Ivory Coast showdown: A discussion on the political crisis in West Africa


AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Côte d’Ivoire—in English, the Ivory Coast—whose political situation remains in a deadlock following a day of talks with visiting African heads of state. On Monday, a delegation of leaders from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde and Kenya met with both Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and longtime opposition leader Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo and Ouattara have each claimed victory in November’s disputed election. Ouattara has received the backing of the international community, including the Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, which has threatened military action if Gbagbo does not agree to step aside.

Gbagbo’s security forces have been accused of orchestrating some 200 deaths, hundreds of arrests, dozens of cases of disappearance and torture in recent weeks. Last week, Ouattara’s appointee to the United Nations warned the standoff has placed Ivory Coast “on the brink of genocide.”

For more on Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast, we’re joined by two guests. Horace Campbell joins us again, professor of political science and African American studies at Syracuse University. His latest book, Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA. Horace Campbell is joining us today from Syracuse. And joining us from Washington, D.C. is Gnaka Lagoke. He is an Ivory Coast political analyst and runs the website AfricanDiplomacy.com.

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