vendredi 19 avril 2013

#Gabon: Communication to protect the «Organization of ritual crime» (Editorial EDN No 175)

Communication to protect the "Organization of ritual crime"!
Editorial, Echos du Nord No 175
by Desiré Ename

To prevent a protest of the population against the "Organization of ritual crime", Gabon’s version, the government has put in place a communication strategy. It aims to show the international community that its real concern is about the eradication of this phenomenon. And those who speak or are organizing to protest against this phenomenon exaggerate or magnify the facts.

His little majesty Ali Bongo Ondimba and his collection of bums sitting comfortably within the government apparatus are well past masters of irony. The question is: when did this concern become real for them? Because we remember that in April 2012, the same small majesty pounded his desk saying "enough is enough! ", before the public prosecutor (sort of attorney general) and the police forces.

Until he put together a communication strategy for the sake of preserving the brand image of the country abroad, the only shots he wore against the smuggling of ritual crime are those that the matte wood of his desk cashed. Is it any wonder it stops at simple vows and results  are just as confused as imprecise?

Officially, his little majesty, in its communication campaign, is trying to inform the international community that from 2011 to 2012, 363 cases were "taken to justice in the country and have been dealt with exemplary punishment to criminals." But what cases is he talking about? And what criminals were punished except those who commit petty crime or other violent crimes? Now, we are talking about crimes with fetish as their object, commonly known as ritual murders/crimes. His little majesty should give Gabon and the international community, by which he was appointed in 2009, the names of the sponsors and beneficiaries of ritual murders that have appeared and have been sanctioned in criminal court sessions as organized by Courts of Appeal . We know he will not be able to. Hence, his purpose is amazingly casually. That, coming from a president, is not far from flat out irresponsibility.

At the height of irony, he added: "Know that everything the government fight and will fight this scourge with the greatest energy and severity. We strongly support the actions of Police officers, encourage them to continue the arrests, as Courts of Appeal aim to pursue criminal sessions in the country for the purpose of judging". The truth is, yes, the government is fighting this scourge by muzzling freedom of expression, by banning all forms of protest of the people against the same evil. This is the position of Minister of the Interior clearly supported by the government at the last Cabinet meeting on Thursday, April 11, 2013. In exchange for the freedom of expression of Gabonese, Minister Ndongou, who considered "inappropriate to organize a walk of protest", proposed "a meeting followed by a statement issued in the form of a memorandum to the President". What a joke! How can they give a such sh… about Gabonese people? Memorandum that accompanied fruitless meetings! His little majesty and its followers have always chosen the headlong rush. They show the expression of irresponsibility in the face of "citizens" they do not care about.

All communication of the regime in power is to discredit the movement against ritual crimes. In the final press release after the Cabinet meeting, the words of Ali Bongo Ondimba and the Minister Ndoungou's letter amalgamate crimes. In none of these texts appears specific crimes targeted by the movement that has formed around the Association against ritual crimes. The confusion is kept on purpose to accuse those who want to mobilize of tarnishing the country's image. This is wrong.

If Gabon’s image was a real concern for Ali Bongo Ondimba and his entourage, they would have fueled it by serious acts. Starting with safety measures and letting justice take its course. Without blocking it. Why should we believe that people who have destroyed the security system with defective recruitment where the golden rule of morality investigation was destroyed, can talk about encouraging security forces to do their job effectively? The state of gabonese security forces, gangrened by corruption and trafficking of all kinds, shows how his little majesty’s words are fanciful, hollow and without conviction. Himself does not even believe in what he has been saying, and words he has decked out with all the names of doomsayers during his presentation of new year’s vows to the population last January. As for the image of the "hospitable land by excellence". By repealing the freedom of expression, his little majesty Ali Bongo Ondimba, the "light" that rules Gabon, should tell us what image of the country is he depicting outside. What image does it give when constitutional rights are undermined? When tramples the Constitution, what does he want the democratic nations he wants to seduce think?

In conclusion, it appears that any such communication of discredit, led awkwardly by its small majesty Ali Bongo Ondimba and his government – actually embarrassed at the seams - because it is against the current realities, reveals the degree of complicity between the "Organization of ritual crime "and the rulers of the country.
Translated from french by CLG

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