Ivory Coast's conflict and Rwanda's genocide: Key differences
Ivory Coast bears some similarities to Rwanda in 1994, but there are a number of factors that make it unlikely Ivory Coast's conflict will develop into a genocide like Rwanda's.
Is Ivory Coast headed toward a genocide?Skip to next paragraph
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No. At least, I don't think so.
Senam Beheton has a very interesting post on possible parallels between Ivory Coast today and Rwanda in 1994. He draws the parallels, then reaches the following conclusions:
All of the above, will occur if everything stays the same. While I am happy to see the FRCI’s successes, I would like the world to understand that we have been here before. Gbagbo is boxed in militarily and politically. He has no way out. He is literally a prisoner in Abidjan with nowhere to retreat in Ivory Coast and dwindling options outside of the country. He is an historian and knows what happened to Charles Taylor, Samuel Doe, Dadis Camara and the like. It is only a matter of time till forces loyal to Mr. Ouattara take control of the whole country. What happens between now and then is up to all of us. I don’t know what the trigger will be for UN and French Licorne forces currently in Ivory Coast. The UN and France were in Rwanda. Both were sorry for their reluctance to protect civilians. They will have a do-over. I hope they make the right decisions this time for humanity sake.
Now, I know a lot about Rwanda, but I am by no means an Ivory Coast expert, so take my opinions here with that grain of salt in mind. I think Beheton makes some very interesting points here, but am not sure that this will lead down the path to genocide, even if things continue to go horribly wrong. Which they will. The international community's refusal to take this crisis seriously or do anything about it beyond inadequately funding the response to the humanitarian crisis is appalling. Like Rwanda in 1994, this crisis is the result of a previous series of crises and longstanding tensions that were allowed to fester for decades with little attention from the outside world.