Abidjan, March 30, 2004
Tens are dead (37 according to the authorities, 350 according to the organizers of the demonstration), hundreds are disappeared, hundreds are injured and many homes were broken into! Such is the scale of the repression by the authorities against the demonstration organized by certain parties who signed the Linas-Marcoussis accord,(1) who wanted to express their discontent with the manner in which the president of the republic is carrying out these accords.
This march, as usual, had been prohibited on the grounds that it was an attempt at insurrection. This is the manner in which the bourgeois authorities succeed one another and regroup themselves in our country. In fact, since 1990, it is rare when the authorities do not consider demonstrations as an attempt at "destabilization of the institutions of the republic." The gagging of liberties remains the main trend of political practice in the Ivory Coast and the promises of democracy and freedom for the people of the Ivory Coast are far from being realized.
The authorities are again shouting about destabilization and, once again, the people of the Ivory Coast are living through a drama. All the attempts by the propaganda apparatus of the authorities to cover it up cannot hide the sad reality of the bloodbath that has just taken place.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast is deeply saddened by this slaughter which is totally unjustified and that shocks the human conscience. The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast bows before the memory of all these young people who have been killed for simply wanting to enjoy their rights as citizens while taking part in a peaceful demonstration. It wishes a quick recovery to the hundreds of injured and expresses its support to all those who were brutalized and attacked in one way or another.
In his address to the nation on Friday March 26, 2004, the president of the republic promised to shed light on these events. The organizers of the demonstration, for their part, have demanded the formation of an international investigation commission with the same goal, that of shedding light on what happened. The committee to uphold the Linas-Marcoussis accords has called for the same thing.
To avoid the continual betrayal of promises, the people of the Ivory Coast must be vigilant to ensure that the investigation that has been promised and demanded is effectively carried out. Therefore, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast joins in every initiative that demands that the authorities carry out the promise they have made and it supports the demand for an international commission made by the organizers of the demonstration and by the committee to uphold the accords.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast considers that freedom, democracy and human rights are being undermined day by day in the Ivory Coast. The repression affects every free citizen, every household, every ethnic or religious community. The only way to escape the repression is to support the authorities of the FPI(2) or to keep silent. Thus the Ivory Coast has fully become a State with no rights. This demands that all democrats and all who care about justice and freedom organize themselves to win the right of freedom to think and organize, for the defense of democracy and human rights, as they did in 1990.
Therefore, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast condemns the repression carried out on March 25 and launches an urgent appeal to the democrats, to the masses of workers and peasants, to the youth, that they become join with it in the fight for a Democratic and Modern Republic.
For the Central Committee
General Secretary, Achy EKISSI
1) Linas-Marcoussis – Locality near Paris at which the parties involved in the civil war signed peace accords on January 24, 2003, with French mediation.
2) FPI – Popular Front of the Ivory Coast, in power since 1995.
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