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Cote D’Ivoire: neo-colonialism in action

Jody McIntyre

111980263 266x300 Cote D’Ivoire: neo colonialism in actionI do not have an opinion on who should be the President of the Ivory Coast, and must admit that my knowledge of the country’s history is somewhat lacking. However, I do know that the military of France, its former colonial power, has no right to invade an African country, let alone help one side of an internal conflict over-power another.

This has nothing to do with enforcing the rule of law, and everything to do with a renewed form of colonialism.  A form which does not always, although does sometimes, involve direct military occupation, but rather the installation of governments that will uphold the interests of European and North American governments on our behalf.  An ideology which stipulates that we know best, and that these sub-human Africans cannot be trusted to deal with their own affairs.  A mind-set which values our own supremacy and legitimises us in a role of the world’s police force.

Is it only me that wonders why we only see African people in two contexts; either as starving victims of famine or drought, or as perpetrators of inhumane violence against one another.  Never as proud and independent human beings, capable of determining their own future.

The current situation in the Ivory Coast should not be removed from it’s wider context.  Let us consider the Ivory Coast under French colonial rule, paraded as an example of the wonders of imperialism, regardless of the opinions of the “subjects” of foreign rule.  Let us consider the following three decades, from 1960 until 1990, when, as Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of the Pan-African News Wire describes, “Ivory Coast continued as an outpost of France, albeit with a facade of independence”.  Now, it was the example of the fruits capitalism could bring Africa; an economic ideology so morally corrupt that has kept the people of Africa poor whilst we live in comfort, and so bankrupt that our own government are constantly shelling out billions of pounds to keep alive.  Let us consider the civil war that broke out in the Ivory Coast in 2002, thanks to economic instability and rising unemployment, in which the French military were deployed, and suspected of supporting both sides of the conflict.  A favoured tactic of the colonialist; arm the natives to fight each other, then step in to show them how to govern themselves.  Divide and conquer.

It seems that France and the US are particularly keen to reassert their dominance over the African continent.  The bombing of the Libyan army, Libyan soldiers, Libyan citizens, Gaddafi’s forces and rebel forces may not end up appearing as loving and well-intentioned as initially planned, so the Ivory Coast has been grasped as an opportunity to regain some ground.  Why doesn’t Nicolas Sarkozy take a look in his own backyard, where he is so happy to tell women what they can and cannot wear in the name of ‘liberating’ them, before he tries to pull the veil over our eyes regarding his intentions in Africa?

The bottom line is, he shouldn’t have any intentions at all.

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  • Guest

    typical liberal-leftie piece, I’d suggest that before anyone is so much as allowed to type the word “colonialism” they are sent on a trip to examine, first-hand, what China in particular are doing in Africa; old-school informal economic imperialism of the purest sort.

    Lend money, dictate how that money is spent, give contracts to Chinese firms and execute them with largely imported Chinese labour, many of whom stay. Continue to extract revenue from the infrastructure so developed, indefinitely and without regard for the host country.

    sorry, is that not self-abasing enough?

  • lovetruncheon

    hey, ben – thats a bit rough.

    neo-colonialism may be making a comeback but at least neo-twatism is alive and well in judy’s head.

    aint free speech great.

  • Guest

    Im guessing Jean Roch, that you’re a Gbago supporter, shame the rest of your country voted for the other guy then huh? Welcome to democracy.

  • loftytom

    Your quite right Jody, let them all go to hell in a handcart. We should adopt the Chinese realpolitik of ensuring our raw materials and to hell with a bunch of black people.

    I mean that is your underlying message albeit dressed up in wet liberal handwringing islintonista prose.

    Her to help

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XXRL2VT3IG3VMVJNNK2MV5FFEI Jean Roch

    I am of those who voted neither for Ouatarra or Gbagbo. Even if it was about Gbagbo today, my reaction would have been the same. Democracy enforced on at the point of weapons I say NO. People’s view is more powerful than that of any dictator’s. Just have faith in People. How free do you think the Ivoirians will be from now to take the streets, to voice their opinion publicly without frighting that behind this present gouvernment stands the might of France and UN ready to smack or label anyone who demonstrates as rebel. How free do you think the people of Ivory Coast will be to voice their opinion from now?

  • clapman

    Actually, majority of Quattara’s voters came from other neighboring countries from the north such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea. These people are not Ivorians but because Cote D’Ivoire does not have a sophisticated voting system, they voted for Quattara’s because his father is from their ethnic group and of their religion (actually Quattara’s father is from Burkina Faso).

    Another thing, A certain man officiated the wedding between Quattara and his French wife in France in 1990. What is this man’s name? Nicolas Sarkozy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XXRL2VT3IG3VMVJNNK2MV5FFEI Jean Roch

    has Sarkozy really officiated the wedding between Ouatarra and his wife? Waoh! I would love to have some proofs of that and I know some people who would too.

    How sad that France just killed the very thing (eg. Democracy,) they praise themselves for by impose it on people with their bombing and a puppet. They killed the people voice and people power in so doing. After all who cares? La France is now free to exploit the Ivorian land as they wish. Bravo!!! SAD!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000435625126 Tess Paris

    Knee-jerk anti-west rant, from someone who shamelessly admits he knows nothing of the background. And when he says he “knows France has no right to invade”, he is wrong again.

    France did not invade the country. France was there under UN mandate to try to avoid Ivorians killing other Ivorians.

    Read the free West-African press: its journalists are grateful to the UN and France for having devoted large resources of money and people to organize and control the Ivorian presidential elections, and then to insure that the winner can prevail, when faced with Gbagbo’s deadly refusal to admit his defeat.

    They lament that the OAU, as usual, was unable to take a stance and do the job, but they have to face it: they need the help of the UN and the western world to transition towards democracy. As a French taxpayer, I would have preferred that African countries be able to avoid our costly assistance.

    And you forget a small detail: the UN intervention, together with the French under UN mandate, has managed to put an end to massacres that could have lasted much longer.

    But I’m not sure you are really interested in saving African lives.

  • anikaz

    expliquez-moi pourquoi vous insistez que ouattara a gagné les élections alors ses rebelles ont mis la kalashnikov sur la tête des électeurs de GBAGBO dans le nord pour qu’ils votent pour ouattara et présenter des résulats ou ouattara gagne avec 100% des voix avec la signature des representants de gbagbo qui n’ont pas voté pour leur candidat.


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