Ivory Coast: Deadlock and Anarchy


October 23, 2005: President Laurent Gbagbo is the main problem in the current civil war, and refuses to leave office, or give up any power to a prime minister. The rebels refuse to negotiate with any government headed by Gbagbo (who started the war by trying to declare many northern Ivorians "foreigners" three years ago, because they, or their parents, migrated from neighboring countries to ease a worker shortage in the booming cocoa industry up there.) The UN is threatening Gbagbo with sanctions, to little effect.

October 18, 2005: France is investigating a general, who formerly commander peacekeepers in Ivory Coast, about covering up the death of an Ivorian civilian killed by French troops. There have been several incidents of misbehavior by French troops in Ivory Coast, including several soldiers who looted an abandoned bank. There is an increasing amount of banditry and lawlessness in Ivory Coast, and French peacekeepers often administer summary justice to criminals, or suspects, they seize. Usually, the "justice" is a beating, or some other rough treatment. But in some cases, the suspects have died in custody, and this has become a big deal in Ivory Coast, where the French are seen as foreign occupiers by residents of the south (who back expelling many northerners who were born in neighboring countries.)


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