] He [Laurent Gbagbo] deserves what he deserves… stop distracting us by playing the sentimental card. Those thousands of dead people will never come back. By contrast, he has the chance to live. I prefer Gbagbo humiliated but alive, rather than the horrible killing of Guéï Robert when Koudou [Gbagbo] took power in 2000.

Human rights violations in Abidjan

The arrest of Laurent Gbagbo did not put an end to the Ivorian conflict. News website Abidjan.net published an Associated Press article reporting atrocities committed by Alassane Ouattara supporters against Gbagbo's.

The Facebook group La majorité Présidentielle [fr], which gathers 10,496 supporters of Gbagbo, posted a series of recent pictures of Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire and country's main city. The images, taken in the Riviera area, shows students and young men suspected of being part of Gbagbo's Young Patriots movement:

An atmosphere of terror in Riviera, Abidjan. Image from La Majorité Présidentielle on Facebook.

An atmosphere of terror in Riviera, Abidjan. Image from La Majorité Présidentielle on Facebook.

Students and young men are mistaken for Gbagbo's Young Patriots. Image from La Majorité Présidentielle on Facebook.

Students and young men are mistaken for Gbagbo's Young Patriots. Image from La Majorité Présidentielle on Facebook.

In the following picture, the person posting the image names Koné Zakaria, former commandant of a regiment of Guillaume Soro's rebellion [Alassane Ouattara's prime minister], as one of the protagonists of the scene commiting the violence:

Koné Zakaria in a scene of violence. Image from La Majorité Présidentielle on Facebook.

Koné Zakaria in a scene of violence. Image from La Majorité Présidentielle on Facebook.

Amnesty International denounced on April 12, 2011 reprisals by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, now President of Côte d'Ivoire.

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

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