Widget Recent Comment No.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Lost Opportunity to deal with its Ghost

It's been an interesting debate with a good friend over Cote d’Ivoire’s new constitution. I thought constitutional making process sometimes is a good opportunity for nations to have national consultations and conversations on thorny issues that threaten their very existence. It so appears to me that the country lost this opportunity and moved on even with clamor from certain quarters. My friend says the country is on the right track and should be left to move and adds that it is not possible to please everybody. I agreed that it is not possible to please everybody but argued that it is not a matter of pleasing but a question of accommodating people; creating compromise and finding tolerable ways to move forward together. 

We must not forget that political instability has dogged Cote d’Ivoire for more than two decades, often driven by the question of Ivoirian nationality. Former President Henri Konan Bedie, who took office in 1993 and currently leads the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire (PDCI), aggressively promoted the concept of “Ivoirite,” an interpretation of national identity that called into question the nationality of citizens of foreign origin. Divisions deepened and, in the context of economic decline, helped precipitate a military coup in 1999 that ousted Bedie. Today, Ouattara - whose nationality is contested - has put the country on economic recovery, growing at above 10 percent for over 5 years. 

So my friend supports President Alassane Ouattara and argues that those who have issues with him have done nothing other than blocking the president from taking the country forward. I said I do not think that is the only thing they are doing. I do not necessarily support them but I know that even if the country's economy grows hundred fold if the fault-lines of conflict are not sealed; there is glaring the risk of relapse into conflict. The more reason they should have a more robust conversation. But they have lost that opportunity. The president is keen on operationilizing the new constitution, largely because the new draft makes good on his 2015 campaign promise to lift the restriction on presidential candidates with dual nationality. Does this heal the country or does it prepare ground for future eruption of violent conflicts?
Cote d’Ivoire’s Lost Opportunity to deal with its Ghost Cote d’Ivoire’s Lost Opportunity to deal with its Ghost Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on November 10, 2016 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.