France-Ivory Coast

Revealed – Gbagbo’s French backers

Published on 7 January 2011 at 11:16

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Libération presents “Gbagbo’s French networks”.The Parisian daily profiles the seven “families” protecting the man who has proclaimed himself Ivory Coast president despite the international community’s recognition of Alassane Ouattara’s electoral victory. His backers include some old socialists, souverainistes (champions of national sovereignty, including the reactionary Front National), “heavies” (i.e. security entrepreneurs), “communicators” (i.e. PR firms), businessmen, lobbyists and lawyers. “The very idea of Françafrique [i.e. special ties between Africa and France] was invented in the Ivory Coast by Félix Houphouët-Boigny about 60 years ago. In our day, the paradox of Laurent Gbagbo is that he maintains extremely fishy ties to a bunch of Frenchmen who are fussing over his presidential cubbyhole whilst playing to the hilt an exaggerated and highly dangerous nationalist card,”denounces Libé. “These courtiers keep Gbabgo deluded that he can stay in power – whatever it may cost his country and its people.”

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