Washington, D.C., partner Tom McDonald—Policy Committee member, head of the Government Policy Practice Group and former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1997-2001)—was interviewed by CNN about the crisis escalating in the Ivory Coast. Regional powers (ECOWS) are considering military intervention to remove Ivory Coast Strongman Laurent Gbagbo in favor of the man the world says beat him democratically, Alassane Ouattara.
Following is an excerpt of the interview:
Reporter: “The U.S. is offering to take in Gbagbo if he steps down peacefully and officials say the window of opportunity for that offer is closing quickly. In your experience in what you’ve seen in Zimbabwe and Africa, how important is it that we see this particular stand-off resolved as quickly as possible?”
McDonald: “Very important, this is an important moment for Africa as we’ve had a number of stand-offs and the sooner Laurent Gbagbo can be out of office and, specifically, out of Côte d'Ivoire, the better.”
Reporter: “How did we come to this? Are we talking about a country in which systems exist that two presidents can be sworn in?”
McDonald: “Well, if you know the history of Laurent Gbagbo, he’s really been a bad actor for some time, along with his wife, who’s been a power broker and part of the government in the past. Unfortunately, Côte d'Ivoire has had instability for a number of years.”
See Full Interview