Africa Roundtable: Talk On Crisis In Ivory Coast Draws Large Crowd

Vado Diomande with welcoming songs
Speaker, Gnaka Lagoke, PhD
Ivorian drummer, Baddoo
Publisher of BlackStar news, Milton Allimadi
Event co-sponsor, Franck Felix Gutenberg, publisher of the francophone Integration newspaper. 
Aiza Ikhaanahoyo

Deteriorating conditions in Cote d'Ivoire, and the growing threat of war impacting surrounding countries, brought dozens of worried and concerned citizens to the Global Information Network Africa Roundtable in New York.

The packed event was moderated by Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Featured speakers were journalist and political analyst Gnaka Lagoke of the Washington DC-based and Milton Alllimadi, journalist and publisher of the New York-based Black Star newspaper.

With Ivorian elections in dispute since November, Africans from around the continent confirmed that problems in Ivory Coast would echo in other countries where elections are imminent - such as Uganda, Congo, and Nigeria. Would regional and ethnic loyalties present insurmountable problems? Or was it the interference of the international community which several times changed the rules of the game in that West African country?
A lively and often emotional question and answer session lead by Ivorians who had lived through war and repression, followed the presentations by the panelists. Among those who told of recently suffering the loss of a family member was Ivorian Ambassador of Culture, Mamadou Dahoue.
The group reached a consensus that western media had inadequately covered the crisis and that interference by the former French colonists was much more extensive than had been reported.

Vado Diomande, Ivorian dancer, drummer and director of the Kotchegna dance troup in NYC opened the program with welcoming songs from his region.

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France war!

The world is gradually returning to the old order of colonialism, this time with platforms of justification such as the western media, UN and the UN funded civic society groups. The ivory coast crisis is nothing but a french war against a man who has refused to be a puppet. France "former" colonies have the highest number of sit tight African leaders, with France's approval. THEN why promote "democracy" in Ivory coast only? The truth will certatinly come out one day. Quatara or whatever his name is, has not got the legitimacy to govern as he has also killed innocent people all for his quest to be president. Who swore him in as president? Is that the new standard, where the constitution of a nation no longer matters?

Down with France!

Tell Gbagbo to step aside

Tell Gbagbo to step aside because he lost the election.He should stand by the result of the election.You all know his antics of wanting to sideline Allasne Quattara sine year 2000 calling him a foreigner

The Coke and Pepsi Wars!

So how willing are the Coca Cola and Pepsi corporations willing to go along with a trade embargo and see their access to the main narcotic ingedient to their soft drinks - Kola nuts - blocked? Funny, no one's asked them yet!

Stand Up for Peace & Justice In Cote D'Ivoire!

I hereby suggest that a very neutral nation like India be allowed to lead a verification exercise to ascertain the veracity of the claimed election victories by both rivals.UN is in a big mess due to inaticulate leadership, AU has failed blindly, ECOWAS is largely misled and is likely to plunge the entire region into humanitarian crisis.Peoples of West Africa must rise up to the clarion call and prevent trouble in Cote D'Ivoire.

Very interested to know why

Very interested to know why some international communities (France et al) are hell bent on invoking war on Côte d’Ivoire using the lame ECOMOG to murder their brothers and sisters for an election result disputed but now ratified by the country's Supreme Court. Common sense will tell me that at worst, a fesh election should be held with all international observers in place to avert or minimize rigging. Is this not better than the damage and untold hardship that war would cause. For God's sake, why can' t the ECOWAS heads of state think right? Apart from Ghana, tell me which of them did not come in through massive rigging?. Those that have ears, let them listen to the good work from the Global Information Network Africa Roundtable in New York. This conference don' t have to be held in Abuja for the ECOWAS heads of states to read between the lines. GEJ does not mind to sacrifice his brothers and sisters in the West Africa subregion to serve the biddings of France so long as the later will support his candidacy come Nigeria 2011 general election. What a shame.

Congratulations on this important New York meeting!

Dear Friends

We are, once again, faced with an impending invasion and wanton destruction of human lives with the French-instigated invasion of Côte d’Ivoire - an independent African country. We, Citizens for a Conflict-Free Africa, are circulating a petition to stop this action. Link and text of the petition are below.

We are asking for your support in a number of ways:

1. Please sign the petition and pass the word around

2. Obtaining a court order staying the hand of France and the ECOMOG troops from invading Cote d'Ivoire and the resulting death and destruction

3. Raising the pro-peaceful resolution of these disputed elections and the rejection of war/invasion/conflict as a viable solution

Thank you for your support

The French are planning the invasion of Côte d’Ivoire, an independent African country, by using the dispensable African ECOMOG contingent whose leaders themselves are largely beneficiaries of disputed/rigged elections. France intends to finance and provide the logistics for the invasion – but does not intend to use its own troops as this would be political suicide for the government of Nicolas Sarkozy. France claims that Alassane Ouattara as opposed to Laurent Gbagbo is the rightful winner of the recent elections. Clearly there is a dispute as to the outcome to these national elections. This is not new to Africa. All elections (probably with the exception of Botswana, Ghana, Senegal [2000] and South Africa) are rigged and heavily disputed. So why wasn’t Kenya invaded, or Nigeria, or Zimbabwe or, most recently, Egypt all of which have had disputed/rigged elections? Does France have any plans to invade Belarus, a European country just 1000 miles way from it, where Alexander Lukashenko has once again emerged as president after a highly-disputed election? Why Côte d’Ivoire, an African country 3000 miles away from France? And when will Myanmar in Asia be invaded to install Aung San Suu Kyi.? Why have we still not learnt, as a human race, to avoid such levels of hypocrisy and suffering? The result of the invasion of Côte d’Ivoire will be catastrophic to the country and the entire west Africa region. Internally, in Côte d’Ivoire, there will be huge human suffering, the destruction of towns and villages and the displacement of communities. Additionally, there are millions of other Africans across the region (from Senegal to Cameroon) who live and work in Côte d’Ivoire – all of whom will be displaced, intensifying the levels of suffering in the region. All of this will have huge impacts on already stretched countries – Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. Here in the West we will once again be subjected to pictures of dying Africans and emergency appeals. This cannot be allowed to happen. All this is preventable. France must not be allowed to be instigators of the deaths of millions of Africans by Africans. This invasion must be stopped. The people of Côte d’Ivoire need to settle their own disputes, using their own internal resources and other African mediation however long it takes them. Côte d’Ivoire is NOT part of France. France must stop this continuous, potentially murderous interference in the affairs of African countries.

Very good initiative but

Very good initiative but please my brethren, let us bring this roundtable to West Africa preffereably Abuja.My reason is that here seats the headquarters of ECOWAS and here resides the chairman of ECOWAS Goodluck Jonathan who seems to be largely misguided on the Ivorian election crisis.This problem must be resolved by Africans who understand the facts to the details and not a click of suspect international interests.I wish we had Kwame Nkuruma, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara here now. Long live Cote D'Ivoire! Long live ECOWAS!! Long live Africa!!!

Resolving the Cote d'Ivoire Crises

Omoyele Sowore. Thanks for sparing your time for Cote d'Ivoire.

But, be very aware of the danger of 'the single story' and the reductionist explanatory ideas that are being daily handed out as the cause of the crisis.

Yes, ethnicity is implicated. But, ethnicity is endemic in all of Africa. And,it has not become the 'crises' that it has become in Cote d'Ivoire. The problem is the manipulation of ethnicity by those who want to use power. The manner in which ethnicity is politicised is the culprit, rather than ethnicity itself.

You should also consider the issue of pauperisation of ordinary Ivoriens which has been exacerbated by over-reliance on monocultural economy (export of cocoa and other primary products); the increasing poor international trade terms;the liberalisation of the economy and the privatization of state economic activities.

western media had inadequately covered the crisis

« The group reached a consensus that western media had inadequately covered the crisis and that interference by the former French colonists was much more extensive than had been reported.»

That's a good start!!!

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