News / Africa

What Next In Ivory Coast?

Local residents react to news of the capture of Laurent Gbagbo in the Youpougon neighborhood of Abidjan, Apr 11 2011
Local residents react to news of the capture of Laurent Gbagbo in the Youpougon neighborhood of Abidjan, Apr 11 2011
Joe DeCapua

Two former U.S. diplomats say reconciliation in Ivory Coast will be difficult after the latest crisis, but they say careful investigations of alleged human rights abuses, international support and an improved economy would help.

Former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs Jendayi Frazer and former ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell are now both senior fellows at the Council of Foreign Relations, an independent, non-partisan think tank based in New York.

Frazer says it appears that U.N.-backed President Alassane Ouattara is making the right moves, following the ouster of Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to step down after losing last November’s presidential elections.

“President Ouattara is taking a lot of the important steps. He’s signaling very clearly to both his forces to put down their arms, as well as to those who have supported Gbagbo that there will be a process of reconciliation and that there will be no witch hunting,” she said.

Frazer also said Ouattara must signal the U.N. that it still has a vital role to play, including the restoration of human rights.

“It was not simply a matter of the civilians [being] protected, according to their mandate, now that Gbagbo is arrested. But, in fact, they need to continue to play that role of trying to help him secure the country during this transition phase,” she said.

International Criminal Court

Some have called for Gbagbo to be brought before the International Criminal Court for his alleged rights abuses.

Frazer said, “I’m not necessarily a fan of another African case at the International Criminal Court.”

She favors an African solution. “I would rather see Mr. Gbagbo taken out of the country, held in some type of custody, whether it’s house arrest or jailed, and then the Ivoirian courts be re-legitimized…to actually hold a trial against him,” she said.

Another possible solution, she said, would be the establishment of a regional African court of human rights.

The former assistant secretary of state says for any credible trials to take place, there must first be investigations of alleged rights abuses by both sides in Ivory Coast.

Reconciliation?

Meanwhile, former U.S. ambassador John Campbell said there must be disarmament of both factions and a reintegration into Ivoirian life. But he said reintegration will not be easy and poses some tough questions.

“What do you do to reunify a badly fractured country? What do you do to break down this insidious distinction between so-called indigents and so-called settlers, even when the settlers have lived or their families have lived in Cote d’Ivoire for 50 or 60 years? How do you move beyond those kinds of identities into a broader Ivoirian identity? I mean this is a long and painful process.”

The answer may lie in the quality of life for all Ivoirians.

“It’s a process,’ he said, “that becomes much easier if the economy is on the upswing. In effect, what was in many respects West Africa’s strongest economy, has essentially been severely damaged, aspects of it destroyed, over the past 10 or 12 years. And what that’s done is make everything worse,” he said.

Don’t forget

Campbell said the international community must remain engaged over the long term.

“If Ivory Coast is to move out of the current crisis, it’s going to need the support of the international community,” he said, “It’s going to need humanitarian aid and assistance. It’s also going to need political support and encouragement. And the legitimate government will benefit from the fact that the international community is watching,”

However, he added, “What worries me is that too often the international community has a very short attention span and simply moves on to the next crisis that dominates the news cycle. Were that to happen with respect to Cote d’Ivoire, the whole process would at very least take much longer and might well be compromised in some way that’s hard to foresee.”

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid