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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid