USAfrica, Jan 5, 2011: Apparently, the pressure from the international community, France and the domestic struggle over who won the disputed November 28, 2010 elections in the west African country of Ivory Coast have had a direct hit at the usual respect accorded the President of the United States of America. The embattled President of Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo, reportedly, refused to take an opportunity and facilitation for him to speak with the U.S President Barack Obama on ways to resolve the crises in cocoa-rich, multi-ethnic/multinational country.
This information is derived from a part of the letter from Washington DC-based attorney Lanny Davis, outgoing President Gbagbo’s lobbyist/counselor in the U.S. and close confidante of former President Bill Clinton and his wife current U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Davis was contracted for $100,000-a-month by the Ivory Coast government. $100,000-a-month….
In the letter dated December 29, 2010, and sent to the Ivorian Ambassador to the U.S. Charles Koffee. Davis, a regular on FoxNews wrote, in part:
“In the past ten days, I have spoken repeatedly with a senior official of the State Department toward this end, and specifically to facilitate a call between the President of the United States and Mr. Gbagbo so Mr. Gbagbo could be presented with options for a peaceful resolution, that would avoid further bloodshed and be in the best interests of his country and the people of the Ivory Coast. There is no excuse for a return to violence or civil war.”
Very significant, Davis claims that “Unfortunately, as you know, the decision was made in Abidjan not to allow President Obama’s call to be put through to Mr Gbagbo,”
At the time of this USAfricaonline.com special report (12:02am US CST on Wednesday January 5, 2011) neither the Ambassador/Embassy of the Ivory Coast in Washington DC nor the Gbagbo camp in Abidjan responded to Davis’ letter.
It may be recalled that in the 2nd week of December 2010, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated the American position: “We are in full agreement that Alassane Ouattara is the rightfully elected president … and that former President Laurent Gbagbo should respect the result of the election and peacefully transfer power to his successor.” She added that President Obama had”sent a letter to President Gbagbo, urging him to step aside and warning him of consequences if he does not.”
Ivory Coast has friendly relations with the U.S but Gbagbo loyalists argue that the Obama administration is working with France and the UN against the former radical university professor and grassroots mobilizer.
But a senior member of the African desk of the U.S National Security Council in Washington DC told me/USAfrica that: “it’s obvious Mr. Gbagbo is overplaying his hand. Unfortunately, we think he’s trying to tie his personal agenda with those of his country at such a critical and sensitive time. The presidential elections are not only disputed but many in the international community say his opponent Mr. Ouattarra won.”
When I asked further as to what will be the next move by the U.S., the official simply said: “The U.S supports free and fair results. We support democracy in Ivory Coast.”
Obama, born August 4, 1961 to a Kenyan scholar and a White mother in Honolulu, is the first African American to hold the office (since January 2009) and seems a man with interests on more democratization across Africa. (Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy.)
Pierre Kablan, an activist in the capital city of Yamoussoukro informed USAfrica via phone that “Ouattarra is the man for France and U.S and the IMF-World Bank for decades. They can control him but not President Gbagbo. That’s the point.”
Any major slip and dangerous move in Ivory Coast by the typically patient Obama, the usually brash Sarkozy of France and others in the international community in this once peaceful, idyllic former colony of France with
18million people could be expensive for the U.S and other west Africans. Evidently, the reasons and hopes for Ivory Coast’s independence in the 1960s are turning into mirages and conflicts and….
• Chido Nwangwu is the Founder and Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine, PhotoWorks.TV, AchebeBooks.com, USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in Lagos and worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (news) in the 1980s; served on a publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; adviser on Africa to Houston’s former Mayor Dr. Lee Brown. Chido appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, CBSNews, ABCNews, FOXNews, NBCNews, etc. Chido@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.