Friday, June 1, 2012


Published in  L'intelligent d'Abidjan of May 22, 2012 

Prison break in Korhogo, Katiola Dimbokro Agboville, Abidjan ... It seems our prisons are real sieves. Yet they rebuilt the House of Detention and Correction of Abidjan after the post-election crisis. Around  two billions francs CFA spent. Obviously,  it did not include the strengthening of the security, but only the beauty and comfort of the infrastructure. But even in gold, a prison remains a prison, and the new prison, just as porous as the old one , has unleashed a flood of residents. Now, the police is trying to catch them. 

It's quiet amazing, when you know that safety is a priority for the new government which promised big changes. Easier said than done. Unable to prevent, they try to heal and sometimes find themselves playing the doctors after death. The exercise of power is not easy. 

In an attempt to catch the escapees, raids were introduced. The announcement was made on television to make it official and reassure all the people worried by the increased presence of military in the streets.

At 21heures, they invest the streets exactly as they do when there is a curfew. Strangely they don't check the identity of drivers. There target are pedestrians only.

It is known, fugitives moves only at night and by foot. Since "escaped" is not written on someone's forehead or on the identity card, people caught are taken to the police academy for verification. Which one ? Do they have a software which can tell if someone has been in jail, if he has finished to pay his debt to society or not, just by using his digital print, or entering his name ? I doubt it!

So the good citizens are forced to remain confined in their homes, not to risk falling into the tight mesh of a net that does not immediately distinguish between varieties of fish he takes. Finally, we are all prisoners.

With this campaign, the government exposed itself to critics. And they have already started. They are  talking about abuse, violence, injury to the dignity of man and torture during the arrests. They say it is a diversion to legitimize the witch hunt, or rather the "pro-Gbagbo sorcerers." hunt.

Whose fault is it, if such statements are made ? We are not in a usual scenario. There was a violent and bloody conflict, before the new President could start leading the country. Each step should be focused on reconciliation and surrounded by a good communication campaign.

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