HEADLINES:

The U.S. and the Soviet Union weren't the only ones trying to change regimes during the Cold War.

0
Friday June 08, 2018 - 07:52:39 in Daily News by Journalist Bashiir
  • Visits: 886
  • (Rating 0.0/5 Stars) Total Votes: 0
  • 0 0
  • Share via Social Media

    The U.S. and the Soviet Union weren't the only ones trying to change regimes during the Cold War.

    The U.S. and the Soviet Union weren't the only ones trying to change regimes during the Cold War.

    Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on Digg Share on Stumbleupon Share on Delicious Share on Google Plus

The U.S. and the Soviet Union weren't the only ones trying to change regimes during the Cold War.

(Waagacusub.net) Armed with AK-47s, the rebels sneaked into Liberia on Christmas Eve in 1989 to overthrow the country’s President Samuel Doe. As the ensuing civil war escalated, ultimately killing 400,000 people, the world’s attention turned to rebel leader Charles Taylor, and Libya, which had trained his men. But the man whom diplomats and experts hold responsible for the invasion was watching calmly from Yamoussoukro. At 84, Ivory Coast President Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s appetite for regime change hadn’t waned.

 

West Africa’s longest-serving leader, Houphouët-Boigny led Ivory Coast from its independence in 1960 till his death in 1993, turning the former French colony into a rare pillar of economic success and stability. An ally of the West during the Cold War, Houphouët-Boigny had a Peace Prize instituted in his name by UNESCO in 1990. But there was a more manipulative side to the man popularly known as Papa Houphouët or Le Vieux (The Old One), say experts and diplomats who worked with him.

Senior American diplomat Herman Cohen recalls meeting at the Ivorian leader’s house with Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Angolanrebel group UNITA that through the 1980s tried to overthrow the U.N.-recognized government of José Eduardo Dos Santos. Former Liberian warlord Prince Johnson, once Taylor’s ally, has told Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Houphouët-Boigny was involved in the 1987 assassination of Burkina Faso’s Marxist leader, Thomas Sankara. And though the Ivorian leader denied a role in these interventions, he was behind Taylor’s Christmas Eve Liberia invasion, according to Cyril Obi, a West Africa researcher at the Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn. Taylor and his fighters entered Liberia through Ivory Coast, says Cohen, who is convinced about Houphouët-Boigny’s role. 

 
 

"There is no doubt that the planning, financing and logistical assistance was orchestrated by [Ivory Coast] — [Taylor] working with President Houphouët,” says Cohen, who at the time was the U.S. assistant secretary of state for West Africa.

Gettyimages 51399428

A deeply personal seed for the 1989 Liberian coup had been planted a decade earlier. Doe came to power in a 1980 coup during which then–Liberian President William Tolbert Jr. was killed. The assassinated president’s son, Albert Tolbert, was married to Houphouët-Boigny’s adopted daughter, Daisy Delafosse, and the Ivorian leader asked Doe to spare his son-in-law’s life. Doe’s men ignored the request and killed Albert Tolbert.

But Houphouët-Boigny wasn’t just a man with a vendetta. Small and soft-spoken, he defied the stereotype of a strongman. A legislator in the French Parliament before he took charge of independent Ivory Coast, Houphouët-Boigny continued moderate political positions and alliances with the West. With heavy investments in agriculture, the country emerged as the world’s largest cocoa producer, and till the early 1990s, the region’s biggest postcolonial economic success.

This success, though, also "gave Houphouët extra money to throw his weight around and influence politics,” says Cohen.

The U.S. and South Africa were the public faces of support for Angola’s Savimbi and UNITA, against the Soviet bloc–supported Dos Santos. But Houphouët-Boigny played a critical role in UNITA’s longevity. The Ivorian leader, says Cohen, helped Savimbi sell diamonds that he smuggled out of Angola to finance his insurgency. From August 1989 to an Angolan peace agreement in May 1991, the Angolan rebel leader was a frequent visitor to Houphouët-Boigny’s home. "Savimbi considered Houphouët to be his political or spiritual father,” recalls Cohen.

By 1987, though, another Marxist leader in the region was worrying the West. Sankara in Burkina Faso had declared his country would not repay loans from international agencies. A worried Cohen articulated these concerns to Houphouët-Boigny. "Oh, he is just a young guy,” Cohen recalls Houphouët-Boigny responding dismissively, speaking of Sankara, then 38. "He will mature. Don’t worry.” But the American diplomat still feels queasy about that conversation: Months later, Sankara was assassinated. Burkina Faso’s new leader was Sankara’s military chief, Blaise Compaoré, who remained in power till a peaceful transfer of power in 2014.

In Compaoré, Houphouët-Boigny had a key ally — the Burkinabe leader never hid how indebted he felt to his Ivorian counterpart — and a partner who shared his personal hatred for Liberia’s Doe. After her husband’s assassination, Delafosse had escaped Liberia — and had then married Compaoré.

"The [Liberian] insurrection was organized from, and with the support of, Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s Ivory Coast and Blaise Compaoré’s Burkina Faso,” Obi wrote in a 2009 research paper on West African peacekeeping initiatives.

Houphouët-Boigny never acknowledged his role. "He totally denied to me in August 1990 that he even knew Charles Taylor,” recalls Cohen, now retired. And internationally, Houphouët-Boigny managed to successfully project the persona of a democratic, tolerant leader. Leaders like Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk, Shimon Peres and Jimmy Carter have been awarded the UNESCO prize instituted in his name. 

But Houphouët-Boigny’s interference in Liberia and Burkina Faso would return to haunt the region, and Ivory Coast, says Cohen. Taylor was sentenced in 2012 to 50 years in prison by a special U.N. court for fueling neighboring Sierra Leone’s civil war. And Houphouët-Boigny’s regime change bug also infected Compaoré, who in 1999 — six years after his mentor’s death — tried to bring his preferred candidate to power in Ivory Coast. The intervention sparked two civil wars that ravaged the stable economic powerhouse that Houphouët-Boigny once built. Ivory Coast is only beginning to recover from that devastation, the lingering shadow of Houphouët-Boigny’s gray legacy.


Share on Social Media

U.S. and EU Diplomats Support President Farmajo to Tear Somalia Apart

After 30 years of dictatorship and civil war, the Somali people pulled off a qualified consensus on forming a new state that is different from the obliterated one. The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia is vested with the awesome responsibility and authority to steer the formation of the new state. Successive elected presidents strived to some extent to fulfill their awesome responsibilities with the exception of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who strived to tear Somalia apart for good. Full Article

 

Trump: I told Saudi king he wouldn't last without U.S. support

Trump: I told Saudi king he wouldn't last without U.S. support Full Article

 

African Union to secure gains made in Somalia

African Union to secure gains made in Somalia Full Article

 

Somalia's Intelligence to make Agency's name changes

Somalia's Intelligence to make Agency's name changes Full Article

 

Qatar Charity Implements Health Projects in Somalia during First Half of 2018

Qatar Charity Implements Health Projects in Somalia during First Half of 2018 Full Article

 

U.S. to send FBI experts to investigate Ethiopia bomb blast

U.S. to send FBI experts to investigate Ethiopia bomb blast Full Article

 

U.S. soldier killed in attack by al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia

U.S. soldier killed in attack by al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia Full Article

 

Bariire Genocide:Names of the Farmers killed in the U.S.-Somali raid

Waagacusub.net - At least 10 people have been killed in an attack carried out by the Somali and U.S. forces on a farm in a small town in Lower Shabelle region on Friday morning, Garowe Online reports. Full Article

 

Italy: Police Beat Refugees During Eviction

Provide Adequate Housing for Homeless Refugees ? Police used violence and water cannons to evict a group of squatters, predominantly refugees, in Rome on August 24, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The Italian authorities should conduct a serious and transparent investigation into the use of force by police. Hundreds of people who had been living in the building on the Piazza Indipendenza urgently need alternative accommodation. Full Article

 

[DAAWO:] War Cusub oo ka soo kordhay Maxkamadeynta Wariye Coldoon iyo Wariyaha oo hal Arrin Codsaday

Iyadoo maanta lagu waday in Wariye C/maalik Muuse Coldoon la horkeeno Maxkamadda Gobolka Maroodi Jeex, ayaa dib loo dhigay maxkamadayntiisa. Full Article

 


Leave a comment

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip

  Tip


COVID-19 guidance for journalists and media houses in Somalia

ASOJ.ORG - Associated Somali Journalists has today published New guidance (advices) setting out how journalists and media houses in Somalia can meet their media duties as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Somali Goverment turned Into an instrument of Revenge.

Remember Somali Goverment hijacked the elections of Hirshabelle, Southwest, and Galmudug states, while Jubbaland and Puntland people have fended their states from being aggressively and corruptly hijacked like other three states.

U.S. and EU Diplomats Support President Farmajo to Tear Somalia Apart

After 30 years of dictatorship and civil war, the Somali people pulled off a qualified consensus on forming a new state that is different from the obliterated one. The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia is vested with the awesome responsibility and authority to steer the formation of the new state. Successive elected presidents strived to some extent to fulfill their awesome responsibilities with the exception of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who strived to tear Somalia apart for good.

Hormuud telecom and Al-Shabaab's Strategy of Destroying Mobile Communication Masts

Hormuud's Assault on African Peacekeepers Figure 14: African Peace Keepers Hormuud launched a scorching public campaign against the Kenyan military forces in AMISOM in late August 2019.

Hormuud Telecom, Taaj Express, Salaam Bank iyo Dahabshiil Money Transfer directly pay taxes to Al-Shabaab.

But Al-Shabaab derives the bulk of its funding for its operations from taxing business people and most lucrative companies in Mogadishu and control of most businesses in rural Somalia. 51 -Over the years, the terrorist group has established a well-structured and oiled taxation infrastructure supported by courts, road tolls, and loyal revenue payers. At the edge of the knife, the group's operatives demands that all business people and companies pay tax to its agents.

COVID-19 guidance for journalists and media houses in Somalia

ASOJ.ORG - Associated Somali Journalists has today published New guidance (advices) setting out how journalists and media houses in Somalia can meet their media duties as they navigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Full Article

 

Somali Goverment turned Into an instrument of Revenge.

Remember Somali Goverment hijacked the elections of Hirshabelle, Southwest, and Galmudug states, while Jubbaland and Puntland people have fended their states from being aggressively and corruptly hijacked like other three states. Full Article

 

U.S. and EU Diplomats Support President Farmajo to Tear Somalia Apart

After 30 years of dictatorship and civil war, the Somali people pulled off a qualified consensus on forming a new state that is different from the obliterated one. The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia is vested with the awesome responsibility and authority to steer the formation of the new state. Successive elected presidents strived to some extent to fulfill their awesome responsibilities with the exception of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who strived to tear Somalia apart for good. Full Article

 

Somaliland:Government Blocks Entry of Alternative Fibre Optic Cable

Waagacusub.com - The government of Somaliland denied that it had any advance information of a submarine fibre optic internet cable entering the country from Berbera. Full Article

 

Hormuud telecom and Al-Shabaab's Strategy of Destroying Mobile Communication Masts

Hormuud's Assault on African Peacekeepers Figure 14: African Peace Keepers Hormuud launched a scorching public campaign against the Kenyan military forces in AMISOM in late August 2019. Full Article

 

Hormuud telecom and Al-Shabaab's Strategy of Destroying Mobile Communication Masts

Hormuud's Assault on African Peacekeepers Figure 14: African Peace Keepers Hormuud launched a scorching public campaign against the Kenyan military forces in AMISOM in late August 2019. Full Article

 

Former Intel official stripped from NISA membership

Former Intel official stripped from NISA membership Full Article

 

PM KHEYRE USELESS AND COSTY OVERSEAS TRIPS.

PM KHEYRE USELESS AND COSTY OVERSEAS TRIPS. Full Article

 

Abiy says 'New Year' will be celebrated in Eritrea, Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights

Abiy says 'New Year' will be celebrated in Eritrea, Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights Full Article

 

Massive rise in Islamist militant attacks in Africa

Massive rise in Islamist militant attacks in Africa Full Article