Like WAWA, I’m a regular and sometimes bemused reader of the daily Ivorian press. Here are three stories from yesterday’s papers.
– “The tears of Ben Konate” – Equatorial Guinean midfielder Ben Konate (born in Ivory Coast) suddenly felt a strong sensation as he heard the Ivorian national hymn before Sunday’s quarter final match against Ivory Coast. “I had goose bumps when I saw the vigour with which my compatriots [sic] were singing the anthem of my original country. It was as if I’d committed a crime, that I’d betrayed my country. I realised my true place was with the Elephants. I started crying”, said the player after the match (which E. Guinea lost). Like several other Ivorian players who didn’t make the big time, he’s plied his trade in smaller African countries. The article says “This cup of nations was an opportunity for him, and other ‘mercenaries’ in the E. Guinea team to fill their pockets.” (Fraternite Matin)
– “Arrogance and Indiscipline of the ex-rebels – Wattao man threatens to beat up the judicial police” – a leading soldier under the supervision of ex-rebel commander Wattao was questioned by police after they flagged down his tinted Nigerian-registered BMW on Saturday night. The man, who goes by the name of “Commander Assassino” was asked for his papers. Suspicious because of the various people claiming to be FRCI, he was asked to accompany the police to their base when he refused to produce his papers. He said he wasn’t moving and threatened to tell his accompanying soldiers to fire their RPG. The military police were called. (Nouveau Courrier)
– “Gendarmerie school – a sub-officer dies at the front gate” – SB was part of the 300 ex-FN [ex-rebels] integrated into the gendarmerie ranks. The new trainees were due to run 40km from the school to Adjame, Agban, II Plateaux and then back [is this really 40km?]. The exercise was to be done with the half-heavy uniform. Things started at 7 o’clock with the trainee gendarmes in groups of 50. As the troops finished the run at the main gate, SB collapsed. “When he fell he was already dead”. (Nord-Sud)