Liberian Guns And Fighters In Ivory Coast
Monday morning, in Abidjan, the focus on social media turned to an incident implicating the Ousmane Bamba, a businessman and adviser to President Weah.
Moussa is from Tiebissou, in Central Côte d’Ivoire where he once invited President Weah to the inauguration of his mosque.
Like it in many parts of the country, young people had set up roadblocks to stop the movement of electoral materials. Bamba arrived at the head of the four-car convoy. He was asked where he was headed. Here how one boy reported the story:
“He told us he was a member of the staff of Soro Guillaume. He said Soro was already in the country. So we asked him to show their ID cards. All 14 of them, except two women, had Liberian passports. We made them get out of the cars and we checked the trunks. They had Ouattara election material. They also a lot of big guns. So we beat them and set all the cars on fire. We took them to the Chief. The gendarmerie came for them. Nobody voted here today.”
Soro Guillaume is one of the opposition leaders who stage civil disobedience.
Bamba is a close friend and business partner of Hamed Bakayoko, the Ivorian prime minister. Bakayoko is known as the “securocrats” in Ouattara Government. From minister of national security to defense and prime minister, Bakayoko is a major fixture in the Ouattara system.
It’s the rivalry between Bakayoko and Soro that fueled many of the conflicts around Ouattara.
Tension keeps rising in Abidjan. The opposition said it will not recognize Ouattara. They are moving from civic disobedience to political destabilization. Observers are saying that results “are challenging” – in a diplomatic parlay, “not credible.”
Not a good time for Liberia to be seen as a party to political fraud and violence.
There is no path to victory for Ouattara. He is exactly where Gbagbo was ten years ago: all alone against the rest.
President Weah must address this