The wave of xenophobia that has swept the Ivory Coast since 1993 has led, at the present time, to unparalleled violence in that country. Certain bourgeois politicians have decided to resort to xenophobia as a way to attain and hold power. Carried to the point of caricature by the current rulers who are trying to make it into a theory, this ideology of identity has become their only weapon against Alassane Dramane Ouattara. Unable to wage this fight with rational arguments, which were nevertheless not lacking, they decided to denigrate him as a foreigner, in particular a Burkinabe [person from Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) – translator].
Everyone knows in fact that many foreigners live in the Ivory Coast, of whom more than three million are from Burkina Faso. It is easy, in these present conditions of acute capitalist crisis, to make them scapegoats, the source of the misery of the Ivorians [people from the Ivory Coast – translator].
They use every means available, stretching decency and ethics to the limit, to present Ouattara as a Burkinabe national who is trying to usurp the post of president of the Republic of the Ivory Coast to the detriment of the “true Ivorians.” This can only incite feelings of repulsion and hatred among those who are suffering but are unaware of the real cause of their suffering. This manipulation has led to all kinds of demagogy. This is the front line of defense of the present rulers, who are using tribalism and xenophobia to brush aside their political opponents.
The Burkinabe residents in the Ivory Coast and other foreign nationals are victims of conflicts between bourgeois clans whose interests are different from their own. But the new rulers are not prepared to renounce these policies. According to them, the rejection of foreigners is “a social phenomenon in the Ivory Coast;” the exploitation of this by politicians allows them to hold on to their power and particularly to eliminate their sworn enemy, Ouattara, forever from all political processes in that country.
The government of Blaise Compaoré [of Burkina Faso – translator], as usual, has kept quiet and taken a wait and see attitude in regard to the painful events that the Burkinabe people in the Ivory Coast are undergoing. This is because the governments of the two countries have very little regard for life and human dignity. The two governments already have many political crimes in their record and are thus basically of the same nature.
The consequences of this situation are numerous: popular condemnation of the foreign communities, particularly Burkinabes, the destruction of goods and extortion of funds belonging to them, police harassment, humiliations of all kinds, beatings, killings. The toll of the attacks against these communities, at the call of the social-chauvinist regime of Gbagbo [of the Ivory Coast – translator], remains to be calculated. That will allow people to assess the extent of the disaster.
The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast (PCRCI) and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Upper Volta (PCRV), very concerned by this situation:
1) express their indignation and reprobation at this social-chauvinist policy of the Ivorian government, the complicity of the Burkinabe government and of French imperialism, their master;
2) condemn the violent oppression of the xenophobic Ivorian government and demand the immediate halt to the attacks against the nationals of other African countries, particularly of Burkinabe nationals;
3) demand that light be shone on all the consequences of the current political events and the violence that they generate;
4) call upon the Ivorian working class and the working people to abstain from all attacks against the Burkinabe working people of town and country living in the Ivory Coast and, in general, against all foreign nationals;
5) call upon the Burkinabe working class and people to refrain from all attitudes of chauvinism and revenge and from all forms of reprisals against the Ivorian nationals living in Burkina Faso;
6) invite the working people of the two countries to thwart the Machiavellian maneuvers of the Gbagbo regime who are inciting hatred against foreigners in his competition with Ouattara Dramane Alassane;
7) call for vigilance and effective solidarity of the Ivorian and Burkinabe working people in their fight against their common enemies: the fascistic regime of Blaise Compaoré, the social-chauvinist regime of Laurent Gbagbo and French imperialism which are the basis of their misery.
Long live proletarian internationalism!
Abidjan, December 2000
Central Committee of the PCRCI
Central Committee of the PCRV