Just a few weeks ago Pauline was here on the podcast to update us about the violence in Ivory Coast, as Pro-Ouattara (the newly elected president) forces fought against Gbagbo (sitting president who lost the election) forces. As you may recall the danger was so clear and present that she was unable to leave her home and reported that most people were doing the same to avoid the risk of being caught in the cross fire.
Since that report the world has watched as Pro-Ouattara forces overtook the capital and forcibly removed President Gbagbo. While this does mean the new President is finally able to claim the office and get to work, this also means numerous side effects of being in a country where the President, even if he was elected, came to power by using force and violence.
As Pauline reported in her latest post following the ouster of Gbagbo:
“the first signs are not encouraging. Ouattara started off in the worst imaginable conditions, his speeches lack compassion, and his FRCI army bears all the hallmarks of a rebel group. The FRCI is gradually gaining control over the city and seems to hunting for thieves and looters among its ranks. Neighborhood grocer Salif walked to the bakery this morning and was a witness to the execution of four “thugs” in military uniform who were about to drive off in a car without license plates.”
According to the UN High Commission for Refugee’s, over 1 million people have been displaced by the fighting over the past few months. They note the usual needs in such a situation, food and water, but an indicator of just how bad things are, they point out the need for medical assistance for gunshot wounds.
Yet another change of power brought on by violence, showing signs of being as violent as any other government before them.