Ivory Coast: where Islamic and Western 'interests' meet.
-- a call to pray for Ivory Coast
By Elizabeth Kendal
Coast (IC) is a nation on an ethnic-religious
fault-line with a predominantly agrarian Muslim
north and a predominantly urbanised, industrial and
administrative Christian and animist south.
Presidential aspirant Alassane Ouattara is an
ambitious former Prime Minister and Northern Muslim
who plays the race and religion cards for political
gain. This has fuelled tensions and aggravated
divisions during economically stressful times as IC
has been struggling under the weight of decades of
mass Muslim immigration. Ouattara has long sought
the naturalisation of all immigrants which would
mean an immediate Muslim majority in IC. Those who
object to that outcome are labelled 'Islamophobic',
'racist' and 'xenophobic'. Ouattara has the backing
of Islamic states precisely because he is a Muslim
prepared to play the Muslim-as-victim card for
Ivory Coast (IC) went to the polls on 31 October 2010 even though the northern rebels, in violation of all agreements, had not disarmed. In IC, as in most democracies, an electoral commission manages the mechanics of an election whilst a constitutional council or court investigates complaints before proclaiming the final result. On 2 December IC's Electoral Commission -- dominated by Ouattara supporters by a margin of 20-2 -- illegally pre-empted the Constitutional Council's decision and broadcast via French TV from Ouattara's headquarters that Ouattara had won the election. When the Constitutional Council, which had been investigating irregularities, announced on 3 December that Gbagbo was the winner, a political stalemate ensued.
Fortunately for Ouattara, numerous foreign powers covet access to IC's immense agricultural (coffee, cocoa) and mineral (diamonds, oil) wealth. Because he is prepared to sell out IC's sovereignty and wealth in exchange for power, Ouattara has the backing of these resource-hungry foreign powers, es pecially neo-colonialist France. Bolstered by the support of the 'international community', Ouattara has moved to take power by force.
As noted in last week's RLPB, IC as a former French colony is obliged to hand over 85 percent of all its foreign currency reserves to the French treasury. This poverty-perpetuating neo-colonialism is exactly what President Laurent Gbagbo, a staunch nationalist, has been fighting against. This is why France is so keen for regime change in IC that it has sent attack helicopters against the Presidential Palace and Ivorian military barracks (in the name of 'humanitarianism'!) ignoring the fact that these facilities not only house whole families but also abut residential areas.
While UN and French helicopters were attacking Ivorian positions in Abidjan, northern militias allied to Alassane Ouattara were pressing south. As this RLPB was being prepared, UN peacekeepers were guarding tens of thousands of civilians seeking refuge in a church in Duekoue, the southern town where some 800 were rec ently killed during an attack by northern militias. Virtually all state institutions, including the army, are loyal to President Gbagbo -- as is at least half the registered population -- so Abidjan will not submit willingly. The rebels would never be able to win or retain power without Western support. Fortunately for them, Islamic and Western 'interests' meet once again. Their goal: the removal of a secular (in this case Christian) staunchly nationalist president and replacing him with an ambitious, exploitable puppet who will advance not IC's interests but his own.
In 1913 William Wade Harris of Liberia crossed into Ivory Coast preaching the power of Christ over spirits. Dressed in white and carrying a cross, a Bible and a bowl, he baptised thousands and according to E Isichei (1995) 'permanently rewrote the religious geography of the Ivory Coast'. But permanence can never be assumed. Good must be treasured and preserved. What Harris achieved, greed and mass Muslim immigration have undone. Once the most free and prosperous country in all West Africa, IC may never recover. Religious liberty and Christian security, once 'guaranteed', will be tenuous now.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR GOD TO:
- - shield his
Church and deliver her from evil that she might
continue to shine no matter how dark the
situation becomes; may faith increase as those
who trust the Lord find their refuge in him.
'You have set up a banner for those who fear
you, that they may flee to it from the bow.'
(Psalm 60:4 ESV)
- - bring a
spirit of peace to Abidjan, that there might be
a willingness to find a political solution to
this political problem; may religious liberty
and Christian security be preserved.
- - awaken the West to the destruction, suffering and death that greed and neo-colonialism produce; might a voice be raised against it, in the name of justice and righteousness.
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