I had promised a post on the absence of the Ivory Coast from the African policy discourse in Washington DC over the weekend. Fortunately, the snowquester has allowed me to focus on this. I returned to the US following two years in Francophone Africa days before the 2010 1st round election in the Ivory Coast and moved to DC about a month after the contested 2nd round election, where the Constitutional Court controversially threw out votes for the challenger, Alassane Ouattara, allowing the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, to claim victory.
However, most of the world lined up behind Ouattara; Angola (and to a lesser extent South Africa) being the most notable exception. A few months later, Gbagbo was forcibly removed from power, largely due to French assistance.
It is parallels to this crisis in events of the past weeks that have drawn me back to the precarious situation in the Ivory Coast. Continue reading