Why ADO needs Yamoussoukro



If the pro-Ouattara Forces Nouvelles rebels gain Yamoussoukro, which is technically the capital, Ouattara could base himself there giving him much more legitimacy within Ivory Coast, and in front of other African leaders, who are now post-election panelists in the face of Gbagbo's denial he lost elections last year.

His "we or we win" quote is now approaching Charles Taylor's "I killed your ma, I killed your pa, now vote for me," campaign slogan. Will Gbagbo one day join Taylor he helped push out with MODEL in the international dock? That's a fate he wants to avoid, and a bargaining chip the panelists don't have since as everyone knows those promises of amnesty were broken precisely with Taylor.

So far there has been sporadic shooting in Yamoussoukro, a symbol if there is one of Ivorian history gone awry. Some of the already emptied out population could easily be swayed to live under FN-rule for a while, especially if Ouattara also installed himself there. As analysts have pointed out, he has done little to reach out to Gbagbo's side and that could begin to change. Looking presidential from Yamoussoukro would be easier than from the Golf Hotel. It's also a swing political area, which voted for Ouattara in the second round.

So far, the main front of the renewed civil war is in the west, which saw fighting until 2005, and saw back and forth gains and losses, and fighting by pro-Gbagbo militias, Liberian mercenaries and the French foreign legion.

In the lastest fighting, Gbagbo's side said they retreated strategically in the west after losing Zouan-Hounien and Bin-Houye. Will the FN take over Toulepleu next? Gains in the west lead to more cocoa rich areas, re-involvement of Liberian mercenaries and roads to San Pedro, but anyway most cocoa is now being smuggled out.

There's also Guiglo in the way, which has some of the fiercest pro-Gbagbo militias.

Where are the UN and French rapid reaction forces? The Gbagbo side is accusing them and will accuse them more and more of colluding with Ouattara's side.

The most important front though is the north/south one. If the rebels can move into the south that would be very significant, but if war was to be avoided, all the protagonists are to blame including the United Nations.

The scariest front is the one in pro-Ouattara neighborhoods of Abidjan.

I think Ouattara's side is very disappointed in the African panel of leaders, especially Zuma who seems to be siding with Gbagbo in the footsteps of behind the scenes African heavyweight Angola ... In Abidjan there is also the issue of the South African navy boat close by.

The Ouattara side may be forcing the issue with violence and trying to see if they can rival Gbagbo's army, and/or force an outside intervention which would help them topple Gbagbo ...

Not that I'm keeping a scorecard, but the "international community" created an unhealthy tie peace for nine years in Ivory Coast, now it's more or less FN, international banks, ADO, UN, election commission, western powers, Nigeria vs. Mangou's army, Gbagbo, militias, Gbagbo's hardliners including Ble Goude, Gbagbo's wife, constitutional council, Angola, South Africa, tacit support from Russia, Israel, China, usual suspects of conspiracy theorists, African renaissance movers and shakers, pan-Africanists.

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