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Papers Condemn EU Interference In Cote D'Ivoire Affairs

Panafrican News Agency, 22 December 2000

Abidjan—The interference of the European Union in Ivorian affairs and the rumours of a coup d’etat before the end of the year are the focus of commentaries of Ivorian papers this week.

Debate on the elections in Cote d’Ivoire: the EU should begin with the United States, Le National, a daily close to former President Henri Konan Bedie, says.

The paper believes that if there is a nation that should receive lessons on democracy from the EU, it should be the United States, where Al Gore was cheated, and deprived of a victory, and not Cote d’Ivoire.

The holding of fresh elections should start with those that have just been organised in the United States, where judges designated the president of the world’s most powerful country, it says. Where was the EU, anyway?.

The paper also points out that there will be no fresh elections in Cote d’Ivoire, either today or tomorrow, unless there is one in the United States.

Notre Voie, another daily associated with the Ivorian Popular Front, quotes the reaction of the government and political parties to the decision taken by France, current EU chair, to consult its partners with a view to examining the issue of suspension of their co-operation with Cote d’Ivoire.

At a time when the government and the PDCI-RDA (in power from 1960 to 1999) agree to condemn the EU decision, the RDR (led by former Prime Minister Alassane Dramane Ouattara), on the contrary, is happy and approves it, it says.

The Abidjan-based papers also dwelt on the wild rumours of a coup d’etat before the end of the year.

Soir Info presents its readers with an interview with the former head of the military leader, Gen. Robert Guei, accused of recruiting Liberians, with the backing of President Charles Taylor, to destabilise President Laurent Gbagbo’s new regime.

We should avoid frustrating the heads of neighbouring countries through unfortunate insinuations and declarations that publicly accuse them of everything, it says.

Why should I train rebels or support mercenaries? And who am I going to send these mercenaries to? I can never send mercenaries or start a rebellion against the Ivorian army, essentially composed of people most of whom I consider as my own children, it quotes Guei as saying.

An independent daily, L’Inter, echoes the population’s anxiety on the eve of the new year holiday.

It stresses that Ivorians are anxious because of the threat that weighs on the country’s socio-political stability.

Whatever the case may be, Christians who could not celebrate Christmas last year, sincerely hope that the ’peace of Christ’ will fall upon their country to enable them to spend this festive season without curfew, state of emergency or soldiers in the streets, it concludes.