Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ivory Coast: It's Over

Gbagbo has surrendered and asked for UN protection. I think you have to say France handled this well: with patience, and just the necessary increment of force at the end. Pending further revelations, of course.

UPDATE: Or maybe he hasn't quite surrendered. Conflicting signals. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

FrédéricLN said...

The "surrender" paper was likely (imho) a draft written by UNOCI and proposed to Laurent Gbagbo - who isn't interested in signing that.

As his Secretary for Foreign Affairs Alcide Djédjé put it, once UNOCI and France forces came in, the military conflict is over - in French "il n'y a plus de match". But the political fight goes on.

The point with Gbagbo's signature is delicate. As he is not President, he cannot resign. The UN and France expect him to recognize Ouattara's electoral victory; but, as an individual citizen, he has no legitimacy to recognize anyone's victory. It's up to the Conseil Constitutionnel (his old friend Paul Yao N'Dré) to do that. We have no news of Paul Yao N'Dré since some days.

Moreover, whatever paper anyone would sign can be cancelled afterwards, arguing it was not done freely.

As at the end of any war, you have to find an agreement, even if it's unbalanced. Laurent Gbagbo's electoral basis, cocoa farmers as far as I remember, expect peace and high cocoa prices. Laurent Gbagbo himself? once he has lost his income sources, probably what remains is his standard as Head of State, unduly thrown down by the World Power itself. He would probably find support around th e world among the many supporters of The Conspiracy Theory. The "increment of force at the end" that South Africa or Russia somewhat criticized, may also feed Mr Gbagbo's claims.

Truth and reconciliation will be very necessary to extinguish this kind of eternal contests.

That's very much like "les guerres de religion" in France, imho. (but Henry the IVth did not order truth about the past war events - he ordered silence instead. An option that does not exists anymore in the internet era).