Cote D’Ivoire: neo-colonialism in action
I 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.Tagged in: Cote D’Ivoire, Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo
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