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Telperion
Saturday, November 20th, 2004, 02:36 AM
The Night Westerners Were
Hunted For Being White
Aid Workers Faced Mobs Of Africans On The Rampage



By Colin Randall
The Telegraph - UK
11-19-4



As experienced aid workers they have seen some of the world's worst conflict zones. But nowhere, they believe, was as dangerous as the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan when thousands of Africans rioted, intent on robbing, raping or killing foreigners.



Peter Robinson, a Scottish-Canadian architect who turned to voluntary work to get fit, has dealt with the Taliban in Afghanistan, found a mass grave in Kosovo and worked in Iraq.



His ebullient French colleague, Pierre Bourguignon, is a veteran of emergency evacuations from several trouble spots and has vivid memories of a Kalashnikov rifle being prodded at his throat in southern Sudan.



They might be expected to have hardier nerves than most. But both say they were terrified when mobs of "young patriots" loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo took to the streets 12 days ago in response to calls to avenge France's destruction of the entire Ivory Coast air force.



They confirmed claims by officials in Paris that European expatriates, especially the 14,000 French people living in their country's former colony, were the specific target of the protesters. Dozens of white women were allegedly raped during the worst of the rioting on the nights of Nov 6 and 7.



Mr Robinson, 52, and Mr Bourguignon, 62, a former restaurateur, work for Merlin, one of three causes chosen to benefit from this year's Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal.



Both are now resting in Mr Bourguignon's home village near Chateau-Thierry, in France's Champagne-producing region.



The two men were in different parts of the Ivory Coast, where the British charity is setting up health centres and schools, when they heard of the attack by Mr Gbagbo's forces in rebel-held territory to the north.



Nine French soldiers were killed along with an American scientist, provoking France's instant retaliation against the Ivorian military air fleet.



Heading back to their homes in Abidjan, they heard of demonstrations.



"I got my driver to take what I thought would be an indirect but safe route," said Mr Bourguignon. "But we ran into a crowd of about 1,000 people. As the only white in our group, I was hiding under the luggage."



Two French schools and several French-owned businesses and homes were looted. Mr Robinson was one of three white people who hid in a residential complex, protected by African workers who assured protesters that no white workers were there.



Both men later opened an evacuation centre for foreigners until they, too, were flown to France after five days.


"There were some very frightened people," said Mr Robinson. "One poor French girl was shaking like a leaf. A French-Ghanaian girl was badly beaten around the breasts."



A group of Lebanese women, a mother with her daughter and two employees, had all been raped.



"It's something they cannot report to anyone in their community," said Mr Bourguignon.



Mr Robinson served in Baghdad until the threat to westerners forced Merlin to pull out its staff. "But at least in Iraq, I felt it was a question of not being caught," he said.



"Only two or three per cent of the population wished you harm. I never felt anything like the same danger as when tens of thousands of people wanted to kill me because I am white." Merlin prides itself on emergency relief.


Mr Robinson said the EU-funded mission in the Ivory Coast was continuing.



"After Iraq, I was offered Georgia or the Ivory Coast," he said. "I am beginning to wonder if I made the right choice. But there must be something about people like us that makes us do it, and love doing it."



Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news

Oskorei
Monday, November 22nd, 2004, 04:03 PM
I doubt that this even found its way to Swedish media, I havent seen it at least.

It would have pedagogical value for people to see whites (their own kind) being hunted by blacks. Maybe it could remind one or two liberals about reality.

Siegmund
Thursday, November 25th, 2004, 04:16 AM
I doubt that this even found its way to Swedish media, I havent seen it at least.

It would have pedagogical value for people to see whites (their own kind) being hunted by blacks. Maybe it could remind one or two liberals about reality.
Great point. But how can we arrange it? :)

For a gripping cinematic treatment of whites being hunted down and brutalized by blacks, you might be interested in viewing the film The Sargasso Sea (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000D0YXV/qid%3D1101355178/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr_11_1/002-3171489-8458430). It's a good, sexy, tragic film in its own right as well.