Ivory Coast Interview

As part of analysis coverage on Ivory Coast this week for Voice of America, Ive been interviewing Africa experts, bloggers, sociologists, anthropologists here in the United States.

One of the experts Ive interviewed is G. Pascal Zachary who writes the very prescient Africa Works blog.

In a story today I titled Mediators Face Gbagbo Blockade but which editors changed to a more lukewarm Mediators Finding No Progress in Ivory Coast Dispute I explained how many close Ivory Coast watchers thought the whole election culmination which has led to a messy situation with rival presidents was a flawed process to begin with.

I used this quote by Zachary criticizing the U.N-led approach in divided Ivory Coast ...

"There is no real effort on the part of these outsiders to understand anything about Ivory Coast. It is all just, here is a technical process, just follow it but you see the shortcomings of that. It is both promising but also the difficulties that (Mr.) Ouattara will face if he does take full control of the government are not trivial, that the longer that this stalemate goes on the more that is a possible outcome, that people will just say, hey the world is a very messy place right now, let us just abandon Ivory Coast to this dysfunctional politics because one thing that a lot of African countries have shown and I think Ivory Coast has shown it as well is that commercial life can sometimes prove surprisingly resilient in the face of a political breakdown."

It's a long quote, longer than what most mainstream media would go for. But I thought it did an excellent job of conveying a lot of information which is often passed over by the so-called "international community." Does this "entity" really want to solve problems?

Since the interview, the Young Patriots (seen above) have decided to cancel their planned protest this week (it seems the Gbagbo camp has no interest in making the situation become more violent at this point) and Gbagbo counter-attacked by threatening to expel diplomats from countries that would recognize a Ouattara appointment in their own country.

Here is the full interview I conducted with G. Pascal Zachary with many more morsels of what I would call fine analysis (a little patience is required as it starts 10 seconds in ...)

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