General News of Wednesday, 10 October 2012
A startling new report by the United Nations has uncovered a strategic military base in Ghana operated by mercenaries plotting to overthrow the Ivorian government.
The report by a UN expert panel says exiles supporting former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo have “established a strategic command in Ghana...with a military structure with a goal to destabilise the government in Ivory Coast and return to power.”
The report first published by the Reuters News Agency is set to be laid before members of the U.N. Security Council's Ivory Coast sanctions committee on Friday.
The report highlights one of such meetings that took place in Takoradi on the 12th of July, 2012, where various exiled groups supporting Gbagbo united their efforts and defined a course of action with a view of returning to power in Cote d'Ivoire, including the development of a political and military strategy to identify possible bases of operations in neighbouring countries such as Mali.
Findings appear 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 brief conflict last year, are continuing their fight against President Alassane Ouattara's government from Ghanaian soil.
The UN panel of experts in this report noted that some pro-Gbagbo field commanders, collectively known as "the generals," boasted nicknames like "Western Tarzan," "Bob Marley," "Bushdog" and "Iron Jacket."
The experts also identified the leaders of a June 2012 operation that led to the deaths of seven U.N. peacekeepers from Niger. One of the leaders went by the alias "Rambo."
The peacekeepers were killed when their patrol came under fire close to Ivory Coast's porous border with Liberia, in what Ivorian authorities said was a cross-border raid.
Ivory Coast had announced in July that four men had been arrested in Liberia and would be extradited to stand trial. Readers may recalled that Ivory Coast on Monday announced that it would reopen its eastern border with Ghana, more than two weeks after it was closed over a series of the deadly attacks in a border of Noe, which Ivorian officials claimed were launched from Ghanaian territory.