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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 16:38 GMT
Ivorian press ferment over war fears

Fears that hostilities between the government and the rebels in Ivory Coast are about to resume have caused deep unrest in the country's press.

While some pro-government papers warn that the rebels will be defeated in any fight with government forces, there is also criticism of senior establishment figures. The president of Burkina Faso also comes under fire.

"The rebels are cornered," proclaims commentator Souvaine Doudou in Le National. "The game is up for the rebels of the MPCI [Patriotic Movement of Cote d'Ivoire].

No Soro! You think you are making history but you don't know anything about history. Hate begets hate. No rebel movement has ever brought development to any country
Fraternite Matin

"Cornered, the Ivorian rebels will no longer have any place to fall back. Cornered, the rebels must surrender or face the unleashing of FANCI [National Armed Forces of Cote d'Ivoire] land and air firepower."

The commentator also criticises the "rebels' godfather, Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore", saying he can no longer grant them sanctuary "after being reprimanded at the recent Accra summit" for "seeking to destabilise West Africa".

History lesson

Addressing MPCI leader Guillaume Soro, government daily Fraternite Matin looks to the lessons of African history to warn off the rebels.

"No Soro! You think you are making history but you don't know anything about history. Hate begets hate. If you had really studied African history you would know that no rebel movement has ever brought development to any country.

The concept of Ivoirite is poisoning Ivorian political life, just the same way that apartheid did in South Africa
Fraternite Matin commentator

"You would also know that those who are supporting you today will abandon you tomorrow, when you no longer serve their interests. Do you not know the history of Jonas Savimbi, of Foday Sankoh, of Ansumane Mane ? Think again, Soro!"

Another commentator in Fraternite Matin laments the promotion of "the concept of Ivoirite", of Ivorian nationality.

"This is poisoning Ivorian political life, just the same way that apartheid did in South Africa, and the same way nazism in Germany brought forth anti-semitism."

The online Ivoirealites praises President Laurent Gbagbo for refusing to relinquish power, calling it "a wake-up call for Africans who now understand that their Ivorian counterpart is a person of stature".

"It is a victory for Laurent Gbagbo, a victory for honesty, justice and truth over craftiness, perfidiousness, manipulation and injustice."

Rebel splits

Le Temps commentator Toti Salim wonders if the rebels are not their own worst enemy, highlighting the splits between MPCI's political and military wings.

"Is the perpetual conflict between the 'politicians' and the 'soldiers' within the Patriotic Movement of Cote d'Ivoire going to be the cause of the rebellion's demise?," Toti Salim asks.

Le Nouveau Reveil questions the recent warning by army chief of staff General Mathias Doue that the war could reignite, asking him if his declaration is a denunciation of the July ceasefire.

(Speaker) Mamadou Koulibaly has since the outbreak of the crisis done things that have put his very colleagues in the regime in jeopardy
Le Repere

It describes his statement as "suspicious" and "belated".

And Le Repere puts Parliament Speaker Mamadou Koulibaly under the spotlight, accusing him of acting against the country's interest.

In a piece headlined "Mamadou Koulibaly's War Against Cote d'Ivoire", it says he "was the first Ivorian politician to officially accuse Burkina Faso and its president, Blaise Compaore, of being the instigators of the armed rebellion".

"Professor Mamadou Koulibaly has since the outbreak of the crisis done things that have, each time, either put his very colleagues in the regime in jeopardy or made the national reconciliation process dangerously tense."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Ivorian rebels declare emergency
18 Nov 03  |  Africa
Aid block threat for Ivory Coast
14 Nov 03  |  Africa
Ivory Coast secession fears grow
13 Nov 03  |  Africa
Plea to save Ivorian peace deal
31 Oct 03  |  Africa


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