Gbagbo allies set up strategic command in Ghana to destabilize Ivory Coast – UN Report

Ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo

A new UN panel of experts report released October 9, 2012 has confirmed that supporters of former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo have set up a command in Ghana where they are planning to destabilize the Ivorian government led by President Alassane Ouattara.

Excerpts of the report which was cited by the Reuters News agency revealed that supporters of Gbagbo have a “military structure”, have hired mercenaries in Ghana and Liberia and have established several training camps in eastern Liberia, the report said.

“They (Ivorian exiles) have established a strategic command in Ghana,” Reuters quoted the report as saying, adding that their goal was to “destabilize” the government in Ivory Coast and return to power.

The experts said that some pro-Gbagbo field commanders, collectively known as “the generals,” boasted nicknames like “Western Tarzan,” “Bob Marley,” “Bushdog” and “Iron Jacket”, Reuters reported.

Gbagbo is currently awaiting trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity,

On several occasions, the Ivorian government has accused Ghana for shielding supporters of Laurent Gbagbo who are currently based in the Western Region as refugees. And the UN report seems to add credence to allegations made by the Ivorian authorities that military and civilian officials of the former government, many of whom fled across the border at the end of a conflict last year, are continuing their fight against President Alassane Ouattara’s government from Ghana.

Ivory Coast reopened on Monday October 8, 2012, its border with Ghana following a two-week closure over a series of deadly attacks Ivorian officials believed were launched from Ghanaian territory.

But Ghana says it is committed and has promised to investigate the attacks.

By Ekow Quandzie

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