Cote d’Ivoire: President Past

What global impact, other than more expensive chocolate bars, does the presidential standoff in Cote d’Ivoire pose? My impression is that Gbagbo represents the old status quo in African politics – think Mugabe – where leaders are perfectly willing to run roughshod over the rule of law to maintain power. Ouattara, on the other hand, may represents a more progressive, democratic option – one that African nations must perfect to prevent from being sold down the river by a corrupt few to the highest resource hungry bidder.  Is that the case? I need to put together some numbers and review the backgrounders for the region to get a better idea.

Intractability
February 06, 2011

Watching a special report on France24 today and one comes away with the feeling that the longer the standoff the more painful removing Gbagbo will be. Two months have passed since the international community recognized Ouattara as the rightful president. In the mean time the Gbagbo camp has lost no time recruiting support, especially among the youth. The pro Gbagbo spin is nationalist with ECOWAS cast as stooges of post colonial powers.

US State Department: Current Situation in Cote d’Ivoire
Feb. 4, 2011

Ambassador Phillip Carter briefs journalists on the current situation in Cote d’Ivoire.  http://www.state.gov/video/

President elect bans cocoa exports
January 23, 2011

President elect, Alassane Ouattara, has moved to ban Cote d’Ivoire cocoa exports using his role as the recognized leader of the country to further pressurize outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo.  Cote d’Ivoire accounts for 40% of the worlds cocoa revenue and is the government’s chief source of revenue

Cote d’Ivoire: Accounts seized, UN Peacekeepers
January 19, 2011

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said that her country has decided to freeze the assets of outgoing President of the Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo

allvoices.com

UN Sends 2,000 More Peacekeepers to Ivory Coast

voanews.com

Cote d’Ivoire: The View From France
January 7, 2011

“…With 14,000 expats and over 600 commercial interests in the country, it’s not surprising that the French – the former colonial power –  are following the events unfolding in Côte d’Ivoire…

…While Laurent Gbagbo is describing French involvement in the current crisis as foreign interference in the affairs of a sovereign country, Ivoirian nationals living in France are accusing Sarkozy of supporting Gbagbo’s illegitimate government: a recent protest in front of the Ivoirian embassy in Paris was quelled by police, and supporters of Alassane Ouattara were outraged that the French were interfering in this way…

…Two prominent – and infamous – French lawyers, Jacques Vergès and Roland Dumas traveled this week to Côte d’Ivoire to advise Gbagbo…

UN Dispatch

Ghana’s president weighs in on Cote d’Ivorie
January 7, 2011
Ghana’s president says force will not solve the deadlock in Ivory Coast, casting doubt on West Africa’s threat to send troops to oust Laurent Gbagbo. (BBC)

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