Abidjan (AFP) March 21, 2011
With a tightly-clenched fist angrily puncturing the air, Guillaume, a young supporter of strongman Laurent Gbagbo declares himself ready to die to free Ivory Coast.
In a heaving crowd of thousands of youths, he has come to sign up to "fight the rebels", the supporters of Alassane Ouattara -- internationally recognised as the winner of a disputed election in November 2010.
"We want kalach (nikovs)!": A chorus ringing out from a group of youths standing in single file.
Heads shaven, some covered with caps, these young men streamed to the Gallieni military camp to enlist in Gbgabo's armed forces - answering a call from Charles Ble Goude, the fiery chief of his most militant backers, the "Young Patriots".
In a red T-shirt and jeans, Guillaume, 30, abandoned his hair salon to sign up and save an Ivory Coast "invaded by rebels".
Fighters backing Ouattara have been slowly advancing through suburbs of the economic capital, threatening Gbagbo's regime with ambushes and attacks.
Meeting fierce resistance from Gbagbo forces - bloodshed, and civilian deaths, have become a daily occurrence.
Guillaume proudly fills out a form marked with the words: "Census of volunteers for military recruitment".
"I am ready to go for training today to die for my homeland," he says.
Olivier, who is unemployed, is from Yopougon, a bastion of support for Gbagbo in the west of Abidjan.
He says he has come to "seek vengeance" against his brothers and sisters killed in western Ivory Coast, the region hardest hit by a political-military crisis spawned by a failed coup in 2002 by rebels now backing Ouattara.
Bar manager Francois wants to wear a uniform to "free his country of settlers and give (his) life for the freedom of black people", an echo of the anti-colonialist credo of Gbagbo.
On a platform overlooking an immense piece of land where the hopeful recruits stood tightly packed, General Philippe Mangou, chief of the Defense and Security Forces, addressed the throng of youths waiting in the suffocating heat.
"Can I count on you for the defence and sovereignty of the Ivory Coast?" he asked, dressed in fatigues.
The crowed roared "yes" in response.
Sure to leave many disappointed who already saw themselves fighting for the flag, Mangou urged them merely to sign up and leave their contact details, to be called "when the time is right".
Goude, accused of wanting to arm the youth as Abidjan is rocked by bloodshed that the UN estimates has killed at least 440 since the start of the post-election dispute, justifies his call to arms:
"It is because we want to avoid a civil war and an ethnic war that we ask the youth who are willing to enlist in the regular army, which is the only army authorised to face the mounting insecurity," he told AFP.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
Unloved in the West, Kadhafi still has fans in Africa
Dakar (AFP) March 19, 2011
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi may be facing one of his most dangerous hours, threatened with Western air strikes, but south of the Sahara his quest for continental unity and his country's vast investments have won him many friends. "Kadhafi has the magical gift of making himself loved and making himself hated," said Nigerian sociologist Gagara Nassamou, summarising Libyan government policy: r ... read more
More volunteers 'prepared for death' at Fukushima|
Disaster could cost Japan $235 billion: WBank
Battle to cool Japan plant as food jitters grow
Fukushima: Japan faces a lasting nuclear headache
New Imaging Technique Provides Rapid, High-Definition Chemistry
Facebook buys startup to link with more mobile phones
Contamination at Fukushima plant to last 'decades': experts
Radioactive substances in seawater near Japan plant
Fish Know To Avoid The Spear
Iraq wastes 50% of water: UNICEF
African cities need 'greener' water infrastructure: UN
Ancient Trash Heaps Gave Rise To Everglades Tree Islands
Wheels Up for Extensive Survey of Arctic Ice
Arctic-Wide Measurements Verify Rapid Ozone Depletion In Recent Days
Pace of polar ice melt 'accelerating rapidly': study
Soot Packs A Punch On Tibetan Plateau's Climate
Major legal blow to European anti-GM crops lobby
France urges European controls on all Japanese produce
Native Americans Modified American Landscape Years Prior To The Arrival Of Europeans
Japan halts some food shipments due to radiation
Caribbean to test tsunami preparedness
Fault-Finding Coral Reefs Can Predict the Site of Coming Earthquakes
S. Korea and North agree volcano research talks
Japan's tsunami holds tight to its dead
Passions stirred, Gbagbo backers "ready to die" for I.Coast
War clouds gather over Sudan again
African Union demands 'immediate' halt to Libya attacks
Gbagbo camp recruits youth, thousands flee Abidjan violence
A New Evolutionary History Of Primates
Study: More immigrant families are intact
Study: Neanderthals had control of fire
Age Affects All Primates
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|