The situation in Ivory Coast is giving me the chills because I can see how Kenya may have (or still could) end up all because of a disputed election. I’ve said here before that I don’t believe western democracy can ever work in Africa and they should give up on that idea altogether and adopt a Chinese style of governance, i.e. focus on developing your economy first and worry about things like democracy and constitutions later.
Ivory Coast used to be one of the Jewels of Africa. A place with fine restaurants where people drank fine wine and enjoyed themselves until it all went to hell in a hand basket, but what has worried me the most about Ivory Coast is the UN and French involvement in that country. Actually, I shouldn’t even use the word “involvment”. The UN is bombing the place!! Since when was the UN’s mandate to go out and bomb people?
The last time the UN and France cooperated on a venture, was in Rwanda during the genocide. I honestly think that Sarkozy has lost his God damn mind. What the French are doing in Ivory Coast is insane. Imagine for a minute that the British decided that Raila had in fact won the election and lets say Kibaki refused to step aside. Then, the British and the UN decide that they are going to remove Kibaki by force and they start bombing Nairobi. How would you feel about that?
Why doesn’t the west understand Africa? Elections in Africa are messy. They are often no angels on either side. There is often rigging on both sides. The voting is usually ethnic. In fact, in much of Africa, what you have is not western style democracy, but rather, tribal/communal “voting”. If you are a western country, the absolute last thing you want to do is pick sides in this tribal/communal mix up and this is especially so when elections are close (because if it’s close, it becomes very hard to tell who the real winner was and it also tells you that the ethnic divide is entrenched and that the country is most probably evenly divided based on ethnicity).
So, if the British started bombing Nairobi in the hopes of putting Raila in, it would inflame all the ethnic groups that vehemently voted against Raila and further entrench their hatred. This is what is going to happen in the Ivory Coast. That country is evenly divided. 38% muslims in the north and 32% christians in the south. How, if you are Outtarra, do you expect to be able to “rule” if you allow a former colonial power to come into your country and drop bombs on your own people? The only thing those bombs are going to do is inflame that 32% of the country that is genuinely against Outtarra.
When you think about Ivory Coast, think of Kenya and think about how you’d feel if your country was being bombed by the British and think about what that would do to your ethnic DNA. Sarkozy and a large part of the western world do not understand this. It’s not about democracy. It’s about ethnicity and tribe and religion and no amount of bombs from Paris will change this underlying dynamic, either for Outtarra or for Sarkozy.