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Monday, May 23, 2011

"Once we take control we're coming for you."

That's the message Christians in the Ivory Coast got from Muslims during a long-fought dispute over the nation's presidency, an election late last year apparently won by a Christian candidate when the government found voter fraud in Muslim regions. But that result was overturned following intervention by the United Nations and the United States, who insisted that the Muslim candidate be given the office.

Which puts Muslims now in "control."

A missionary who asked to be called only Pastor Andrew serves in the Ivory Coast and says that the administration of newly inaugurated president Alessane Ouattara, a Muslim, has shut off the Internet and now likely is tapping the Christians' telephones.

"Just before (the civil war), they were warning the Christians that when we get in power, the first we're going to do is come against the church. We're coming to get you," Andrew revealed.

"And so they did. Right at this moment we've been cut off for over a month. They have shut down the Internet so they (the Christians) can't communicate with the outside," Andrew said.

"Then we were advised not to talk to them by phone because they have phone taps. So to protect them, we're not communicating directly into the country," Andrew added.
There are reports that Ivory Coast authorities have restored Internet service in the country.

The actions of Ouattara's forces since his installation as president point to the issue of why the international community would support Ouattara. Andrew says there is a threefold reason.

"This has been between the predominantly Muslim north and the Christian south. It has been a mandate of the Islam world to take more control of more land, more people, and more resources and that's part of their mandate," Andrew explained.

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