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Ivory Coast: the problem is not elections, but xenophobia

“It is convenient for the world to think that the ongoing Ivory Coast civil war and genocide is about election and election results, and removing recalcitrant Gbagbo from an office which he lost in the polls.

“In reality, this is hypocrisy. The UN and the stakeholder-countries involved in Ivory Coast [know] that the problem is not Gbagbo and Ouattara, or elections. The primary issue in Ivory Coast is that of “North vs. South” which is now translating into perhaps Muslim North vs. Christian South.

The result of sweeping this fact under the rug and pretending that it is not there is what we have now: civil war, civilian casualties and genocide. Yet, the charade continues.”

- Braimah Dupe Marian. See his comment in Niger’s Weekend Observer here

“During the decade-long rule of Laurent Gbagbo … his favorite theme was national pride, the belief that Ivorians stood out among their West African neighbors and controlled their own destiny.

“But behind the positive rhetoric was a dark and sometimes threatening brand of patriotism that raised an unspoken question: Who truly belongs in Ivory Coast?

The last decade has been marked by boiling nationalism and xenophobic violence, with killings and harassment of northerners and Ivorians of foreign descent.”

- Robyn Dixon. See his comment in the Los Angeles Times here

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