John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Gbagbo Makes For the Exit as Ouattara Prepares His Entrance

by John Campbell
April 5, 2011

A tank burns by the roadside after heavy fighting in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, April 5, 2011. (Staff Photogrpaher/Courtesy Reuters)

As Gbagbo negotiates his surrender, Ouattara prepares to become president, a role that begins with the difficult work of rebuilding his country. He has significant advantages. First, he won the elections, which the international community regarded as credible. Second, he has been deeply involved in Ivorian political life for a long time. Third, he has an international reputation from his time at the IMF, which is positive. Fourth, in his struggle with Gbagbo, he had the support of the international community, which is likely to cut him a lot of slack. He will however need to reach out to Gbagbo’s core supporters, and that will require significant political skill.

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  • Posted by Oladele

    Must they wait until they have destroyed everything before leaving. Any sane person in president Gbagbo’s shoes should have read the handwriting on the wall and quit. he may well have become a hero of unity and integration. Now he is leaving his country more divided than he met it.

    Could he have contemplated fighting UN and all at the same time?. Even all ECOWAS agreed he lost. African leaders must learn that the beauty of leadership and the climax of it’s sweetness is in knowing when to bow out gracefully. They must also learn that loosing is not defeat, but loosing without accpting is indeed a defeat.

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