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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 15:29 GMT
Ivory Coast: Your views
Anti-French protestors gather as African leaders arrive at Abuja international airport in Nigeria
The United Nations Security Council has imposed an immediate arms embargo on Ivory Coast following the recent outbreak of violence in the country.

Security Council members unanimously backed a resolution proposed by France to stop either government forces or rebels importing new weapons.

Since the civil war reignited 10 days ago more than 10,000 people have fled from Ivory Coast into Liberia.

Would the UN arms embargo help to revive the peace process? Were the French right in their response? Have you been affected by the current crisis? Send us your views using the postform.

This debate is now closed. Here are some of the comments we received:

This topic was suggested by Vincent Mugaba, Uganda:
The violence in Ivory Coast is senseless. What should be done?

Why is Ivory Coast singled out? The Sudanese government is still committing acts of genocide against the black Africans in the Darfur region.
Daniel Abraham, London, UK

Last year I travelled on the road from Abidjan to Ghana. Every few kilometres there were police and army checkpoints. At almost every checkpoint we were told to give a bribe to ensure we weren't delayed. At the border we were detained for several hours under the pretext that we needed to have meningitis vaccinations and our passports were confiscated for a few hours until they realised we would not pay a bribe. The locals suffered worse humiliations. We even witnessed a police officer kicking a small boy. Everywhere we went we encountered corruption and anti-Western sentiment. The failings of the Ivory Coast government are huge. International pressure is needed for more than just this ceasefire
Mac le Roux, Geneva, Switzerland

I believe the only good Laurent Gbagbo is the ousted Laurent Gbagbo
Lossenie B Sheriff, Newark

I am an African journalist and sociologist currently residing in the US. I have been following developments in my home continent since 1989. I personally support France's response to the cold bloody murder of its citizens in Ivory Coast. France is not part of the problem, but a part of the solution in the West African country. Imposing arms embargo and travel ban are not enough to implement a conflict resolution and conflict management. I think a regime change is necessary for the Ivorian masses at this interval. I believe the only good Laurent Gbagbo is the ousted Laurent Gbagbo.
Lossenie B Sheriff, Newark, NJ, USA

Why has the UN placed an arms embargo against the Ivory Coast, yet not against the Sudanese?
Anon, UK

I believe that the French acted in a very restrained manner and even through the tough times have acted professionally. Is it no time for the African nations to stop blaming everyone else for their problems especially the "European Colonists" and fix their own shops?
Puidoux, Switzerland

History has shown us that two wrongs do not make a right. Both sides (France and Ivory Coast ) are to blame.
John Mogaswa, Pietersburg, RSA

I am French and my boyfriend of 8 years and the father of our daughter is Ivorian. It is a difficult situation for us as we get information from the media from both sides France and Cote d'Ivoire and we feel that there is a large propaganda going on in the media and that this is also fuelling more comments from both sides. Anyone heard about the coroner report on the French peacekeepers that were killed and who said that the ammunition was coming from the French's guns??
Letty, London

I was in the UN observation team for the presidential elections in 2000, when Gbagbo took power. It is obvious that he was not elected by the Ivorian people, he got, at the best, 10 % of an unfair vote, as any serious contester was banned from the electoral process. And he used already the same method he used last week and in January 2002: sending violent mobs of supporters to the streets in order to impose, with terrorist attitudes and deeds, his will to the city of Abidjan.
Vlasta Livi, Brussels, Belgium

The embargo will send a clear message to those that broke the peace process. Peace keepers shall not be bombed without any reaction. The retaliation from the French troops only aimed at avoiding other casualties from air bombing in a country where nobody knows who gives orders to pilots. Power in Ivory Coast is only based on fear, racism, false rumours and playing games with the international community.
Thierry, Paris, France

Even though France and Ivory Coast have a long relationship, I personally now believe that the French should leave the Ivorians alone and let them handle their problems. This is nothing short of colonialism to the highest. Why should Ivory Coast which is an independent nation have to answer to a European nation? Who does France depend on for their moral evaluations? Get out of Africa.
JD Walker

It was a measured response to a hostile act. Well deserved. Many countries around the world would have retaliated much harsher severity, I applaud the French for such a mature approach.
Ian O'Connell, Dublin, Ireland

they are a part of the problem in Cote d'Ivoire
Akongwale, London, England

As a West African, I must say that I have never had any respect for the French - especially when it comes to their policies in West Africa - they are a part of the problem in Cote d'Ivoire. It is very clear that they have taken sides again - remember Rwanda. Keep the peace or go back to France! At least the Americans are more forthright, the French, in my opinion have never been honest about their intentions, whether in Africa or elsewhere.
Akongwale, London, England

To save the peace deal, the French should leave Ivory Coast. Peacekeepers must be from African countries. France should not destroy African's property. Europeans colonized Africa and took used their resources. Therefore, no African countries trust their past colonizer and they should not trust them.
Addaa, USA

Each and every resident in sub-Sahara Africa (including our leaders) should ask themselves this question: what will become of my dear country (or continent) 50 years from now? And what can I do to make it better? If you find it hard to answer this question, then try providing an answer to this alternative question: where did our leaders go wrong 50 years ago? And what should they have done? It's about time we begin to think out of a box.
Ed K, Ghana

The French government has every right to retaliate against those who attacked the peacekeepers
Christopher Scully, Ohio

The French government has every right to retaliate against those who attacked the peacekeepers. In my opinion they should have given a much harsher message and destroyed any Ivorian military ordinance within 100 miles of the French base or any UN interests. The UN needs to have teeth in these situations and the French have shown that if you don't want peacekeepers in your nation then ask them to leave, don't drop bombs on them.
Christopher Scully, Lorain, Ohio, USA

I implore both sides to think about the destruction meted to this beautiful country. I ask both sides to forego their personal agenda and start working for the people. We have seen the destruction of almost all viable economies in Africa and I hate to see another African nation in ruins. Arise African leaders and save the land for your unborn children. Stop the destruction.
Manuel, USA

I'm proud to be French...
Jonathan, Paris, France
The anti-French protests are really really sad. France is in Côte d'Ivoire for peace. Moreover France brings so much to Cote d'Ivoire. I can't understand why there is so much violence! And even if Cote d'Ivoire doesn't belong to French Empire anymore, I believe it's our duty to be over there and to protect the Ivorian people (and the French people there) who, unfortunately, have not got a good president at all. So thank you to our troops. I'm proud to be French, proud, to be a citizen from a country who tries to keep the peace.
Jonathan, Paris, France

The question is not whether or not France's response to the bombing was right, but whether or not their response to the whole crisis was right. By promoting peace and separating the warring factions, they prolonged violence. Their failure to support the democratically elected government appears to the nationals as support of the rebels. France's apparent support of the rebels was heightened when they forced Gbagbo to sign a treaty which appointed rebels into the government. No sovereign nation should be forced to make concessions to rebel factions, especially when that government was democratically elected. (yes, Gbagbo was democratically elected, and was working toward reconciliation with Oattara. He had no say in whether or not Oattara could run) The recent bombing of the air force is just one more proof in the Ivorian's mind that the French support the rebels, and are therefore the enemy.
Joel, Yamoussoukro, RCI

Careful monitoring of the CI situation convinces me that Gbagbo is only a puppet and that the bombing of French troops inspired by another foreign power well known to get involved when it comes to secure its huge oil needs. The goal is to put France in a situation where it will be ultimately forced to abandon Ivory Coast. Yes, France is a former colonial power, but stability in the region is its main concern and its action has contributed to wealth of CI in the last three decades. This can't be said of all other former colonial powers, or the USA.
Laurent, Brussels, Belgium

I lived in Ivory Coast for almost 10 years and believe that the French have taken the wrong side...as usual. This is by-and-large a conflict between the Muslim north and the Christian south. I think that the French need to go home and allow the duly elected president of the Ivory Coast to handle the situation.
Ralph Andrews, Cullman, USA

Just a word about the professionalism of the French troops there. Their number is quite limited - less than 1000 in Abidjan - and I can give the testimony that French soldiers do not lose their nerves although they face mobs or rioters. These are skilled professionals performing a difficult task and certainly doing their best to try and protect 10, 000+ Europeans in a 3 million large city.
Jean-Pierre, Paris, France

France has no right to intervene in a foreign nation's domestic policies.
Tsoke Adjavon, Austin, Texas
I grew up in Abidjan and I still have family in the Ivory Coast. I think that the French government actions were totally wrong. France has no right to intervene in a foreign nation's domestic policies. Let's face it, the rebels are bandits who just want to seize power.
Tsoke Adjavon, Austin, Texas

I am living almost opposite the French military base. The French military in fact overreacted. The crises in Ivory Coast needs tolerance between the parties involved.
Franklin Nworisa, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

To Franklin Nworisa, Ivory Coast: Were any of your family members killed when the Ivory Coast Air Force bombed the UN base? The French did not overreact, they reacted justly. They did not start the violence they retaliated against it. I believe the French response showed incredible restraint actually, how many people did the French kill in their bombing? Planes can be replaced, lives cannot.
Tristan Benson, Richmond, VA

It is a matter of time before Ivory Coast will be divided into two countries. Let the north declare independence, and let the south accept it. The sooner the better. You see the French always take advantage of such situations. However, I am disappointed by the state of affair in Abidjan. The city is deteriorating. The sooner Gbagbo realizes that the north is gone the better for him to embark on development of the south. Other countries will follow suit in breaking. Democratic Republic of Congo missed that chance narrowly a few years ago and in 2007 it will be repeated.
George Lukwago, Kampala, Uganda

I'm a Nigerian student in the UK and find it quite annoying that while Europeans especially the likes of France and Germany find it very easy to champion the cause of the Middle East, they seem very reluctant to deal with Africa. I am just an average observer of current affairs and while I'm very informed about the events in the Middle East, I barely have a clue about what's happening in Ivory Coast. probably some negligence on my part but I sense some people are given more priority. I wonder why.

I also feel that Africans need to get their act together because the world today seems to be survival of the fittest or is it richest? I seriously doubt that France would have taken such swift action if it were a country the rest of the world saw as significant especially when the situation was not clear. Thabo Mbeki making efforts is not enough. what are the other African leaders saying?
Olawale Adaramola, Birmingham, UK

The anti-French demonstrations and all this violence began with the arrival of the rebels. If President Mbeki wants to help our country to have peace, the only way is to say to the rebels to disarm. Before 19 September 2002, we were living in peace with the French.
Serge, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

I was an EU observer to the 2000 elections in Ivory Coast. That place was the only place where I was possessed by fear, when I was confronted to aggressive mobs - followers of Gbagbo. I knew that guy was wretched and so I mentioned this in my reports, and for that sake, I was sacked. Everybody, since the beginning of the election process, knew how dangerous he was, but nobody opposed his doubtful accession to power.
Mario Zanatti, Lisboa, Portugal


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