I recently finished reading Nathanial Philbrick’s latest book, The Last Stand. It’s an excellent read,a detailed account of General George Armstrong Custer’s final days and moments with the 7th Calvary at The Little Big Horn in June 1876.
Ivory Coast incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo is a bit like Custer and his bunker at the presidential palace in Abidjan is a bit like the Little Big Horn.
Like Custer, Gbagbo assumes victory is in his grasp and he insists that he will go down fighting no matter what transpires. Like Custer, Gbagbo is vastly outnumbered. He has only about 1,000 troops at his disposal with 200 of them protecting him at the presidential compound.
Unlike Custer, there’s no Maj. Reno or Capt. Benteen nearby and no reinforcements led by a Gen. Terry.
Also, unlike Custer, perhaps Gbagbo should wave the white flag and yield to the inevitable to avoid a massacre. His time leading Ivory Coast is finished. That was an outcome predetermined long ago by France and The United Nations.
Internationally recognized President, Alassane Quatarra says he will not kill Gbagbo; he wants to take him alive so he can be placed on trial for committing crimes against the Ivorian people.
Perhaps that’s why negotiations between Gbagbo and the U.N. have stalled. Maybe he’ll surrender, but only if he has a guarantee that he will not face a “show” trial.
If Gbagbo is captured, arrested, and put on trial, the same should be done with his rebel opponent, Alassane Quatarra. Quatarra’s New Forces (anti-government rebels) and many of their non-Ivorian supporters have been guilty of committing crimes against their opponents.
I’ve detailed some of those crimes in several previous blogs and CBN News reports. But more rebel atrocities are coming to light each day.
Click below to see (within the interview) an edited **WARNING: GRAPHIC** video of a massacre in which at least 800 people were murdered and some burned alive last month at a Catholic mission compound in the city of Duekoue.
Witnesses say Quatarra supporters committed the massacre shortly after New Forces rebels moved through the area. This inhumane action was verified by the Catholic charity, Caritas. Several witnesses reported U.N. troops stationed nearby did nothing to prevent the tragedy.
If Gbagbo surrenders, many of his supporters fear Quatarra’s New Forces and many of their allies may proceed with acts of genocide similar to Rwanda.
I recently interviewed Ted Jensen, a pastor who works with missionaries in the Ivory Coast. I asked him about the atrocities and prospects for a more peaceful country in the days ahead.
Pray for God’s spirit and peace to rain down on Ivory Coast. Pray that Laurent Gbagbo will avoid his own Little Big Horn.
Here's the Jensen interview. It includes some (WARNING: GRAPHIC) clips of the Duekoue atrocities: