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  • After Months of Bloodshed, Côte D’Ivoire’s Dictator Falls

    Early this morning, former president of Côte D’Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo was finally forced out of power. Seeking refuge in the bunker of his Abidjan residence, opposition forces and international peacekeepers took the African strongman into custody.

    Although there are conflicting reports as to who actually arrested Gbagbo, one thing is certain according to Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Gbagbo’s illegitimate claim to power is over.

    Today marks the end of a four-month election crisis that has deepened the ethnic and religious divisions within Ivorian society and has wreaked havoc on the lives of Ivorians across the country. Last week the international community held its breath as defections from Gbagbo’s top security tier called for a cease-fire. The U.N. interpreted these defections as an opportunity to begin negotiations with Gbagbo. Instead, Gbagbo bided his time while his forces nursed their wounds and prepared for another offensive. According to the U.S. State Department, these olive branches were disingenuous, and it became clear that Gbagbo’s attempts at negotiations “were nothing more than a ruse to regroup and rearm.” Gbagbo’s efforts quickly proved futile as French and U.N. forces launched a new wave of air strikes on Sunday and advanced on his residence this morning.

    The United States has maintained a hands-off approach in this crisis, specifying that this crisis is an African issue and not one the United States will lead. The U.S. did however, join the international community in levying financial and travel sanctions against Gbagbo’s regime and provide funds for refugee assistance. The U.S. has also repeatedly condemned the mass violence and called for investigations of both Gbagbo’s armed supporters and those of his opponent, Alassane Ouattara.

    Now that Gbagbo’s political misadventure is at an end, President Ouattara is tasked with putting the country back together. The United States must hold the new Ivorian administration accountable. Human rights abuses, such as those committed under Gbagbo’s regime, must not be tolerated, and democracy and rule of law must be respected. The international community has thrown its support behind President Ouattara; now he must rise to the occasion.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to After Months of Bloodshed, Côte D’Ivoire’s Dictator Falls

    1. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Someday I wish some other Nation will attempt Representative Democracy with Citizen Sovereignty. Small d democracy is betrayal, so the State Department refused an American Policy in favor of Real American Style Democracy (that works) and supports this dastardly obligation to protect, Policy. "To Hell with what works!" Gee! What a great policy! All in the Foreign Interest, everybody hates America.

      I wonder what Ivory's new President believes? And UN troops actually accomplishing something? Unprecedented! I thought they had a Policy at the United Nations of never ever accomplishing anything! (Other than stealing American money!)

    2. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      @author Morgan Roach

      This was a very interesting article, especially since I didn't know much about this issue for some reason. However, when I got to the line "…and rule of law must be respected," I about choked. For all of our problems this past 2 years, the one that worries me most is our loss of the rule of law in so many instances here. It just seems to be happening without much of anyone paying attention. There is also not much of any way that I can see to bringing things back into line. End-runs around Congress are not OK. Ignoring orders from the Judicial branch is not OK. And these things are being done by our Executive branch!

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