Ivory Coast: Africa's Other Civil War

Monday, March 28, 2011

With world attention focused on North Africa,  the UN says almost one million Ivorians are fleeing their capital. Elizabeth Dickinson, assistant managing editor and blogger at Foreign Policy magazine and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, West Africa correspondent for NPR, discuss the escalation of post-election violence.


Elizabeth Dickinson and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

Comments [11]

Tbayou from denver, co

Obama has put it well and clear "when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act." America got no interest for sub-Sahara Africa, period. Got oil? and you will see the interest of US and many other Western countries.

Mar. 29 2011 03:31 PM
Lars from Brooklyn

We can't be everywhere for everyone. Libya is a far less complex problem, with a relatively homogenous population smaller than New York City, with tremendous potential for massive instability in the region's nations and energy supplies if the world community does nothing. Cote d'Ivoire is a blend of overlapping religions, clans and ethnic groups hemmed in by arbitrary colonial borders, similar to Iraq. The standard should be feasibility weighed against relative risk, as well as whether intervention would simply exacerbate a conflict.

Mar. 28 2011 12:15 PM
Paul I. Adujie from New York, United States

Western nations are intervening in Libya militarily and Ivory Coast may be next, all these for humanitarian, altruistic and benevolent reasons? But how about Somalia? Darfur Sudan? Rwanda? Liberia? Sierra Leone? Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC?

The motivations for western nations interventions self-serving "vital" national, hemispheric, geopolitical and strategic interests!
Hypocrisies, Double Standards wrapped in platitudinous propaganda

Mar. 28 2011 11:34 AM
Paul I. Adujie from New York, United States

Brian Lehrer and WNYC should be kind enough to do an extended segment on the escalating conflict in Ivory Coast.

1. There was an election and a stalemate, deadlock and impasse which ensued

2. Laurent Gbago filed an election petition with the relevant adjudicating body, the highest Constitutional Court of Ivory Coast; Disregarding and discounting the verdict of the highest Constitutional Court in Ivory Coast undermines democracy, due process and the rule of law in Ivory Coast!

3. A verdict/judgment was rendered in Gbago's favor, much as the US Supreme Court favored George W. Bush in 2000 hanging chad, pregnant chad Broward County Florida deadlocked election... some Americans thought that a conservative US Supreme Court unnecessarily favored Mr. Bush

4. Some opponents of Mr. Gbagbo have similarly argued that the Ivory Coast Constitutional Court favored Gbagbo

5. France and her allies are the driving forces which are drumming the rejection of Mr. Gbagbo. France and her allies have co-opted some West Africans in (ECOWAS) and African Union or (AU) as tools of military intervention in Ivory Coast

6. This is a terrible and dangerous precedent... it is interference in the internal affairs of a politically independent nation with inviolate territorial integrity and national sovereignty

7. Instead of this rush to judgment ... and the beating of drums of war, which could very easily rapidly, and quickly destabilize the entire region of West Africa, with humanitarian crises stemming from mammoth flow of refugees... peaceful resolution, through due process and the rule of law was and is still possible

8. It is more cost effective (costs in terms of human lives and other resources) to redo the elections, than to intervene militarily.

When will the amorphous "International Community" intervene in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia etc, assuming the real reason is "humanitarian" or to protect democracy? As opposed to protecting the "vital" national interests of France and her western nations friends and allies?

When was the last time that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, etc have had any national elections? In these nations, there are no elections at all to speak of.... So that imperfect elections, fraudulent elections, elections with irregularities or elections with deadlock, impasses or stalemates do not even arise.... because there are no elections period!

Western nations condone political repressions and extreme brutalities and killings by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria etc, just because they serve the purpose or the "vital" national interests of western nations ... meaning France, Britain, and the United States etc

Mar. 28 2011 11:32 AM

The reason that Gbagbo is still in power is that he is smarter than Ghadafi. The only way to stop him is to stop drinking his cocoa and coffee which now taste sort of like blood. Military force is necessary but the most effective force will be from the common man (all over the world) who if he shuns Gbagbo for the sake of his dignity will allow the Ivorians to obtain their freedom.

Mar. 28 2011 10:47 AM
john from office

Africa, will never, much like Haiti, correct itself untill people care about each other. The culture is the defect. No one cares about the other guy.

Not one American life for these basket case nations.

The Idea of pease keepers is just a joke.

Oh, I forgot, its America's and Europes fault.

Mar. 28 2011 10:46 AM
Warren Chow

Sorry, was supposed to be predecessor, not preprocessor.

Mar. 28 2011 10:45 AM
CL from New York

Oh come on!!! One doesn't have to be a cynic to understand why Libya gets the attention and Ivory Coast or Darfur do not. It is a brutal matter of strategic interests. The humanitarian element happens-- "conveniently"-- to coincide with those interests in Libya. "Humanitarian imperative"??? There is nothing, sad to say, "imperative" about it. It is a calculated political choice. Sickening. Another disappointment from Obama.

Mar. 28 2011 10:45 AM
Warren Chow from Soho

It's quite a shame to see and hear the double standards among the public simply because Obama is not Bush and the unfortunate assumption Obama is not capable of enforcing the same policies as his preprocessor.

If Bush gave the same reasoning for engaging war against Libya, the public would not be so lenient. I voted for Obama as he promised honesty and transparency. Sometimes white lies are ok and certain things require careful wording, but he is blatantly not telling us the truth in this case.

Mar. 28 2011 10:43 AM
Garry from Manhattan

For Elizabeth: How long do you think it will take for Gbagbo to run out of money?

For Ofeibea: How many people do you estimate will be killed or forced to become refugees during that time?

Mar. 28 2011 10:40 AM
Mary from Riverside CT

Sub-Saharan Africa often gets ignored or left to the last-minute: look at Rwanda, Darfur, look at Zimbabwe! and now Ivory coast, among a number of other much lower profile humanitarian tragedies, whatever category they fall into...I support the action in Libya but do wish we were more consistent in our humanitarian interventions.

Mar. 28 2011 10:36 AM

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