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Viewpoint Côte d’Ivoire


declares Ouattara as the new president after Gbagbo’s


November that Gbagbo had won the elections


capture; Ndre is the same man who declared last


5 May 2011: Paul Yao Ndre, president of the Ivorian Constitutional Council,


the international community decided against conducting any verification of the process and the announced results.”


the north until after the presidential election, despite the fact that the text calls for the Forces Nouvelles to return control of the north to the government and complete disarmament two months before the election... “But the 5,000 Forces Nouvelles soldiers


who are to be “disarmed” and regrouped into barracks in four key cities in the north and west until a new national army is cre- ated, represent a serious military capability that the FAFN [Forces Nouvelles] intends to keep well-trained and in reserve until after the election. Te handover of administrative power from the FAFN to civilian government authorities is a prerequisite for elections but, as travellers to the north (including embassy personnel) confirm: the FAFN retain de-facto control of the region especially when it comes to finances.”


The casualties Te failure to address the “prerequisite for elections” predetermined their outcome. Te rebel “control” of the north, mentioned by Ambassador Nesbitt, prescribed the outcome of the 2010 presidential election.


38 | June 2011 New African


“Despite strong allegations of electoral fraud, Similarly, it was the “military capability”


of the rebellion, which Ambassador Nesbitt mentioned, that was used to ensure that Ouattara became president of Côte d’Ivoire. It is little wonder that as the post-


election crisis deepened, Laurent Gbagbo would cry out: “I was betrayed!” At the end of it all, there are many casu-


alties. One of these is the African Union. Te tragic events in Côte d’Ivoire have confirmed the marginalisation of the Union in its ability to resolve the most important African challenges. Instead, the AU has as- serted the ability of the major powers to in- tervene to resolve these challenges by using their various capacities to legitimise their actions by persuading the United Nations to authorise their self-serving interventions. Te United Nations is yet another casu-


alty. It has severely undermined its accept- ability as a neutral force in the resolution of internal conflicts, such as the one in Côte d’Ivoire. It will now be difficult for the United Nations to convince Africa and the rest of the developing world that it is not a mere instrument in the hands of the


world’s major powers. Tis has confirmed the urgency of the need to restructure the organisation, based on the view that as presently structured the United Nations has no ability to act as a truly democratic representative of its member states. Tus, in various ways, the events in Côte


d’Ivoire could serve as a defining moment in terms of the urgent need to re-engineer the system of international relations. Tey have exposed the reality of the bal-


ance and abuse of power in the post-Cold War era, and put paid to the fiction that the major powers respect the rule of law in the conduct of international relations, even as defined by the UN Charter, and that, as democrats, they respect the views of the peoples of the world. We can only hope that Laurent and Si-


mone Gbagbo and the Ivorian people do not continue to suffer as abused and humili- ated victims of a global system which, in its interests, while shouting loudly about universal human rights, only seeks to per- petuate the domination of the many by the few who dispose of preponderant political, economic, military and media power. Te perverse and poisonous proceed-


ings that have afflicted Côte d’Ivoire pose the urgent question: How many blatant abuses of power will Africa and the rest of the developing world experience before the vision of a democratic system of global governance is realised?


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