The Cote d’Ivoire Crisis: A Litmus Test for African Diplomacy

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by drewmakokha

The current political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire that was precipitated by the disputed results of the country’s presidential run-off elections held on 28th November 2010, where both the Challenger and the Incumbent declared themselves as the winners and went on to swear themselves to the presidency has cast the spotlight on “Diplomacy”, as a key tenet in International Relations.

This has been occasioned by the Incumbent, Mr. Laurent Gbagbo totally refusing to cede power claiming that he was duly elected having been declared the winner by the Country’s Constitutional Council – headed by a key ally – despite the fact that the Country’s Electoral Commission had already declared his Challenger, Allassane Ouattara as the President-elect having garnered 54% of the total votes cast against Gbagbo’s 46%. This was swiftly followed by endorsements from the UN’s Special Representative for Cote d’Ivoire, the French and US governments, the African Union, the European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In spite of this massive outpouring of public approval for Ouattara, Gbagbo has flatly refused to step down and has even gone ahead to fire up his citizen’s emotions in the name of nationalism by branding those calling for him to step down as having launched an attack on his country’s sovereignty which must be defended at all costs, falling short of telling them to be prepared for war. It must be remembered, that this stand has been occasioned by the stand of the West African Bloc that either Gbagbo cedes power voluntary or they employ legitimate force to oust him.

The threat of employing legitimate force by the West African Bloc is what casts “Diplomacy” into the spotlight. This is because this threat has the potential of provoking a reciprocal effect where it fires up the citizenry into a sense of nationalism, where they also employ legitimate force to defend themselves – something that Gbagbo seems to be exploiting. If this happens, it’s the region that stands to lose, since Cote d’Ivoire is strategic to the region’s interest being a leading cocoa producer and also having reasonable economic resources, not forgetting that it houses two ports that serve as a gateway for the region to the rest of the world. In addition to this, a sizeable number of the region’s citizenry have found home in Cote d’Ivoire as immigrants, and military intervention might end up subjecting them to unwelcome xenophobic attacks by a fired up indigenous citizenry latching on the thread of nationalism. The other point to put into perspective, is that Cote d’Ivoire as a country is not purely homogenous and is distinctly divided along religious lines pitting the dominantly Christian South against the largely Muslim North, and as it appears Gbagbo has the support of the mainly Christian South who overwhelmingly voted for him; this scenario has the prospect of inviting religious tension among the citizenry. The other issue, is that in a scenario like this, the military is usually expected to play a Republican role by restoring the rule of law, the supremacy of the Constitution, and respecting the people’s verdict exercised through the electoral process, however, the military has become partisan and has thrown its weight behind Gbagbo. The foregoing, clearly casts a sharp spotlight to the art of “Diplomacy” and whether it can be achieved in a peaceful manner, all I can say is that as things stand now, the future for Cote d’Ivoire appears grim, as we witness a true litmus test for “African Diplomacy”.


The Emotional Rollercoaster!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by drewmakokha

Cry, yes I cry,

But I ask who’ll listen to this cry,

Yes, my cry,

A cry of blood.

Vividly, the memories stream in,

Yes, those faces gushing with blood,

Yes those desperate faces crying for help,

Yes those faces filled with pain and anguish

Faces staring at an act of betrayal.

What did we do wrong?

They seem to ask,

Where did we go wrong,

That’s what runs through their minds,

Did we deserve this,

That’s their desolate plea!


Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by drewmakokha

‘Jumaa tarehe saba, mbalamwezi ni ya nane,

Ngeu ikatiririka, machozi kabubujika,

Sote tuliduwiaa, kwa kupigwa na butwaa,

Vioo vilitpaka’, kwa majonzi na simanzi,

Kuishi sio lazima, ilhali ni kwa bahati.

Shababii kwa shaibu, sote tulijiandaa,

Tayari mfano wa simba, kuikabili hujuma,

Matumbo ‘likereketa, nazo nyuso zikanuna,

Tukatema balaghamu, kulishtumu janga,

Kuishi sio lazima, ilhali ni kwa bahati.

Maadili kenda wapi, sote tukalia ng’oa,

Weshimiwa kauwawa, fukara wasisalie,

Ahera kenda wote, wasio hata hatia,

Wehu hawa namna gani, kalitenda ovu hili

Kuishi sio lazima, ilhali ni kwa bahati.

Tamatio kawaidi, ‘kiuliza sala hili,

Rabana ni kwa ninio, janga hili katukumba,

Kaungana kwa umoja, pasi kufaia dafu,

Buriani kapeana, yamkini shingo upande,

Kuishi sio lazima, ilhali ni kwa bahati.


Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by drewmakokha

My love,

Listen to the sing I sing,

One laden with praise,

Adoration and accolades,

Of your vanquishments,

Not setbacks.

I groan like a wounded lion,

Thinking of the pain,

Pain from a loss,

That cannot be described,

One so emotional, yet poignant,

Even the brave cannot endure,

The loss of you, my beloved.

I keep asking questions,

Like an examiner to his students,

Expecting answers,

That never seem to appear,

Only your return can do the trick,

I turn to prayers ,

Only to hear,

I have to have faith,

Trying to emulate,

The father of many nations,

To no avail.

The medics are my next stop,

Back with an assortment

Of the world’s finest medicine

All these I ask

Can they bring you back?

From the land of the lost,

Who had secured places in people’s hearts.

In all I have done,

It sounds like insanity,

But being insane because of

Someone you love,

Does not bother me,

For that will one day bring you back.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2010 by drewmakokha

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