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Pro-Ouattara forces lay siege to Gbagbo’s palace

Ivory Coast leader faces final hours as president


 

Forces loyal to Ivory Coast opposition leader Alassane Ouattara launched a final assault on the presidential residence of Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan on Wednesday. Gbagbo had been in the midst of negotiating the terms of his departure with the UN, but France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the talks had collapsed due to Gbagbo’s “intransigence.” Gbagbo is believed to be taking shelter with his family in a bunker underneath the residence, which is being protected by his troops. Pro-Ouattara fighters have been given strict instructions not to harm Mr. Gbagbo, who still enjoys broad support in the country, in order to prevent further destabilization. On Monday, Pro-Ouattara fighters, backed by UN and French helicopters, attacked Gbagbo’s military installations in Abidjan. Gbagbo has refused to relinquish power after the November 2010 election, which saw Ouattara win the popular vote.

BBC News


 
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Pro-Ouattara forces lay siege to Gbagbo’s palace

  1. What seems to be lacking in Ivory Coast is an understanding of the concept of transfer of power. If Stephen Harper loses in his bid to remain Prime Minister of Canada, do any Canadians think that Mr. Harper will refuse to abide by the election results and start a civil war? Not likely. Most Canadians expect a peaceful transfer of power if Harper and the Conservatives lose the election, not political chaos.

    What's really sad is that if the positions were reversed and Alessane Ouattara was the incumbent while Laurent Gbagbo was the challenger, Ivory Coast would probably still be engulfed in a civil war. That's because there's far more that divides Ivory Coastians than what unites them. The most obvious thing that divides them is tribalism: Ouattara is frome one tribe while Gbagbo is from another. Another is religion: Ouattara is a Muslim from northern Ivory Coast while Gbagbo is a Christian from the South. Then there's the grinding poverty that Ivory Coast and other African countries face, aggravated by severe drought in much of the continent and the AIDS epidemic. Though rich by African standards as a leading producer of cocoa, Ivory Coast remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

    France has sent troops to keep the peace while French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe tries to persuade Gbagbo to respect the results of the election last November and step down, but any long term solution will have to come from the Ivory Coastians themselves.

  2. What seems to be lacking in Ivory Coast is an understanding of the concept of transfer of power. If Stephen Harper loses in his bid to remain Prime Minister of Canada, do any Canadians think that Mr. Harper will refuse to abide by the election results and start a civil war? Not likely. Most Canadians expect a peaceful transfer of power if Harper and the Conservatives lose the election, not political chaos.

    What's really sad is that if the positions were reversed and Alessane Ouattara was the incumbent while Laurent Gbagbo was the challenger, Ivory Coast would probably still be engulfed in a civil war. That's because there's far more that divides Ivory Coastians than what unites them. The most obvious thing that divides them is tribalism: Ouattara is frome one tribe while Gbagbo is from another. Another is religion: Ouattara is a Muslim from northern Ivory Coast while Gbagbo is a Christian from the South. Then there's the grinding poverty that Ivory Coast and other African countries face, aggravated by severe drought in much of the continent and the AIDS epidemic. Though rich by African standards as a leading producer of cocoa, Ivory Coast remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

    France has sent troops to keep the peace while French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe tries to persuade Gbagbo to respect the results of the election last November and step down, but any long term solution will have to come from the Ivory Coastians themselves.

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