Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another African Head of State Steps Down!

Laurent Gbagbo

It is now just a matter of time... a few hours at the most. Gbagbo has agreed to step down after a decisive victory for pro-Ouattara forces. 

Alassane Ouattara, a former IMF deputy director, won the presidential elections in November, 2010. Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down claiming extensive ballot rigging in the northern half of the country, controlled for the last eight years by the rebels backing Ouattara. Since he has the army on his side he decided to do exactly what Gaddafi is doing to his own people. He has used his army as a killing machine to his own end, but even the army gets tired of aimless killing with no benefits in sight.

Ouattara and the international community have repeatedly asked Gbagbo to step down and leave but he would not budge. Early last week Ouattara, finally, gave him an ultimatum which of course Gbagbo ignored. Pro-Ouattara forces (certainly with the help of the West) have in the last few days inflicted persuasive defeat of the army and captured the major towns and cities. Last week the rebel force, now calling itself the Republican Force began its assault on Abijan - the seat of power.

As of this morning the rebel forces announced they have surrounded the palace where Gbagbo and his family are sheltering. He has agreed to step down and according to the UN, the negotiators are on the verge of agreeing to surrender terms and the departure of Gbagbo.

So who is next? Gaddafi?????

The Economist

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