Laurent Gbagbo has virtually vanished. From all accounts, he is encrusted in a bunker waiting for a miracle. A miracle that he was led to believe was imminent. He lost the presidential election on Nov. 28, 2010 to Allasane Outtara but refused to cede power. Instead, he hid behind a wall of denial, claiming fraud, inspite of UN election monitors documenting his fraud, but, after all of his years as president, the money, the deals and the power have made it impossible for him to empathize with the state of his country, The Ivory Coast.
Gbagbo is an allegedly "fervent" evangelical christian and a member and frequent guest at the National Prayer Breakfasts of the secretive Evangelical Fellowship Group or "The Brotherhood" which is centered in the United States. This is the same group which supported the evangelical christian government of Uganda and it's pogrom to eliminate homosexuals with the death penalty last year.
One of the members of the Fellowship is Senator and Global Warming Denialist Supreme Republican Oklahoma Senator, James Inhofe. Inhofe has been actively lobbying and supporting Gbagbo. His associate, the lobbyist and former Rep. Bob McEwan is being paid $25,000 a month to assist the Ivorian Ambassador to the U.S. by exerting his influence in the most strategic way possible".
Inhofe and Pat Roberson has even gone as far as stating that Outtara should follow the example of Al Gore in 2000, and accede to the will of Gbagbo and just go away, for the "good of his country".
Of course, to add fuel to their pyre, Outtara is muslim, so they try to portray this as just another christain/islamic confrontation.Inhofe actually wrote to Hillary Clinton, last week:
I am aware that my position is different from that of the Obama Administration, which has recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner. I ask, however, that you change your position in light of the evidence I have provided, and that you call for a new election. Such a change would not be viewed as inconsistent, but a wise reevaluation in light of new evidence presented. It is also consistent with our American dedication to the principle that democracy works best when it works for all and not for some. I am convinced that only through a new election will the people of Cote d’Ivoire end the increasing bloodshed, stop another civil war and ensure free and fair elections.
Then, of course, there's ole' Pat Robertson, who never met a christian despot with a good deal he didn't like, as long as he represented an "investment opportunity"Here's a clip in a Salon post of Robertson defending Gbagbo that will take your breath away. It all brings to mind Robertson's support of another African dictator whose praises Robertson sang: Charles Taylor of Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire's next-door neighbor.
Turns out Robertson had a financial interest in seeing Taylor retain his grip on power: a little mining operation called Freedom Gold Ltd., that licensed Robertson and friends to reap the profits of whatever gold they could find in the mineral-rich country in return for what essentially amounted to a kickback to Taylor. Now, Liberia, free of Taylor, is host to hundreds of thousands of traumatized refugees from Cote d'Ivoire, which is also a gold-mining nation.
Today the flow of refugees is reversed. Thousands of Cote d'Ivorians are fleeing into Liberia to escape the unleashed retribution of the supporters of Outtara as they finally battle the army of Gbagbo. The end of Gbagbo seems to be a matter of days or hours, but each of those minutes will claim lives and wreak economic havoc on the Cote d'Ivoire.
The French are in control of the airport, France, in cooperation with the UN, has just today taken over the country's main airport to evacuate foreigners: 12,000 French citizens live in the west African nation. Al Jazeera reports that state television in Cote D'Ivoire is accusing France of "preparing a Rwandan genocide".
The international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF), has been active in the region for years. Here is their latest update:
Outtara's forces have control of the borders. The battle in the capital city of Abijan is finally coming to it's bloody conclusion. The Gbagbo supporters are back incontrol of the television station and are hysterically begging for reinforcements and broadcasting messages of an impending "Ruandan" style genocide as their top generals defect to Outtara....
Meanwhile, Gbagbo is huddled in his bunker waiting for his miracle.