Ivory Coast: Rawlings damns Gbagbo’s tragic capture

Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has described the arrest of Cote d’Ivoire’s President Laurent Gbagbo on Monday as a repetition of the tragedy of DR Congo’s Patrice Lumumba in 1960.

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Commenting on the events surrounding Gbagbo’s arrest, President Rawlings said: “Fifty years down the road, with Africa still groping for freedom and justice, Black Africa repeats the tragedy of Patrice Lumumba, while next door fellow Arabs are fighting and dying for their freedoms.

“Whither are we bound,” he asked.

He said “The violent mishandling of the arrest of Gbagbo and members of his family, particularly the humiliation of his wife by rebel forces is a further indictment on some members of the international community.”

The former President said there were verifiable reports that rebels are abducting women and girls in certain populated districts of Abidjan, citing the case of the Yopougon Sicogi district of Abidjan where house-to-house ‘cleansing’ operations have been ongoing since Tuesday with men being executed and women and girls abducted.

He told Myjoyonline.com that “Reports by the Red Cross and other international organisations of the massacre of 800 in Duekoue by the advancing rebel forces and the failure to lay the blame where it belongs by the international community further exposes biases in the Ivorian crises.”