12.29.2010

Côte d’Ivoire

Source: New York Times
The situation in the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire seems to be deteriorating. Everyday I've been checking the news to see if longtime President Gbagbo has decided to accept defeat and transfer power over to Alassane Ouattara - everyday, I find out my hopes don't match the reality. 

The election that took place in November (the first in 10 years) was meant to bring peace and democracy to the nation that is finally getting over a civil war. Unfortunately, it did not accomplish its task and produce the desired results.  

According to various news sources, 200 people have already died as a result of the post-election violence and the situation there risks plunging the country back into civil war. Aljazeera recently came out with an article that claimed that houses were beginning to be marked according to which tribe people belong to (read full article here) - actions like this are making people fearsome that a genocide might break out if further action is not taken.

It isn't just the situation inside the country that is looking grim - with the violence in Ivory Coast recently, it is reported that around (or possibly more than) 14,000 Ivoirians have had to flee to Liberia. In my opinion, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are not prepared to take such an in flux of refugees seeing as they too are just recovering from civil wars that ended less than a decade ago. What happens in Ivory Coast will truly impact all West African nations in one way or another.

As the events unfold in Côte d’Ivoire, I hope that the country chooses the path back toward peace and stability and not toward war and genocide. I'll try to keep linking articles on here to read about the situation there. In the mean time, check out some of the articles below from various news sources to brush up on the election and background information about the violence happening. 

Cote d'Ivoire on 'edge of genocide'
Ensconced in the Presidency, With No Budging in Ivory Coast
More Talks Needed In ICoast Crisis: ECOWAS Envoys
UN soldier injured as crowd attacks peacekeepers in Côte d’Ivoire
UN cites possible mass grave in Ivory Coast

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