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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Murky death of Ivory Coast rebel
By Arnaud Zajtman
BBC, Western Ivory Coast

"It's better to die than to be humiliated," was Felix Doh's famous motto.

Felix Doh
Doh seems to have been killed by former allies

It's written in red capitals on white stones at the entrance to his stronghold, Danane.

Those are probably his only famous quotes - most of the time, Felix Doh was drunk.

He was one of the soldiers who went into exile when President Laurent Gbagbo was elected in 2000.

He spent his years of exile in Liberia and was heard from again last November, when he seized the town of Danane.

Not welcome

According to the independent group Global Witness, Sam Bockarie, an ex-combatant from the Sierra Leone rebel RUF had close ties with Felix Doh.

This has always been denied by rebels here and it has been difficult to investigate.

Hundreds killed
More than a million displaced
3,000 French peacekeepers
Nation divided in two
Power sharing deal still to work

A few weeks ago, I turned up in Danane and I passed a car, which had just come out of a junction.

When he saw me, the driver bent down to hide himself from me and Felix Doh came out from the passenger seat.

He took out his gun and he shots at my car. Apparently, that was his way of showing me that I wasn't welcome in Danone that day.

I was later told that he did that because he did not want me to see who was driving the car.

There are reports that it was Sam Bockarie.

Loyalty test

Here in western Ivory Coast, Felix Doh was considered as the junction between the Ivorian rebels and the Liberian mercenaries.

He was also regarded as a businessman.

Woman flees fighting in western Ivory Coast
There has been widespread looting in western Ivory Coast

Rebels here suspected him of smuggling cattle to Guinea, of exploiting a local gold mine and of not doing anything to stop the lootings of the population by Liberian mercenaries.

They also suspected him of not fighting hard to protect the town of Zouanya, which was recently captured by loyalist forces.

As a result, commanders and combatants of the MPCI, the main wing of the rebel movement, came to Danane a week ago.

Since Wednesday, they have been fighting against the Liberian mercenaries and according to rebel leaders here, Felix Doh was asked to prove which side he was on.

He was sent to the border with Liberia to push the mercenaries away, rebels say.

Rebels now say that Felix Doh was killed by Sam Bockarie's fighters.

But given the suspicions surrounding him, he may also have been eliminated by his very own brothers in arms.


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