Predicting Much More Ivorian Chaos
Someone asked me to predict what would happen in Ivory Coast.
Sunday could be bad ... as Young Patriots plan to gather near the Abidjan airport close to where French rapid reaction troops are based.
Gbagbo seems to come up with a new strategy every other day.
In Abidjan, the pro-Gbagbo forces have the definite edge right now. Economic sanctions mean nothing for Gbagbo.
The French rapid reaction force is the only force which can defeat his forces and take control of the city, but will they want to do that and appear as colonialists, as well as risk a few of their own lives?
Maybe with help from Nigerian soldiers?
Gbagbo is trying to push them in that direction. I fear he will attack UN peacekeepers more and more, attack the north, attack the Golf Hotel, attack northerners in Abidjan, to either retake control through chaos or go down as a martyr of France and external forces.
There are problems with Liberian civilians and combatants in both the west and the south. Angola still fully supports Gbagbo, who is trying to deploy an attack helicopter soon, and could get some more tanks.
Ouattara is still working on the financial card, by having the BCEAO West African bank (which is headed by the brother of a main rebel backer) block the Ivorian account, but it doesnt seem that has happened yet.
Sadly, I think there will be more and more violence, foreigners will flee or be evacuated and the French and UN will act militarily. If it loses Abidjan, which has never happened in recent years despite a few attempts, the Gbagbo supporters, of which there are many, will be extremely pissed. The anger I see from their side is chilling.
Fears of a Rwanda repeat are not exaggerated.