The Ivory Coast conflict

The West African nation of Ivory Coast also known as Côte d’Ivoire was once a prospering nation. But since a 2002 civil war, the country has been divided by conflict. In November 2010, in office president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to accept his defeat in a presidential election to Alassane Ouattara. He had postponed this election for many years.

Despite declarations by the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and the European Union that he had been resolutely beaten by  Ouattara, the opposition leader, Mr. Gbagbo did not give up and clung to power. Mr. Gbagbo used security forces to terrorize citizens in the former capital of Abidjan. But in the spring, militias who had fought for the north in the recent civil wars came to Mr. Ouattara’s aid, and gradually rolled across the country until Mr. Gbagbo was trapped in the presidential mansion in Abidjan. It took destructive airstrikes by French and United Nations helicopters to help end Mr. Gbagbo’s reign. Since then, Mr. Gbagbo’s generals have pledged allegiance to Mr. Ouattara. Although life is now inching back to normal in Abidjan, this power struggle caused the country to suffer a lot. For months, Mr. Gbagbo’s efforts to hold on to power had included assaults by his troops on neighborhoods of Abidjan and deaths among soldiers and civilians in several other districts of the city.

Many hundreds have been killed since the election and attacks on civilians were frequent. At least 700,000 people have fled their homes. More than four million young men are unemployed in a nation of some 21 million people, according to the World Bank.
According to the World Development Report 2011, a country with a history of violence is one of the main causes why they cannot become developed with the same pace as other countries who have similar economic stature. Although they take repeated steps towards development, since their law and order has never been strongly been enforced in the first place; the country would just fall back into the same cycle of violence. For Ivory Coast to become the one gleaming country of opportunity again, they need to make sure that such power struggles never surface again. For the country to prosper once again, slow and steady peace building efforts need to be taken.  The country should now call for a peace talk, disarm those who are illegally in possession of arms and build an interim government with neutral heads. The international community should only co operate in peace building, humanitarian and development efforts and not interfere in the country’s policies. It’s time Ivory Coast’s people take charge of their country and decide what they want for their future.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. IRS Lawyer
    May 19, 2012 @ 07:25:00

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