I had hoped that when the elections were over I could go back to write about my real estate venture again. Even if Gbagbo had won it would be possible to do great business in the Ivory Coast. But this is the nightmare scenario taking place right now, with an illegitimate Gbagbo staying in power by force and using systematic violence against civilians who oppose him, while the country runs into the ground economically.
It’s pretty clear that Gbagbo and his inner circle are not going to leave power unless forced to. The United Nations has the means to make him leave, but not the will, whereas the Force Nouvelles have the will but maybe not the means.
And even if Force Nouvelles have the means, the problem is that they don’t have a very good human rights record, and them removing Gbagbo would mean a civil war touching the southern half of the country.
The thing with violence is that it breeds hatred that breeds even more violence. This is a vicious circle that the Ivory Coast unfortunately seems to be embarking on.
Yesterday I saw this quite telling tweet:
Maybe the most frustrating thing is that the United Nations are not protecting civilians (except those in Golf Hotel). One would think they could send a detachment to Abobo or somewhere to create a safe zone, but I guess that would mean a full on confrontation with Gbagbo’s forces and maybe also with large numbers of unarmed Gbgabo supporters which would be difficult for the UN to deal with.
I wouldn’t be surprised if large numbers of Gbagbo supporters will turn up outside Golf Hotel soon, and then the UN will have to deal with it anyway.