Ivory Coast Government Defiant Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses: Rajatwit Press Reflections and Questions
Ivory Coast Government Defiant Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses: Rajatwit Press Reflections and Questions CNN news article entitled: “Ivory Coast government defiant amid claims of humanrights abuses,”1 gives this brief statistics on human rights violations. According to Kyung-whaKang, the U.N. deputy high commissioner for human rights, while admitting that the actualstatistics could be higher, said that human rights officers "have substantiated allegations of173 killings, 90 instances of torture and ill treatment, 471 arrests and detentions and 24cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances" between last Thursday and Tuesday. Butat the same time CNN reported that the, “ruling Ivory Coast government remained defiant,insisting that incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo should stay in power and that hissupporters have acted justly despite a global outcry.” Nothing new, as supporters of theruling governments have always been considered right. It is a standard political belief andpractice. That is why human rights violations take place.Reflections 1. We see two powers and a victim represented here. One is Ouattara and his main supporter, the United Nations, who seemingly is the overt voice representing the world. But as in many cases in the past, UN is a paper tiger. Lots of noise but very little positive force that produces reasonable, positive and meaningful results. Examples are, DRC Congo and Myanmar (Burma). 2. The second power is Gbagbo, his supporters and their military whose guns speak louder than words. It is defiant and it justifies the atrocities of its followers. Right now as it holds the guns, it can say anything it wants and nobody in this world can do anything about it – Is this so? Besides Ivory Coast, there are others (dictators, authoritarian oligarchies, tyrants) who have been saying what they want because they are holding the guns. It is a familiar story. 3. The third group is the victims, who are as usual the innocent citizens caught between political power struggles. It is them that, human rights statistics on violations, torture, disappearances, injuries and death are based. Their miseries will later be a reason for many countries and NGO(s) to benefit tangibly and intangibly, in the name of charity. But as usual, what these suffering citizens will get will be lots of nice words and tokens of charity, amidst the flashes of celebrity publicity.Questions1 Ivory Coast government defiant amid claims of human rightsabuses:http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/12/23/ivory.coast.conflict/index.html?hpt=T1
What we see now, we have seen countless of times and we will be seeing it again inthe future. These are political shows that will repeat for the benefit of a few who wantpolitical powers. There will always be the “tyrants” and the “freedom fighters” and the“political victims.” But what there never will be is an end to this cycle of violence, injuriesand death against citizens as long as there is someone out there who wants political powers.Let’s assume that everything that is said about Ouattara is “gospel truth.” But here are somequestions those who support Ouattara have to ask honestly without prejudice. 1. Will Ouattara and his supporters be any different from Gbagbo and his supporters, once they have received full political powers? 2. Will Ouattara exercise his future political powers for the benefit of all Ivory Coast citizens regardless of their political, economic or ethic backgrounds? 3. Will the military, specifically those leaders and soldiers responsible for human rights violations be lawfully prosecuted and punished without political exceptions, pardons, white wash and cover-up(s)? 4. Will Gbagbo and his supporters who committed human rights violations also share the same process and fate as the military? 5. Will any stolen resources of the Ivory Coast be traced and recovered? 6. How will political victims and their families be compensated in concrete and meaningful manners? 7. How are those who have disappeared be found and justice is dispensed for those who are behind these disappearances (political kidnappings)? 8. Will Ouattara ensure that, the constitution, judiciary, military, law enforcement agencies, his supporters and most of all, himself, guarantee that all citizens of Ivory Coast will not experience another tragedy as the one they are experiencing now? 9. How is the United Nations going to ensure that any form of future support reaches the citizens of Ivory Coast? 10. How will the United Nations and the world’s leaders, ensure that citizens of Ivory Coast will not again become sacrificial lambs for the slaughter on the altar of political power struggles and that, leaders like Ouattara will remain as political managers and servants of Ivory Coast citizens? If questions like these are not asked and answered concretely, the cycle of violence,torture, disappearances, injuries and death experienced by citizens will repeat itself inpolitical shows of power struggles not only in Ivory Coast but anywhere else in the world.