Recent weeks have shown how the political elite keep blocking the path to reconciliation in Côte d'Ivoire. The leadership from both sides of the politico-ethnic divide appears unwilling to learn the vital lessons from a decade of civil conflict in which thousands of civilians were killed.
The message was the same to the residents: to create a new Côte d'Ivoire, the abuse must stop, and the government must ensure justice by prosecuting the people responsible, regardless of who they are or whom they support.
After every major diplomatic initiative resulted in a clear statement in support of Ouattara, Gbagbo certainly knew he could never rule. What was he trying to accomplish?
With the battle for control of the Ivory Coast nearing an end, explosive divisions remain unresolved and revenge killings are expected after months of unthinkable horror.
The dilemma in world politics today is that the UN remains unable to produce a coherent blueprint to face legitimacy conflicts in the developing world.
Côte d'Ivoire has a unique opportunity to set the country on a different path, one that will be key for regional stability. Ouattara's first steps will be essential to charting a new way forward.
A "food crisis" is afoot. It's becoming ever more obvious in supermarkets and restaurants, and now -- because of political strife in the cocoa-producing Ivory Coast -- this food crisis is allegedly about to kill Easter.
Some government leaders keep going and going. They would rather see their country descend into anarchy than leave office. Gaddafi is one. Mugabe is another. So is the president of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo.
I spoke with Gilles Yabi, Crisis Group's West Africa Project Director, about Côte d'Ivoire's mounting crisis and how to keep the conflict from spilling across borders and destabilizing the entire West African region. Listen to our conversation here.
Sometimes it is hard to come up with a metaphor to describe the week that was. This was not one of those weeks.
It's not too late for La Cote d'Ivoire's defeated incumbent to gracefully take his leave as a nationalist who put his country on the democratic path. Gbagbo is only damaging his legacy and causing the loss of lives by refusing to step down.
Once known as the Paris of West Africa, the Ivory Coast has undergone a decade of turmoil. The latest deadlock threatens regional peace and could influence dozens of elections scheduled throughout the continent this year.
When leaders like Laurent Gbagbo refuse to budge, the choice for international players comes down to intervention or sheepish retreat. Responsibility for good governance ultimately rests with a nation's leaders and people themselves.
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It is useful to identify those human rights stories to watch in 2011. How these challenges are resolved will tell us much about where human rights are going.
Côte d'Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo is living up to the stereotype of an African leader clinging to power, disconnected from the country's citizens and ignoring their expressed will.