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

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Will New Russian Force Be 'Putin’s Personal Army'?

    With broad powers to control riots, suppress dissent, National Guard may be aimed at sending a message to West as much as keeping peace at home

    Foreign Media in Pyongyang Barred From North Korean Party Congress

    Hundreds of international journalists invited to cover historic party meeting barred from entering actual event

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora