Ivory Coast SCSU Students Are Very Concerned with International Involvement To Overthrow the Former President

By: Ryan Atkins 0 Comments   4/12/2011

Monday April, 11 2011 was the day former President of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, was apprehended by a French led assault.  The Internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara has taken office. Both have publicly asked for the violence to stop in a war that has claimed over 1000 individuals.

For all involved this situation is despicable and sad. After thirty years I finally had my eyes opened to the importance of being informed and an active participant in the political process, sadly it took this atrocity that left many dead and many others questioning God.

Sunday November 28, 2010 began the process to open my eyes to a world I do not understand. I began that morning similar to numerous other Sunday mornings over the past three years, picking up international students and bringing them to church.

As I was driving I heard the students, who were sitting directly behind me on a three person bench in the gray 15 passenger van, speak in their native French. A female student revealed to me that they were about to have an election, in their native Ivory Coast, for the first time in several years.

I was excited for them, as an American I see the benefits of democracy and quite possibly trained to believe that all countries would be better if they ran government similar to the United States.

I did not follow the Ivory Coast situation for a few more months as I continued to live my life as I had in the past, searching news as it became a story not realizing that the story presented may not be the whole fact.

While Egypt and Libya were rising to the center of the news cycles, Ivory Coast, also known as Cote D’Ivore, had not come to a unanimous decision on who the winner of the November election was.

The incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, lost the election according this article against Alassane Ouattara by a margin of 54.1% to 45.9%.

However, Gbagbo refused to step down. The international community, including the United Nations, recognized Ouattara as President.  

By what I understood of elections I couldn’t understand why the individual who lost the election did not step down, nor did I understand why he was receiving support from my friends from the Ivory Coast. 

In the ensuing stories I will share with you some of their experiences that they personally have lived through, as well as stories from their family members who are living in a war zone as the United Nations and French were bombing the capitol city of Abidjan.

I also hope to reveal a political landscape that is much different than what we experience in America and allow you to see a glimpse of what the St Cloud State students from Ivory Coast are attempting to persevere through, as they finish the semester with the worry that their families and friends could be part of thousands who have already been declared dead.

In the final article I will present how the atrocity that these young individuals are living through is affecting their relationship with the God they love.

There are a lot of unanswered questions. Like was the election rigged by the Muslim community in order to overthrow the former Christian President Gbagbo so that the Muslim leader Ouattara could take control of the nations oil revenue now that funding from Libya’s unrest has cut off a key source of funds for Muslim nations in the area? 

Stay tuned... Here is Part 2

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