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Thread: Ivory Coast

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default A War Ends in Ivory Coast but Peace, Order and Unity Are Flickering Dreams

    10 June NY Times - A War Ends in Ivory Coast but Peace, Order and Unity Are Flickering Dreams by Lydia Polgreen.

    ... Under the terms of a peace agreement signed in March, the commander of the rebel army has become the prime minister, sharing power with his old nemesis, President Laurent Gbagbo. Militias loyal to the government have thrown weapons by the hundreds upon pyres in a symbolic disarmament. United Nations peacekeepers have dismantled their checkpoint in the buffer zone between Abidjan, a southern city that is the seat of the government, and this northern capital of the rebellion...

    The agreement is the latest in a string of pacts, each of which has previously stumbled at the same fault lines that have thwarted resolution of this conflict — how to disarm the militias on both sides and how to decide, in a country full of migrants and their descendants, who is entitled to Ivorian citizenship?

    The rebels have argued that people born here should be considered citizens even if their grandparents or parents migrated, while the government has resisted weakening strict citizenship laws and documentation requirements that previous generations also be Ivorian...

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question Ivory Coast

    Not sure this hasn't been brought up somewhere else yet if so feel free to move it to the appropriate thread

    Election Results Reversed

    ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Angry youths are protesting in Ivory Coast's main city, burning tires, throwing chunks of concrete and tearing down billboards after election results were reversed.
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    Default ECOWAS threatens military intervention

    Ecowas bloc threatens Ivory Coast's Gbagbo with force
    BBC News
    24 December 2010 Last updated at 16:03


    The West African regional bloc Ecowas has told incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo to stand down or expect to face "legitimate force".

    The statement came at the end of emergency talks on the crisis sparked by a disputed election last month.

    The 15-member bloc and other international bodies have recognised his rival Alassane Ouattara as winner.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Ivory Coast - low profile crisis?

    Ron,

    You were right to start a thread on the Ivory Coast. I have searched and whilst the term Ivory Coast does appear, SWC has not watched or commented upon the situation there.

    I would suggest a couple of reasons for this: we rarely consider UN peacekeeping, let alone other regional peacekeeping (Somalia is an exception); it is in a Francophone country and above all it is in Africa. Would that change here if AFRICOM was to have a role?

    Incidentally I would expect France to be the main country wondering WTF, IIRC there was a substantial expatriate community there.

    BBC News latest report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12079552
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Côte d'Ivoire

    Greetings from a very snowy Estonia !

    David, using the French version... Côte d'Ivoire we do get a few hits, but then this so-labeled LIC deserves its own thread.

    Hmmm, Simple coincidence following the (then) president's 18 December order that UN and French troops leave the country and opposition to renew their mandate ?

    Gbagbo Orders UN, French Troops Out
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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Would be long to put all the references, especially as most material I have is in French but let say things do not look good.

    1) Bagbo asked the UN and French troops to leave,
    2) Outara asked the Un to stay
    3) UN responded positively to Outara demand
    4) French and German governments advised their citizen to leave Ivory Cost
    5) Bagbo declared he will fight up to the last cartridge to liberate Ivory Cost…
    6) US and UN confirmed that Bagbo sent his death squad and killed over 200 people since in power.
    7) 14000 Ivorian fled Ivory Coast to Liberia according to UNHCR

    What next?
    Civil war restarts or a foreign military intervention to install Outara in power?
    That’s the 2 worst case scenarios ever, for Ivory Coast and for the whole continent.

    What’s happening in Ivory Coast is important for sub Saharan Africa because it can open the road to a new African model based on legality and freedom of the people to choose their future. Or it can be the final grave of any changes on that continent.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The role of personality

    Maybe helpful, an article on Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent President who is resisting calls to stand down after the national election:http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserve...bo-david-smith
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Would be long to put all the references, especially as most material I have is in French but let say things do not look good.

    1) Bagbo asked the UN and French troops to leave,
    2) Outara asked the Un to stay
    3) UN responded positively to Outara demand
    4) French and German governments advised their citizen to leave Ivory Cost
    5) Bagbo declared he will fight up to the last cartridge to liberate Ivory Cost…
    6) US and UN confirmed that Bagbo sent his death squad and killed over 200 people since in power.
    7) 14000 Ivorian fled Ivory Coast to Liberia according to UNHCR

    What next?
    Civil war restarts or a foreign military intervention to install Outara in power?
    That’s the 2 worst case scenarios ever, for Ivory Coast and for the whole continent.

    What’s happening in Ivory Coast is important for sub Saharan Africa because it can open the road to a new African model based on legality and freedom of the people to choose their future. Or it can be the final grave of any changes on that continent.
    This is all predictable. A quick timeline.

    Arising from the Kenyan presidential election, 2007 incumbent president Kibaki fiddles the election enough to hang onto power as president while Odinga gets offered the post of Prime Minister (and maybe a Swiss bank account) to shut him up.

    Mugabe likes this idea. Zimbabwe 2008 - the incumbent president Mugabe fiddles the election and (supported by the military) refuses to stand down. Following the Kenyan example he negotiates a settlement where he and his miklitary thugs retain power while MDC-T's Tsvangirai is offered the post of Prime Minister (and maybe a Swiss bank account) to shut him up.

    Now we have Ivory Coast and now following the familiar fashion (like out of Don McLeans American Pie) "the marching band refused to yield" ... but (surprise surprise) the incumbent president says he is willing to negotiate - sound familiar?

    Not sure the threat of military force by ECOWAS will achieve anything more than even more chaos and the normal raping, looting and pillaging (Remember Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    It is time to stop pussy-footing around and apply JMA's 3-Cruise-Missile-Option.

    With some sections of the army wavering (it appears) the first missile targets the barracks of the most loyal unit to Gbagbo - do it now, tomorrow.

    The second with 12 hours warning targets the current location of Gbagbo himself - he won't be there but will get the message strength 5.

    Thereafter the word is put out that there's a $1m for the person who provides Gbagbo's location as a target for the third missile.

    I think you will find Gbagbo will agree to discussing the terms of his handing over power to the elected president. This could also act as a rehearsal for the upcoming Zimbabwe elections - those are bound to be a lot of fun too.

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post

    It is time to stop pussy-footing around and apply JMA's 3-Cruise-Missile-Option.
    JMA, I sure hope you don't purchase your stuff from Russia. The last few I've seen in Georgia don't work

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I think you will find Gbagbo will agree to discussing the terms of his handing over power to the elected president. This could also act as a rehearsal for the upcoming Zimbabwe elections - those are bound to be a lot of fun too.
    I think you and M-A have some strong points herein. Not just Zimbabwe but the DRC as well. If we screw this election up, no African alive will feel threatened by the West waving their big stick... Ever again.
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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    JMA,
    The cruiser missile solution is not a good solution, despite the fact that I like the idea.
    The CEDAO has warned Bagbo that they will use force to support Outtara and install legitimate power in Ivory Coast. That's the solution. A stinky one but still, the solution. On one point Bagbo is right, it's time for the western powers to withdraw from direct intervention in african politic. And for the African Nations to stand for democracy, legitimacy through vote and legality.

    I know, it sounds weird, especially coming from some of them. But yes, it's time for a change and to stop the Africa is different so it is legitimate that african people have dictators, because we are different. Yes africa is different but that does not apply to how to access to power.

    A missile coming from a US or what ever western nation on Bagbo presidential palace and guard will only make him a martyr. And ultimately reinforce the fact that crazy dictators are legitimately in power on that continent.

    An act by the African Nations will put a stone on a long road for change.

    And yes Stan, DRC but also Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan... are to come. (And most probably others that I forget, shouldn't they have soon elections in Liberia, Sierra Leone...).

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    JMA,
    The cruiser missile solution is not a good solution, despite the fact that I like the idea.
    The CEDAO has warned Bagbo that they will use force to support Outtara and install legitimate power in Ivory Coast. That's the solution. A stinky one but still, the solution. On one point Bagbo is right, it's time for the western powers to withdraw from direct intervention in african politic. And for the African Nations to stand for democracy, legitimacy through vote and legality.

    I know, it sounds weird, especially coming from some of them. But yes, it's time for a change and to stop the Africa is different so it is legitimate that african people have dictators, because we are different. Yes africa is different but that does not apply to how to access to power.

    A missile coming from a US or what ever western nation on Bagbo presidential palace and guard will only make him a martyr. And ultimately reinforce the fact that crazy dictators are legitimately in power on that continent.

    An act by the African Nations will put a stone on a long road for change.

    And yes Stan, DRC but also Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan... are to come. (And most probably others that I forget, shouldn't they have soon elections in Liberia, Sierra Leone...).
    With respect the "leave it to the Africans" approach is just a cop out.

    Hundreds and thousands (millions if you count Rwanda) of Africans have died needlessly due to the failure of the superpowers to act at the critical moment to avert disaster. The critical moment is now and a few well aimed missiles now is what is needed.

    If Ghana (the nearest country with some sort of air force) had an air force that could strike (on behalf of ECOWAS) in the manner envisaged in a cruise missile strike then yes that would be the best option. But both the serviceability of the aircraft and their ability to strike the correct target must be considered doubtful.

    Solution. ECOWAS jointly and publicly requests the US to do the deed. The US reluctantly agrees and a blood bath is averted.
    Last edited by JMA; 12-27-2010 at 09:19 AM.

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    With respect the "leave it to the Africans" approach is just a cop out.
    In addition to being a mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Hundreds and thousands (millions if you count Rwanda) of Africans have died needlessly due to the failure of the superpowers to act at the critical moment to avert disaster.
    We have in fact failed abysmally, but I am pleased to inform you that the two C130 loads of dried biscuits and winter baby clothes did make it to Goma on schedule

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    If Ghana (the nearest country with some sort of air force) had an air force that could strike (on behalf of ECOWAS) in the manner envisaged in a cruise missile strike then yes that would be the best option. But both the serviceability of the aircraft and their ability to strike the correct target must be considered doubtful.
    No comment (none I could think of laughing myself to death).

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Solution. ECOWAS jointly and publicly requests the US to do the deed. The US reluctantly agrees and a blood bath is averted.
    We'd be better off asking the Russians to do it. They would agree, but where would we get the ordnance now that their greatest arms dealer in Africa is in an American prison

    You will be please to know that Gbagbo is not flying anywhere soon as the French and Swiss have grounded his presidential aircraft for maintenance problems
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Maybe helpful, an article on Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent President who is resisting calls to stand down after the national election:http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserve...bo-david-smith
    David:

    The most interesting quote in that story is this one by Richard Dowden of the Royal African Society regarding Mr. Gbagbo and company "These are all smart, Sorbonne-educated, sophisticated international people, so I don't know how they think they can get away with this. If it was a jumped-up sergeant major or colonel who had never been outside the country, it would be easier to understand."

    That may or may not say something about Mr. Gbagbo and his people but it speaks volumes as to how Mr. Dowden at least, can let a diploma confuse him about human nature.
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hey Carl,
    Remember the term WAWA ? There are certainly hundreds of versions, but essentially, you can take (educate if you will) the man out of WAWA, but you can't take WAWA out of the man.

    I was sending on average 70 Zairois a year to NCO and Officer courses. Some as much as a year in the States. Would have thought a little of the better life and an education would have changed things. Nope, back to the former way of doing business.

    American and European expats who have lived in West Africa can occasionally be heard to utter in complete frustration "West Africa Wins Again!". Or "Wawa"! It's a sort of Murphy's Law writ large for the endless, and often bureaucratic, obstacles that can impede every step forward.
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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    I'm an impenitent Afro optimist, sorry.

    Yes, ECOWAS is a bad solution and would probably extend any confrontations for several years (cf Liberia).
    Well, that could be a nice opportunity for a mission in a better setting than DRC.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Armed and ready for Ivorian intervention?

    A BBC report on the viability of an armed African intervention:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12083228

    Within is a local analyst's viewpoint:
    Key countries that would have to contribute may not have the political stomach and the temerity...Nigeria is heading towards elections and may not want to put in troops on the ground for that a long time; Ghana has elections in 2012 and Senegal has its own problems with dynastic succession.
    Elsewhere I posted an IISS commentary on the AU's standby forces and here is the link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...ll-on-standby/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-29-2010 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Add IISS link
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    In fact what will inevitably happen if Nigeria troops enter Cote d'Ivoire under whatever sanctions, local Nigerians living in the Ivory Coast will be subjected to some harsh realities... African Style.

    Dozens of people gathered outside the Nigerian embassy holding signs that read: "We don't want a military intervention" and "Let Ivoirians solve Ivorian problems."
    I don't actually agree with "It's time for Africans to fix their problems" because I've seen just how they all end up manipulating each other to no end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    I don't actually agree with "It's time for Africans to fix their problems" because I've seen just how they all end up manipulating each other to no end.
    Yes, its a good thing none of the Great Powers ever do that
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Yes, its a good thing none of the Great Powers ever do that
    Hey Rex,
    Good point. Although, I am no advocate of foreign intervention (as it is we're always late for the party while millions die, so why start now )
    Far too many examples of political will vs just a decent cause. We could just fix it and get out (leaving the oil and minerals behind for China I suppose

    Somehow I doubt that's going to happen. It may be the second time as a soldier I was glad the US was otherwise preoccupied with something else !
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default UNOCI: who are they and where are they?

    I know where the Ivory Coast is, but until a moment ago had little idea what exactly the UN deployment means. Taken with some reservations, as they are UN official documents.

    First a map of the military and police deployments:http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/dpko/unoci.pdf and the international composition, alas without details:http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/mi...ci/facts.shtml

    Most of those listed under military personnel are military observers, not formed units.

    Note in Abidjan, the current focus, the UN military come from Bangladesh, Jordan and Togo. IIRC only the Jordanians have a reputation for steadfastness - a legacy of Bosnia. Stan no doubt will remind us what the Bangladeshi unit did in Rwanda.

    The French have 800 soldiers in country now, from one press report and I'd expect them to be in the capital too - anxiously watching over the remaining French nationals (maybe 12k).
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-29-2010 at 10:20 PM.
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