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An aircraft of President Laurent Gbagbo has been grounded in Switzterland
December 26, 2010 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Gbagbo was not on-board the plane. A French foreign ministry spokesman told reporters, "'the legitimate authorities' of Ivory Coast asked that the plane be grounded and, in his words, 'that it is precisely what we have done.'"

Meanwhile, Ivorians in the western part of Côte d'Ivoire are fleeing to Liberia, and UNHRC reports that a rebel group in the Danane area is preventing people from crossing freely. 173 people have been killed in post-election violence.

Alassane Ouattara, the man considered to be the legitimate president of Ivory Coast is taking refuge at a hotel in Abidjan. He and his staff are being protected by UN Peacekeepers, who themselves are are being blockaded by forces loyal to Gbagbo.

Laurent Gbagbo is cut off from state funds and West African leaders threaten military intervention if he refuses to step down from government. Outtara has called for a general strike.

Timeline: Ivory Coast's troubled decade.
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posted by sswiller (13 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's good to see the international community show a little backbone, and offer some support beyond just damning words, however little more it is. Especially seeing a country as self-consciously neutral in international affairs as Switzerland take a small stand for democracy abroad surprises me happily. Now if only we could see some indication of the same hardline lack of acceptance of corruption with regard to Belarus, it'd smack a little less of the echoes of white European imperialism...
posted by Dysk at 4:23 PM on December 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I heard this on the news, and my thought was "If you are fleeing to Liberia, you are in big trouble indeed.
posted by jscott at 5:44 PM on December 26, 2010 [10 favorites]


Laurent Koudou Gbagbo: the history teacher who doesn't know his history.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:13 PM on December 26, 2010


I've been following this blog of a journalist living in Abidjan. From her most recent:
Contrary to what some media say, the killings in Ivory Coast are not the result of "clashes", "riots" or "post-election violence". They have nothing to do with the colorful pictures of angry boys at burning barricades which purported to depict the "atmosphere on the streets of Abidjan". The killings are being carried out by the country's security forces, at night, in impoverished neighborhoods where few outsiders are willing to go. In upper middle class areas like Cocody, where I live, most people are buying ice cream for their children at the supermarket.
posted by lullaby at 7:04 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lanny Davis is a flaming bag of rhinocerous shit.
posted by bardic at 7:05 PM on December 26, 2010


wikileaks related cables from the US Embassy
posted by humanfont at 8:38 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I heard this on the news, and my thought was "If you are fleeing to Liberia, you are in big trouble indeed.

Considering the way that Charles Taylor left Liberia, it's actually doing really well. As well as having a pretty inspiring president, they're making serious inroads in terms of improving infrastructure and human capital. They're making serious progress towards their stated goal of being a middle income country by 2030. There are definitely worse places to be running to.


As far as the situation in Cote d'Ivoire, I wish I had a better handle on it. The French government kept their hands in the pot for a seriously impressive period of time making sure they maximized profits from cocoa and coffee, and I think that's one reason this election has been so tense. I'm not sure that Gbagbo would have as much support in the country if he wasn't able to point to Ouattara's western education and French support as more evidence of his lack of true Ivorité - not only does he have grandparents from Burkina Faso, but he got his (I believe) doctoral degree from UPenn and was education in Europe. The situation in Cote d'Ivoire compares interestingly with the situation in Guinea, another former French colony who just held elections.

I'm supposed to be starting primatology field work in the Ivory Coast this summer and have been watching these elections very carefully. Gbagbo has suggested that the country might head back to civil war based on these results, and I don't know how much good western countries will be able to do (my understanding is that a good deal of the remnant tension in Cote d'Ivoire relates to how western interests are playing out in the government and in the economy). I think the best hope for a peaceful-ish resolution is intervention of the African Union and particularly ECOWAS. Otherwise, they'll just prolong these questions about who is really influencing the government.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:16 PM on December 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


The killings are being carried out by the country's security forces, at night, in impoverished neighborhoods where few outsiders are willing to go.
This was actually the impression that I was getting, mostly listening to the BBC. Out of curiousity, I heard news reports that state TV in Cote d'Ivoire was cut, but not why or how that happened. Did someone cut the power? Shoot down an antenna? Or is another country jamming it?

My more cynical side says that Ouattara has promised the international community serious amounts of cocoa, or something, or else they wouldn't have shouted so loudly. I mean, coups happen in other countries every once in a while- Fiji, Mauritania, Madagascar and Niger, just in the last few years, and I don't remember such a huge outcry. And surely the outcry lends support to the suggestions of colonialist/imperialist/Western influence? I suppose the fact that other African nations are shouting just as loud somewhat negates that, though.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:45 AM on December 27, 2010


The Ivory Coast is my sister-in-law's home country, and I'm deeply worried about it. Second what ChuraChura said about Liberia. I work with a Liberian student who is came here as a refugee but is going back soon to get her daughter. She says things are stable now.
posted by angrycat at 7:49 AM on December 27, 2010


Lanny Davis is a flaming bag of rhinocerous shit.

That may well be true, but I at least have no idea what you are talking about.
posted by shothotbot at 9:35 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lanny Davis is a lobbyist and was on Clinton's staff, and is now working for Laurent Gbagbo, getting paid upwards of $100,000 per month.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:13 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


(also wow, I have horrible grammar in my earlier comment. Whoops)
posted by ChuraChura at 11:14 AM on December 27, 2010


Lanny Davis is a lobbyist and was on Clinton's staff, and is now working for Laurent Gbagbo, getting paid upwards of $100,000 per month.

I will provisionally agree with the odd-toed ungulate feces thesis.
posted by shothotbot at 3:56 PM on December 27, 2010


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